Because we love dogs, it’s no wonder we always go above and beyond when it comes to their care. From elaborate dog houses to the best food and medical care money can buy— we do everything we can to make our pups’ lives as comfortable as possible.
Buying interactive dog toys that provide mental stimulation is no exception.
Their intellectual development and mental well-being are just as important as keeping their fur shiny or teeth plaque-free. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of interactive toys for your pup and see what some of the best toys offered today are.
Best interactive dog toys to stimulate your dog
The options can be overwhelming with the best interactive dog toys, so we’ve narrowed down the list to the best of the best. Some of these toys can be pricey, so you might need to get innovative.
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You never have to keep your pup waiting. Without further ado, let’s look at the list.
If you work long hours, or if you’re not home for a longer part of the day, you should investigate electronic toys for your dog. They come with different features and games, the most popular being the ability to take photos of your dog mid-play. Some electronic toys even come with speakers, so you can talk to your dog when you’re not home.
Some dogs are natural diggers and sniffers, regardless of whether it’s a trait natural to their breed.
Those dogs deserve toys with hidden components to earn a reward. These toys usually come with a set of smaller toys you’re meant to hide inside a bigger one.
They’re often plush and come with pockets, nooks, and crannies, so you can even stash treats as rewards.
If your dog can’t get enough of the fetch game, you should invest in a ball launcher. Some advanced models are designed so your dog can insert the ball into the launcher themselves, which is an added layer of stimulation.
They’ll have a lot of fun figuring out how the launcher works and having an endless round of fetch, especially if you’re busy.
Those who have got a hunter or stalker on their hands should investigate mobile toys. Some of these toys have lures attached to something that moves, while others have wheels or another way to be mobile.
These toys either work automatically or can be controlled by an app, so you can choose the level of interaction that’s convenient for you.
Finally, we can’t forget those dogs who simply adore tug-of-war and love pulling things out of their place. A fun toy at the end of a strong spring will ensure the toy stays in place no matter how rough your dog gets. You can typically attach the toy to a wall and watch your dog play with it for hours.
Why dogs need mental stimulation
You’ve probably heard of people saying some dogs simply can’t be trained and that no amount of rewards or scolding will get them to stop chewing walls and wires, peeing in the apartment, or otherwise making a mess.
In truth, dogs may exhibit this behavior because they’re understimulated— not because they’re evil, spoilt, or enjoy making your life miserable. A bored dog may just need more attention than it’s getting. Once owners introduce more exercise and intellectual enrichment into the dog’s life, they often find some, if not all, destructive behaviors stop.
Aside from making for a well-behaved pup, mental stimulation can also:
Lower stress levels
Yes, dogs experience stress much as humans do. The difference is that your dog depends on you to stop the boredom and negative attention. Stressed dogs have more trouble controlling their bladder, whine, and bark more often, shed more, and pace and shake.
If the environment is already safe for your dog and they’re still exhibiting these signs, stimulating your dog’s mind can make them significantly happier.
Reduce separation anxiety
While it’s lovely when you have a strong bond with your best friend, it’s not healthy for either of you if your dog gets so anxious, they can’t function when you’re not there. Leaving for work, social events, or traveling can all seem impossible with a dog with separation anxiety. Dogs with this condition also chew on your stuff if you’re not there.
With mentally stimulating toys, your dog can focus on things other than you and slowly realize they’re perfectly fine even when you’re not there. Bonus points: you won’t come home to a torn-up house or urine and fecal matter.
Final thoughts on interactive dog toys
As you can see, there’s a lot of thought that goes into the kind of toys your dog plays with. Interactive dog toys make for a sharp and engaged mind, making for a happy and healthy pup.
If you’re unsure which one of these toys to start with, think of your dog’s interests and go from there. Whatever choice you make, we’re sure it will be the right one.
John Brown is a financial analyst but also a man of different interests. He enjoys writing about money and giving financial tips, but he can also dive into relationships, sports, gaming, and other topics. Lives in New York with his wife and a cat.