interactive toy with a golden

What are the best interactive pet toys for dogs?

So I was on Youtube the other day just browsing for some new tips on games for my golden retriever (Bella). I happened to have come across a few of the best interactive pet toys. I mean, before seeing this online it was never something that crossed my mind in regards to buying one.

To be fair I never really knew much about them, so I just stayed away from them.  They appeared to look really cool from the way that the dogs in the video were having fun and learning at the same time. Heres a video on what these toys are about!

Why I chose to start buying Interactive toys

From seeing all the buzz about interactive toys for dogs, I knew I had to get one. Im not usually one to fall into the hype but they did look pretty good on first impressions and Im always up for anything educational. If you’re just in need of the best toys on the market, then check out the list below.

10 best interactive dog toys

[amazon bestseller=”interactive dog toys” items=”10″ template=”table”]

What exactly are interactive dog toys?

Interactive dog toys are toys that require your dog to interact within a game to achieve the possible outcome of a win. Whilst they do not win or lose focus. They are purely designed to encourage your dog to take part in a game in order to achieve the desired result. Whether you would like to see that as a win or lose is totally down to your angle of looking at things. But the question is how do they work? Keep reading.

Why are these toys good for your dog?

interactive toy with a golden

After buying an interactive dog toy I can personally say there is a good idea. This is mainly because they entertaining for your dog whilst keeping them occupied in educational games.

So not only is it training their brain but it also is encouraging them to take part in activities to. 

You don’t really have to monitor your dog whilst playing with it as long as the toy is safe to do so. You can also leave your dog to play anywhere in the house or out in the garden with these type of toys.

The pros of a toy like this

So you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on them whilst they’re entertaining themselves. I found it to be great to use early in the morning as that’s where my dog has the most energy before I go out to do shopping. At the same time, it’s the best time of the day for their brains to most engage with any type of learning. For younger dogs that are still teething,  this could be a very good option to down. 

A lot of the toys are built to be durable and withstand excessive biting. So that means if you got a brand new puppy with some fresh new teeth. Then they can sit there for hours biting away without causing harm to anything.

It’s a great alternative to your dog biting the sofa whilst you’re out doing some shopping. Bella used to do it when she was younger so I’m kind of upset that I never had an interactive toy back then. The result of that was two-tiered up couches and an angry husband lol.

two dog with toys

What type of toys do they come in?

So there’s no set toy that they are specifically made in. They come in all different shapes and forms, with many different functions.

If you have a specific type that you have your eye on, chances are there will be an interactive version of it. With everything moving into the futuristic approach.  Interactive toys are becoming more and more popular in this day and age.

It’s crazy because it’s not something I previously looked at. But I’m glad I did as it has been a great help in keeping my dog occupied. A lot of them come in the form of treat dispensers.

So that way if your pup completes the task they are rewarded with a treat each time that they do it. This then trains them to understand how the game works. It also allows them to learn a new skill in using the strategy required to achieve their desired result.

Interactive dog toys

Why would you want an interactive dog toy?

Well if your household is anything like mine,  then it can get quite occupied from time to time. This means I don’t always have 100% of my time to dedicate to my pup. If I don’t then this toy allows me to still keep them occupied whilst completing other tasks. I’ve got two daughters that are both 5 and 7 so it can get quite difficult in the house when they get back from school.

What I usually do is just place a toy in the garden and allow my dog to play outside with it. This can sometimes keep her content for up to a period of 2 hours long. The only time she starts to come in and moan is usually because the toy has run out of treats. So so good and great that they can be good for your dog but where do you actually buy them.

Where can you get an interactive dog toy?

Online or offline as these toys have recently become very popular and are now taking over the market for dog toys. A few toys that I recently purchased myself include:

  • Trixie pet smart toy
  • StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
  • PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal Dispensing Dog Toy
golden with lots of toys

When the best time to buy one?

