It pains us to say it, but we don’t always have time to play with our dogs as much as they’d like.
Whether you’re working from home, trying to tick chores off of your seemingly never-ending list, or entertaining guests, you might need something to keep your puppy busy on their own.
Boredom in dogs is a big problem. Not only do you feel bad for allowing your dog to feel unsatisfied with their day, but boredom can also lead to chewing and destroying the objects around the house like furniture, shoes, or carpet.
If you don’t like coming home to find the carpet ripped up and feathers everywhere from your pillows, dog toys to keep them busy can be a real lifesaver.
Not all dogs like particular dog toys, so it’s important that you know what your dog enjoys. Some love tennis balls, others like fluffy toys that they can rip to shreds.
Does your puppy like squeaking toys or do they freak him out? These are important questions that you need to answer.
Below we’ll be looking at five of the best dog toys to keep them busy and engaged in their playtime.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks!
Best Dog Toys to Keep Them Occupied Reviewed
No one wants to leave their dog knowing that they’re going to be bored all day, so we’ve fast-tracked you to the overall consensus of our article.
We found that the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog Toy is the best option on the market, and here’s why:
- Uses your dog’s natural hunting ability to keep them entertained.
- There is more than one theme to choose from, such as rainbows and hedgehogs.
- Squeaking toys keep your dog focused on their prey.
The first toy involves cute squirrels that are doomed from the moment they set foot in your house.
You’ll receive a plush tree trunk toy that you simply place the toy squirrels inside so that they’re somewhat hidden. Then allow your dog to have at it and find the squirrels through their hunting abilities. It’s a great dog toy to keep dogs busy.
The squirrels squeak when touched which will help influence your dog to play with their toy. The squirrels are stuffed with a soft material and therefore they won’t cause any damage to your dog’s mouth or teeth.
Natural hunters love anything with a fluffy tail that they can seek out and feel accomplished once they catch their prey. The tree trunk has three holes that your dog can use to get the squirrels out of.
You can choose between different sizes depending on your dog, and there are plenty of other patterns such as birds, hedgehogs, and bees.
We suggest the largest size with more squirrels to keep your dog for a longer period of time. Most dogs or puppies love this toy as it keeps them occupied and mentally stimulated.
The KONG dog toy is a great addition to any dog’s inventory, and you’ll often be hard-pressed to find an owner who hasn’t heard of a KONG toy.
They’re rubber structures that can be filled with treats, meat, or KONG’s own Easy Treat spray treat. We recommend that you buy a larger KONG toy, fill it with peanut butter, and put it in the freezer. By freezing the objects inside of the KONG, it takes your dog a lot longer to get them out. Thus, it will keep your dog busy for a long time!
The exterior is tough and durable enough to be virtually unbreakable, so your dog won’t be able to chew their way through this treat easily. The KONG toy is large enough to take hours for your dog to finish eating the treats, so they can be entertained for hours.
KONG offers their dog toys in all sorts of variations – there are some for extreme chewing dogs, puppies, and elder dogs. You can also pick the correct size of the KONG toy for the size of your dog. The rubber also bounces which makes it a great fetching toy as well.
KONG is a well-known brand for a good reason, their toys are loved by almost every dog and they can keep your pooch entertained for hours or even days. This is honestly one of the toys to keep dogs busy.
Outward Hound has created an interesting concept involving puzzle games for dogs.
This one is labeled as Level 1, or easy for beginner dogs. Your dog can work their way through the four different puzzles as they get smarter and find it easier to reach the treats.
We think that this is a really interesting idea that will keep your dog occupied for a long time. Not only will your dog keep busy, but they will also be mentally stimulated with this interactive dog toy.
Level 1 consists of nine treat compartments that have to be opened by your dog before they can eat the treats. They can open the compartments by pushing the plastic up with their snouts. In addition, they’ll have to learn how to get the treats with their tongue without letting the compartment fall back closed.
Depending on your dog’s skill level, you can change the height of the compartment lids to make it easier or harder for them. This is a great way to introduce your dog to the interactive puzzle. The plastic is all BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free so it is completely safe for your dog to use.
This dog toy will keep your dog busy while you do some work or chores.
The ZENDIX Dog Chew Toy attaches to the floor and allows your dog to pull and tug at the ball.
Have you ever had to try and pry a toy from your dog’s jaws so that you could throw it for them again? Dogs love to play tug of war, and this toy allows them to do so without an accompanying human.
This dog toy is made from high-quality rubber that will prove very difficult for your dog to break, making it a long-lasting toy that is bound to last you for longer than you’d expect. This toy lets your dog get out some of their energy and prevent boredom from setting in.
The rubber ball also comes with small gaps in the rubber. As your dog chews and pulls at the ball, treats can fall out and act as more of an incentive to use the toy. The ball is also covered in small spikes which can help to clean their teeth to promote mouth health.
This is one of the chew toys to keep dogs busy as well if they can’t pull it off the floor.
Finally, the Hyper Pet plush interactive dog toy is great for excitable puppies that enjoy chasing anything that moves.
This toy squeaks and vibrates, barks, and wiggles – which is ideal for dogs who have a lot of energy to burn off throughout the day.
All of the movements and sounds will keep your dog interested in the toy for hours, eliminating their boredom altogether. The toy automatically turns off once it hasn’t been used for a while, keeping both your house and your dog safe while you’re away.
The ball rolls around and the tail is ideal for being carried around, and Hyper Pet even sells replacement covers once your dog wears out the first. The batteries are hidden with a double safety feature to ensure that your pooch cannot find the power source.
This is a toy that will keep your dog busy for a long time!
Best Dog Toys To Keep Them Busy Buyers Guide
Some dogs are fussier than others, so it’s important that you work out which toy is going to be best for your own dog.
