5 Puzzle Toys for Bored Dogs

Some good puzzle toys for dogs include Kongs, the “Dog Tornado,” and other interactive gadgets.

Feb 1, 2024By Nikita Hillier
puzzle toys for bored dogs

Dogs are often known for their inquisitive nature and boundless energy. They thrive on mental stimulation to keep their boredom at bay and stay entertained. Puzzle toys offer an awesome solution for many different behaviors.

These toys provide both entertainment and mental exercise for your furry friends. In this blog, we will take a look at five popular puzzle toys for dogs and some other ways to keep your canine companion entertained. Each toy listed is designed to engage your dog’s mind and keep them happy.

5. Kong Classic Toy

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Kong Classic is a super timeless puzzle toy that has become absolutely iconic in the world of canine enrichment. This rubber toy is great for those dogs that love to chew. It has a hollow center that allows owners to stuff it with treats or peanut butter, making it rewarding for your pup when they invest in the challenge.

You can also combat a lot of common behavioral problems with this toy, as it will withhold the worst chewers and keep your dog entertained for longer periods of time. There’s even a version available for senior dogs!

Unique Features of the Classic Kong

black and white dogs playing running together
Image Credit: Aldo Houtkamp on Unsplash

Here are some unique features of the much-loved Kong. They are:

  • Durable: Kong toys are extremely durable and known for their robust construction.
  • Versatile: The hollow center encourages the creative use of the toy. You can freeze treats inside or simply smear peanut butter all around the inner part.
  • In many sizes: This toy comes in a variety of great sizes. Both small and large breeds can enjoy this great puzzle toy.

4. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

squirrel hide toy
Image credit: Outward Hound

The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel is a fun puzzle that helps your dog reconnect with their natural instincts to hunt and forage. The plush tree trunk comes with multiple squirrel squeaky toys that can be hidden inside. This works to challenge your pup as they extract the squirrels and enjoy their rewarding playtime.

Unique Features of This Toy

two brown dogs running together
Image Credit: Alvan Nee on Unsplash

Here are some unique features:

  • Hide-and-seek design: This toy mimics the thrill of hunting by engaging dogs in a hide-and-seek game with squealy squirrels.
  • Soft and cuddly: The plush toy adds a cuddly and warm element to the puzzle, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive teeth.
  • Different sizes: This toy comes in a variety of sizes to cater to many different breeds.

3. Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado

dog tornado toy
Image credit: Nina Ottosson

Nina Ottosson is most certainly a pioneer when it comes to interactive dog toys. The famous Dog Tornado is a great example of just how innovative her designs are. This puzzle works by spinning and challenges dogs to unlock the hidden traits in the rotating layers.

This provides a super mentally stimulating experience for your dog.

Unique Features of the Dog Tornado Puzzle

two brown dogs playing side by side
Image Credit: Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

Here are some unique features:

  • Rotating layers: The rotating layers feature adds a new level of complexity, requiring dogs to work out the steps needed to get their favorite treats.
  • Adjustable difficulty levels: The puzzle can be completely customized by tightening and loosening the layers. This appeals to various skill levels.
  • Durable: This toy is made from tough, pet-friendly materials for reliable play.

2. Trixie Mad Scientist Turn Around Interactive Toy

Trixie Mad Scientist Turn Around Interactive Toy
Image credit: Trixie Mad Scientist

The Trixie Mad Scientist Turn Around Toy is not only unique but also visually engaging. This puzzle toy requires dogs to spin the beakers to get the treats out. It is absolutely fantastic as it combines a really cool design with an equally rewarding experience.

It stimulates both problem-solving skills and curiosity in all dogs.

Unique Features of This Puzzle

brown happy dog staring up at camera tongue out
Image Credit: Jamie Street on Unsplash

Here are some unique features of this fun gadget:

  • Spinning beakers: Dogs use their paws or noses to rotate the beakers and reveal the hidden treats inside.
  • Interactive elements: The transparent design allows dogs to see and smell the treats, adding a layer of pure excitement.
  • Dishwasher safe: This toy is dishwasher safe, making it super easy to clean.


tug a jug toy
Image credit: PetSafe

The Tug-A-Jug Toy is a super fun and interactive treat dispenser. It combines thrilling play with the fun of a tasty reward. Dogs must roll, tug, and manipulate this jug if they want to get to their favorite kibble or treats.

This provides both mental and physical stimulation. This toy also comes in a variety of sizes.

Unique Features of This Puzzle

brown pug running towards camera
Image Credit: Bas Peperzak on Unsplash

Here are some unique features:

  • Dispensing mechanism: As the dogs play with the toy, treats of kibble will spill out through the small opening, encouraging engagement.
  • Durable design: This toy is made from strong, durable, and non-toxic materials. This means that your dog can enjoy plenty of play time without worry that the toy will be torn apart.
  • Adjustable difficulty levels: The jugs’ level of difficulty can be adjusted to suit different skill levels.

Other Forms of Mental Stimulation

black and tan dog playing with toys
Image Credit: Mathew Coulton on Unsplash

Here are some other ways to keep your dog engaged and mentally stimulated. You can use these in conjunction with puzzle toys, or if the puzzle toys aren’t working:

  • Dog TV: Dog TV is a new concept, but it is basically screentime for dogs. It caters to their visual and auditory senses with vibrant colors and sounds. It can be super entertaining for dogs when owners are away. It can also alleviate separation anxiety!
  • Chew toys: Chew toys have a great dual purpose. They provide mental stimulation but also allow dogs to live out their natural chewing instincts. Consider dental chews as well, as this allows dogs to chew while improving their dental health.
  • Training games: Training games are absolutely amazing for dogs. They are a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation. You can offer obedience exercises, simple commands, and interactive games to enrich your dog.

These considerations will also help strengthen your bond with your furry companion.

Nikita Hillier
By Nikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!