At the time of this post, it is coming up to winter for the year. It would be a great present to deliver for your dog on Christmas if you celebrate it. However, there is no exact time to actually purchase the dog toy.

It’s all down to personal preference and when you think it would be best suited for them. In regard to your dog’s age, there are toys that provide different benefits to different aged dogs. You may find that some are focused around teething whilst others are more for entertainment. But before you buy there may be 1 or 2 things to look at…

A few things to consider

A lot of the toys are suited for any age group. So you can’t really go wrong with buying anything that you think would be good. Or if you got a husband like mine that’s quite tech-savvy, then there is no harm in getting a second opinion to see what they say.

The only 2 things you really need to consider is the price and practicality. If you are always out of the house, then a toy that requires you to be around would not be an ideal option.

However, if you are just looking for something to keep your pup occupied in the garden, then a majority of the best selling toys should work just fine.

If you are just looking to buy the best interactive toys on the market this year. Then there is a list of the best toys to help keep your dog stimulated for hours on end.

What kind of dog needs an interactive toy?

well, it can all depend on the type of dog you have. Some larger breeds do not find it easy to remain stimulated in a small environment or a place with limited space. Some dogs are genetically built to be energetic whilst others are not.

The best thing to do is to simply buy a toy and see if your dog likes it. If they don’t then your not really out of pocket!

So whilst you might get a lot of companies trying to sell it in that way. I do not think there is any specific toy that will be different for different dogs.

If you do find this information to be different,  then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and let me know what you found. that way I can share it with all the others in the community as well.

What toys are best for your dog?

If you are going to buy one then do not hesitate in doing so.  As there are no specifics in regards to age or in regards to your dog’s breed. Depending on what type of dog you have and their behavior, will be more of a reason to pick a certain toy.

If they are quite noisy and playful then you might not want a noisy toy. Giving them something quiet will more than likely that it will keep them quieter. Just be aware that when they are absolutely quiet,  that could be a reason to pay more attention. Usually, because they’re getting up to some kind of mischief. 


Alternative toys

Well, when it comes down to toys then I would say the only alternative to this is just a normal toy. That means a non-interactive toy. But what’s really the difference. I gathered that these toys are usually battery-powered or functional in a way that requires your dog to take part in an activity. Where are normal toys could be a plane or dog bone? And that depends if you want to class it as a toy.

But that’s just to give you a sort of idea of what I’m talking about.

Are these toys the best to use?

If I were to recommend anything myself. Then I would personally always go down the route of an interactive toy. This is mainly because I find them a lot more educational for your dog. As well as a lot more and mentally stimulating.

Which is good for keeping them occupied and allowing them to have a good progression in learning. When their brain is more engaged in activities such as the ones involved in interactive toys. Then their brain becomes a lot more open to learning new things in the future. Whereas if they are not engaging in activities as such, then they tend to get lazier and out of the learning mode.

interactive dog toy

How did my own dog respond to this?

The funniest part of this story is the first time that I actually bought this toy. My dog didn’t even respond to it. She simply fobbed it off and then continue with her day. It did take a little adjusting for her at first, but once you did it was all off to the races. You might be asking yourself how exactly did I get here to interact with the toy.

Well lucky for me the one that I bought had a little interactive theme song that encouraged her to want to play with it.

The first look!

When I first took it out of the packaging though,  I didn’t know it had an on and off switch. Which surely enough can come in so handy when it gets too noisy in the evenings.

But anyway,  I never switched it on it first so I sort of displaced in front of her and thought that she would start to play. But that didn’t work and so it might be worth you getting a toy with some sort of noise at first.

It simply all depends on what type of dog you have and how their normal behavior is. I do think gender can come into this as well as boys tend to just get stuck in. Whilst girls can be quite stubborn and stuck up.