Below we’ve included some of the most important factors to consider before committing to a dog toy to keep them busy.
By bearing all of the following points in mind when looking for a dog toy, you’re bound to choose the best option for your dog. This will save you time, money, and keep your dog occupied for a long time.
There is no use in buying a great dog toy only for it to break after the second use. The dog toy you choose needs to be durable enough to withstand lots of use because you want it to keep your dog entertained day in and day out.
If you have to buy a new puppy toy every time you plan on leaving the house, you’re going to be receiving a hefty bill before long. To avoid this, make sure that your toy is made of durable materials such as thick rubber of high-quality fabric.
The most successful toys for boredom are the ones that get your dog thinking and moving. When you’re not there to throw the ball for them, the toy needs to do all of your work.
Interactive toys keep your puppy’s attention by lighting up, offering food, or moving by itself.
There are plenty of interactive toys on the market, but how do you know whether your dog will like them? Well, if your puppy enjoys running after a ball for hours at a time, a moving toy might be a good way to go.
Alternatively, if your dog is very food focused you might want to opt for a feeding toy. No matter what type of interactive toy you go for, you never want to choose a toy that does nothing. Dogs won’t respond well to this unless they’re particularly clever and independent.
Dogs aren’t going to want to play with any toys that they find boring or dull, so the fun aspect needs to be there.
You’ll know your dog the best, so think about their likes and dislikes! Do they like chasing squirrels in the park? Are they energetic or lazy?
Make sure that you tailor your decision to your dog and their own personality.
The size of your dog will determine the size of the toy you opt for. Choosing a toy that is too large for a small dog might deter them from using it because it’s too intimidating, but opting for a smaller toy for a large dog could put them at risk of choking on it or not being able to use it properly.
Make sure that you choose a dog toy that specifies whether it’s for small or big dogs to be on the safe side. Even if there’s not a threat to your puppy’s safety, the wrong size could disinterest your dog.
Ease of use
Although interactive dog toys are meant to make your dog use their brain, the toy shouldn’t be too difficult for them to use. They’ll have to learn how to use the toy and if this is too difficult for them, they might give up entirely.
Some dog breeds are smarter than others (I know, we hate to say it!) so if your dog is not as mentally inclined, you’ll need a dog toy that is easier for them to use. Make sure you practice using the toy with your dog before leaving them to their own devices so that you can encourage them to work it out.
As we’ve mentioned, some dogs are very food focused. If this applies to your dog, you might want to consider buying them a toy that offers them treats when they do something right.
There are plenty of treat-rewarding toys on the market, but you still have to make sure that it’s the right option for your dog.
Treat-offering toys often come in different sizes correlating with your dog’s size. This is because bigger pooches are allowed more treats and therefore their toys will have a larger capacity. If you opt for a treat-rewarding toy, make sure that you buy one with enough room for a good amount of treats to keep your dog busy.
Similar to the size restrictions, some toys also some with age restrictions as well. Older dogs tend to have weaker teeth and less energy, so they’ll need toys that aren’t as energetic or hard to chew as adult dogs.
Alternatively, puppies won’t be as smart as adult dogs yet and therefore they’ll need easier to use toys. Puppies can also be much smaller than their adult size, so they might not be big enough to use all of the toys out there yet.
Some interactive toys are electronic and therefore pose a slight safety threat to dogs.
If you’re opting for an electrical toy, you should ensure that the manufacturer is trusted and passes any necessary safety requirements.
You can also check the customer reviews to ensure that the toy has been used safely before by many other dogs and owners.
Conclusion for Best Dog Toys to Keep Them Busy
Chances are you’ll need several dog toys to keep your dog busy.
At the end of the day, we recommend that you have at least a few toys with treats in them, as well as some interactive dog toys to keep them mentally stimulated.
As most dog owners know, if you don’t physically or mentally exercise your dog, they have destructive behavior around the house. Dog toys can certainly help during the day while your working or doing chores. We hope that you found some dog toys to keep them busy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dogs get bored at home all day?
Wouldn’t you get bored if you were sitting at home all day long with nothing to do?
Of course, they get bored! Dogs are often energetic and excitable creatures, and they need somewhere for all of this pent up intensity to go. This is why dogs need at least one walk every day so that they can stimulate their mind and burn off some excitement.
Take a dog away from their humans and the outside world, and it’s going to get bored very quickly. If you don’t have time to take your dog outside at least once a day, we’d recommend that you research dog walkers in your area.
Is it bad to leave your dog home alone for 8 hours?
Every dog owner knows the painful feeling of leaving a dog home alone as they make their way to work. The crying and barking are enough to make you quit your job right there and then, but we all know that this isn’t a sustainable option.
So, we’re here to tell you the good news. No, it isn’t bad to leave your dog home alone for eight hours. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that good either, but you don’t have to worry about your dog being super sad all day while you’re gone.
As long as you have enough interactive toys around the home to ensure your dog doesn’t get bored, you can bet that they’ll forget that you left them within a matter of minutes. Having said that, it’s not advised that you leave a puppy alone for more than six hours at a time.
If you have a puppy aged two or less you might want to consider getting a dog sitter or looking into doggy daycare. Alternatively, you could get another dog to keep them company (yay, more dogs!).
Do dogs sleep when bored?
Sometimes you get lucky and have a dog that sleeps when they’re bored. A lot of well-trained dogs will go to sleep on default if they feel bored, which can protect your furniture and valuables from their jaws.
However, some dogs prefer to become destructive when they’re bored, so it’s a good idea to prevent boredom in your dog to protect your house and possessions. Also, your dog will be much happier when they have something to do or play with!
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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