The Best Interactive Dog Toys in 2021

February 21, 2021 7 min read 0 Comments

A dog sits on white background surrounded by various toys

Claudia Bensimoun author of The Best Interactive Dog Toys in 2021

Besides providing mental stimulation and easing boredom,interactive dog toys are an awesome way for your furry best friend to satisfy his instincts. If interactive dog toys are on your shopping list for the holidays, here's what you need to know.

Dogs, like people, need mental stimulation and play. If your dog is stressed, a good assortment of interactive dog toys may curb destructive behaviors and anxiousness.

We all value healthy and active outdoor playtime, and today there's a clear distinction between interactive dog toys that are soft and plush for snuggling and indoor playtime and those that are more durable and great for the outdoors.

The take with interactive dog toys is that today all pet parents understand the power of the endless chew andplay dog toys and how tremendously important these toys are for your furry best friend.  

By having an expansive knowledge about interactive dog toys, pet parents now understand the importance of providing dogs with something to chew on that will divert them away from household items.

There's just no doubt that interactive dog toys are just so unbelievably beneficial and that they encourage playtime among all family members that, in turn, increases bonding with your furry best friend.


Why Are Interactive Dog Toys Beneficial?

Interactive toys for dogsare crafted to help a dog slow down his eating and alleviate boredom. Yet, many of these toys are not designed with chewing in mind, so you'll need to watch your dog during play.

Interactive dog toys feature products like automatic ball launchers, dog puzzle feeders, and even the basic Kong Classic, one of the most popular interactive dog toys that can be stuffed with your dog's favorite stuffing and even frozen to quell teething pains during puppyhood.

Interactive dog toys should never replace regular exercise and outdoor mental stimulation that dogs benefit from. When you're purchasing the best interactive dog toys, you should consider the following:

  • Purchase only safe and high-quality interactive dog toys
  • Examine products for durability
  • Understand that interactive dog toys that dispense food are crafted to slow down feeding and allow for an interesting feed time.
  • If your dog devours his food and you feel that he would benefit from weight management, interactive dog toys may be beneficial.

Interactive Dog Toys for Dogs

If you've come home recently with new interactive toys for dogs, you'll notice how much your dog really get excited every time you gift him with interactive dog toys.

We always feel that our furry best friends benefit immensely from an array of the best interactive dog toys. These should have different colors, textures, shapes, sounds, and so forth.

You can keep adding new ones, keep the old ones in a toy trunk, and then keep rotating the interactive dog toys. Interactive toys for dogs are designed for canine interaction, fun, value, playtime, sustainability, and safety.

When choosing a good interactive dog toyfor your furry best friend, look for the best interactive toys for dogs that can help your entire family interact positively with your dog.

Toys that offer endless chew and play provide relief from teething and irritated gums. As dogs age, chewing tends to exercise the jaw muscles and keep teeth clean by scraping away dental plaque.

Toys that are crafted with durable materials like rubber and nylon work well for destructive chewers and large dog breeds. Products should have strong fabrics and ropes to encourage longer playtime with pulling and tugging activities.

It would help if you also looked for unique colors and shapes so that you're engaging your furry best friend and enticing his sense of play. Dog toys should keep dogs away from other items in the home because they satisfy a dog's need to chew and play.

Interactive dog toys should also offer longer playtime between pet parents and dogs, so having long-lasting and durable toys is key.


Throw Toys

We all enjoy hanging out and playing with these. Just keep in mind that because dogs chew on these, the products should be safe and non-toxic. They should be made from natural and sustainable latex rubber and tough ripstop fabrics that offer years of backyard family playtime.

Natural rubber play toys for dogs can offer hours of chewing relief. Products with fun treat dispensers can be stuffed with your dog's favorite filling or treat to encourage chewing. 

Look for double-stitched seams and quality materials when checking out durability on knit toys. Grip and tug toys are great when they have a protective handle that reduces hand fatigue when playing tug-of-war games with your dog. 

Fleece- braiding designs and poly-cotton woven toys with naturally added dental floss fiber and coated with beeswax and natural mint flavoring are examples of high quality chew toys. 

Some of these interactive toys have spikey balls attached to a crafted rope, especially for a game of fetch with Fido. These are made with a stretchy cotton rope tightly braided with a durable knot crafted for hours of pleasurable gnawing.


Eco-Friendly Dog Toy Brands 

Brands like Cycle Dog and SodaPup offer more than a toy. They offer a greener lifestyle with toys that are good for the environment. Le Sharma Trading and Planet Dog use BPA-free materials, with Planet Dog being thePet Sustainability Coalition founder. P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle provides safe, eco-friendly dog toys using AZO-free dyes. West Paw features FDA-compliant plastic compounds in all their dog toys, which are also are recyclable.