Before you buy any of the toys. Just make sure to check the reviews to see what others are experiencing and what type of dogs they have to. This will give you a more accurate Direction and what toys would be best suited for you and your puppy.

durable or not


As I said earlier in the post a lot of these toys are built very very strong. That means they’re very durable and can handle a Beat Down from your dog. The manufacturers already know that they are going to be thrown and bashed around. So they definitely take care of making them strong before putting them out on the shelves.

Kongs are great too, but I have seen a few reviews on Amazon of them falling apart for other parents in the community. I still do recommend you try it out for yourself, but if you got a dog that tears up just about anything, then this may not be the toy for you.

That’s why I always recommend Amazon,  as the information is accurate. And you can also see my list that I have recommended so you can be sure you’ll get a good strong toy.

How long did the toys last for me?

In regards to how long in time that these toys can last. Well, I’ve had all of mine over the course of around a year and a half now and they all seemed in good working order. I’ve had no real problems with regards to them staying together. The only thing I did experience with one of them is the fact that the batteries went dead.

So you might want to get your own batteries to put inside as the ones that come with it I usually not that long lasting. But once I put some new batteries in everything was working just fine again. If you want to know more about how long your dog will stay playing with these toys in a given day. Then check out the post below…

how long


As I explained earlier.  I can keep my dog occupied with an interactive toy for around 2 hours. The only time that Bella tends to come back into the house is when the time runs out of treats.

But for other toys that are not tree focused. Then it may potentially be a shorter amount of time. This is because once they have figured out how the game works they can quickly become content. Some dogs may go off and have a little sleep for a while and just enjoy the sun.

Some rules for some dogs

Whilst others may want another task to take part in. I guess it depends on what type of dog you have and what environment they are in. Has that will matter on how long they play with the toy and what they want to do after. If you have normal practice and side of your house for your dog to continually have fun. Then that’s exactly what they want to do after they stop playing with the toy.

I’m not exactly sure whether it’s a great option to use a battery-powered toy. But I would definitely say just buy one that is powered by batteries and one that is not. That way you can test out to see which one performs better with your puppy.

dog on floor

The best interactive pet toys for dogs and how they work

There is no exact way of how they work. What I’m saying is there’s not really a lot of difference between the functionality of an interactive toy and a plain or normal one. That means you can simply take it straight out of the packaging and put it out for your dog to play with. Now,  if you want your dog to actually engage with it. Then I suggest you come up with a few creative ways of encouraging them to do so.

This could be simply by just switching on the toy if it has the option of playing the song. Or just simply making out to play with it yourself to encourage them to come and want to play with it as well. This works well with soccer and tennis balls which I’m sure you’ve experienced in the past. So just follow that same strategy and everything should go just fine.

Now if you’re anything like me then you would want to know the answers to the big question that follows below.

cleaning my interactive dog toy

How to clean an Interactive dog toy

I’m a clean freak but I just done have the time to keep up with it! and one of the most important things I look out for with my dog is how I can clean the toy. Far too often toys will end up grubby and grotty, so it’s important to find a toy that I can throw into the washer and come back to it 30 mins later.

A great way that I found you can clean these toys is by simply giving them a wash down with some fairy liquid, then throwing them into the dishwasher. Just be sure to place them in a loan and without any of your dishes.

As you don’t want any leftover drool going across your plates in there too. They are usually very easy to clean. I haven’t had any problems.  You can just find some of them to be a bit more difficult to get into the corners. But it’s no different to cleaning around the house, as some parts are more difficult than others to get into.


I have shared the best interactive pet toys for dogs on the market. By reading this you should now have a clear idea of what toy will be good for your pup. Getting a battery-powered dog toy it could be a good option for introducing these toys to dogs at first. Or just keep it simple and purchase a silent toy if need be. 

Make sure to come back and leave a comment as to how you found using it. That way I can share your response with all the others inside of the community. 

[amazon bestseller=”interactive dog toys” items=”3″ template=”table”]

Related Post: The best toys for large dogs

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