A dog’s overall happiness depends heavily on his ability to cope with stress, boredom, and anxiety, which is why mental stimulation is vital to him. This is something you would want for your dog if you had one. Toys that provide mental stimulation are the kind of toys that offer this kind of benefit.
Best mental stimulation toys for dogs
Since there are so many options available today, we’ve gathered the six best mental stimulation toys that you can choose from so you can discover the joy and relief that come from having a dog who is mentally stimulated:
Kong Classic Toy
Kong Classic (view it on Amazon) is one of the most widespread mental stimulation toys in the market today for all the right reasons. This snowman-shaped rubber toy serves double duty: it serves as an entertaining treat-dispensing toy and a highly durable chew toy for aggressive chewers or dogs with anxiety. You can rest assured that the Kong Classic will put your dog’s mind to work as it determines how to get all the pieces of the stuffed toy.
As a dog toy, the Kong has a hollow cavity inside which you can stuff the dog treat, hand the Kong over to your dog, and watch your dog get occupied for hours.
You can fill the Kong with anything from peanut butter, canned dog food, mashed bananas, and plain pumpkin. The sky is the limit regarding what you can use to fill it up.
As soon as your dog is done getting all that tasty stuff hidden inside the Kong, they will be too mentally exhausted to cause a brawl. Handy Hint: No mental stimulation toy – even the toughest ones like the Kong – is indestructible. When your dog is playing with the Kong classic (or any other mentally stimulating toy for dogs), you should always keep an eye on it. They can choke on a detached piece of the toy if they eat it.
If your Kong is wearing down, you should replace it as soon as possible.
It is also straightforward to clean, which makes the Kong Classic a beautiful product in addition to its highly durable material. To clean it, you can put it in the dishwasher or hand wash it by soaking it in hot, soapy water and then rinsing it off.
Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Puzzle Toy
The prey instincts of dogs are so powerful that they love to tap into them. This hide-a-squirrel puzzle toy (view on Amazon) is designed to stimulate your dog’s natural hunting instincts by allowing them to explore independently. A tremendous mental stimulation toy for dogs, it comes in the form of a soft tree trunk (with holes) and small, squeaky, plush squirrels. As soon as you are done hiding the squirrels in the trunk’s holes, throw the chest to your dog; he will burrow his paws in and gnaw at the stuffed squirrels until he can finally retrieve them one by one.
With this toy, your dog can stay engaged for hours as they attempt to solve the mystery of the “missing squirrels”. Those are a lot of hours of mental stimulation!
It may be a good idea to throw a few kibble pieces in the trunk so they can fall out as your dog tries to pull his new plush friends out of the chest.
The hide-a-squirrel-toy is available in different sizes to fit the needs of other pets. Depending on the size of your dog, you can get one that is big or small enough for them.
3. Hide N’ Slide Puzzle Toy
Do you want your dog to play with a toy that will grab his attention and stimulate his dormant problem-solving abilities? There is a hide-and-slide puzzle toy (view it on Amazon) that will do the trick. With this toy, dogs can engage in a level of mental stimulation that is challenging and fun at the same time. In addition to being suitable for any dog, this toy is specially designed to ensure your dog can figure out the puzzle’s secret. Featuring circular compartments that can conceal kibble and other tasty treats, your dog will have a blast playing with it whenever they get to play with it.
They’ll need to twist the small doors and slide the knobs to open the compartments and find the treat. The base of this toy is non-slip, so even if your dog takes a lot of time playing with it, it will remain in its place.
When your dog uses this slide puzzle toy for the first time, he may not be able to recognize how it works. This is why it is often recommended to guide your dog as he uses this slide puzzle toy for the first time. They’ll be hooked after they learn what they need to slide and twist!
There is a “pure wood” look to this toy. Unlike other composite materials, it’s made of a unique material made from wood and plastic. The slide puzzle toy is also straightforward to clean – you have to hand wash it in warm, soapy water and then dry it.
Wobble Bowl Treat Puzzle Toy
The wobble bowl treat puzzle toy (view on Amazon) is another fantastic mental stimulation toy for dogs interested in mental stimulation. All dogs will enjoy this maze-like toy. You will see the treat pieces move along the maze as they are scattered in the bowl. Your dog must push the bowl back and forth (using their paws or noses) until the treats fall out through the dispensing holes on the sides of the bowl. This sturdy puzzle toy has a non-slip rubber bottom, and you can guarantee that your dog won’t skid off of it as they paw at it.
You can be sure that your dog will have fun playing with the wobble bowl puzzle toy because they will keep guessing which side the treat will fall from, when it will fall out and how to make it fall out much faster. Mental exercise has never been more straightforward!
You will be able to motivate your dog to stay engaged and get as many treats out of the bowl as possible with the transparent lid.
There is also no need to worry about cleaning this puzzle toy. You only have to wash it by hand with warm, soapy water, let it dry naturally, and Tada! Then you’re ready to go! With this toy, your dog will be prepared to go on his next puzzle adventure!
Dogs are naturally food-driven and will do anything to find a treat — even if it means spending hours sniffing and searching for pieces of kibble trapped in a mat. This is where the snuffle mat (view on Amazon) shines. Imagine it as a treasure hunt mat for your dog. The snuffle mat is a toy that acts as a natural foraging tool for dogs since it mimics the appearance of lush grass, which can trigger their natural foraging instincts. The snuffle mat will make it impossible for your dog not to burrow its snout into it for the rest of his life!
You can hide tiny bits of treats between the densely packed thick strands of soft yet durable material that make up this dish. In addition, the fabric is not abrasive to a dog’s nose. This easy-to-use mat will keep your dog’s brain active for a long time as it encourages them to vigorously use their powerful sense of smell to sniff out the treat crumbles as they keep sniffing them out with their powerful sense of smell.
Remember that your dog’s nose and mind work in tandem when analyzing scents to build a scent profile. Your dog’s mental exhaustion grows as he puts his sniffing powers to work for you.
The mat is machine washable. However, it is better to let it air dry afterwards to keep funny odours away and extend the product’s life. The snuffle mat can also be easily stored since it only needs to be folded up when it is time to keep it.
Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Toy
The dog brick puzzle toy (view on Amazon now) will bring out the genius side of your dog that you didn’t know existed. Several compartments are included in the bag so that you can hide the treats that your dog loves for them to find. If your dog wants a treat reward, they must flip, slide or lift the lid on a particular compartment. You can tell by the sound that your dog will be glued to this toy for a long time as they put their problem-solving skills to the test as they play with it.
Using the dog brick toy, your dog can quickly kickstart their treat-hunting mission with your guidance.
Dogs of all ages, sizes, and abilities will enjoy this highly entertaining puzzle toy. The toy is made of durable, food-safe plastic, is easy to clean up, allows you to adjust the level of challenge and can accommodate both wet and dry treats.
Are you one of the many dog owners who believe that you must physically tire out your beloved dog to enjoy peace at home? By consensus, do you mean a dog that isn’t running around chewing up stuff, barking endlessly, digging unsightly holes in the yard, and all that crazy stuff? Sorry to break the bad news, but physical exercise alone won’t help you lose weight.
If you are not providing mental stimulation for your dog daily just as you do physical exercise for them, you are likely to witness their destructive side a little too often.
The stimulation of the mind helps a dog release pent-up energy that has been building up inside. What’s the icing on the cake? It improves their mental health and sharpens their cognitive abilities simultaneously.