A recent survey by Packaged Facts on durable dog toys and pet care products in the U.S. adds that 40 percent of pet parents choose dog toys based on whether their dog would enjoy them.

Dog toys comprise one of the largest categories of durable pet care products and take up as much as 28 percent of the overall market. While canine enjoyment ranks up there as a key element of a popular dog toy, manufacturers are notching up the importance of purchasing an eco-friendly dog toy that is non-toxic, chemical-free, and lead-free.

Sustainable dog toys include recyclable, up-cycled, fair-trade, chemical-free organic, compostable, and made in the USA. Pet parents are demanding that product development embraces green businesses. As climate change becomes problematic, dog toy companies are looking at ways supply chains, energy, and waste saving measures are approached.

Planet Dog and Orbee-tuff RecycleTOYS line, which carries Recycle Balls and Bones, was designed to re-use 100 percent of all excess material that the company says it uses for the injection molding process.

SodaPup also produces environmentally friendly toys and is made from a natural compound that is sustainably harvested from the Rubber tree. Good for super chewers, SodaPup dog toys are FDA compliant, non-toxic and safe for all dogs. P.L.A.Y Lifestyle dog toys manufacture eco-friendly dog toys that are of the same standard as children's toys. This brand is durable and planet-friendly, using non-toxic AZO-free dyes, and meeting the requirements for EN71 – Part 1, 2, 3 & 9 (EU), ASTM F963 (US) toy safety standards, and REACH - SVHC. 

Eco-friendly Interactive Dog Toys

Eco-friendly means you care about the environment and that products are all-natural, without dangerous chemicals. By purchasing an eco-friendly product like a dog toy, you'll be improving your quality of life and helping the world protect our environment. Examples of eco-friendly dog products include dog toy brands like West Paw.

Plush toys from the brandWest Paw Design are filled with IntelliLoft, a soft stuffing or filler comprised of recycled plastic bottles. These use eight times less energy than a similar material made from natural resources. These toys are all machine washable and so are easy-to-clean.


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What Are Different Types of Interactive Dog Toys?

There are numerous interactive dog toy types. These include the following:

Video Games

Video games for dogs use electronic devices or apps with built-in sensors like sounds with buttons and are designed to lure your dog to move or respond to the device when he interacts with it.

Ball Launchers

We all really enjoy these electronic toys that promote a game of fetch. These toys are awesome in promoting active play by shooting balls out for your dog to chase and catch. For extra family fun time, positively train your dog to bring the ball back to you and reward with his favorite treats.

Puzzle Treat Dispensers

Not only are these a fast favorite with pet parents, but they are beneficial in helping dogs use theirproblem-solving skills. Puzzle toy dispensers feature numerous buttons, levers, knobs, and flaps for dogs to operate and open before getting their treats.

Ensure that you start with the easiest ones first so that your furry best friend doesn't get discouraged.

Treat Dispensers

Also, another favorite, but be sure to start with easy ones at first. Teach your dog to roll and tilt the dispenser, and in no time, he'll be using his paws and nose to get his treat.

Vessel Toys

These offer treats as well and comes in different shapes and sizes. Your dog will need to figure out how to extract his treat from the toy. As usual, make sure that these toys are PVC free.

Material Sensory Toys

These will usually emit different sounds or movements and mentally stimulate your dog. With this line ofinteractive dog toys, you'll have the option of choosing from classic squeak dog toys to robotic ones that you can control from your office via your Smartphone.

Eco-friendly dog toy brands will also use recycled polyester and all-natural cotton that is grown without harmful pesticides. Here's the take on the benefits of eco-friendly dog toys:

  • Non-toxic
  • Use of low-impact dyes
  • Eco-friendly plush rope or materials used.
  • Use of less water for manufacturing
  • Results in less contamination
  • High-quality products
  • Durable and safe products
  • Less environmental impact with the use of biodegradable packaging
  • No pesticides
  • No toxic glues
  • No PVC's
  • No plastic-based fillers
  • Products are made sustainably.

Final Thoughts

Interactive dog toys not only help with behavior issues like separation, anxiety, depression, and boredom but will also keep your furry best friend away from household items. They can even help curb excessive barking and chewing.

Several interactive dog toy products on the market promise a fast fix to behavioral problems like destructive chewing. It's important to keep in mind that regular exercise and positive dog training starting in puppyhood always takes first place, and interactive dog toys should never replace healthy outdoor exercise.


For More Articles Check Out

Everything You Need to Know About Eco-Friendly Dog Toys
What Are the Best Types of Service Dog Toys?
How to Teach a Dog to Fetch

Meet The Author 

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.