The 12 Best Toys for Bored Dogs: Check Out My Top Picks

Filed in Dog Products on July 31, 2020

Best Toys for Bored Dogs

Are you looking for the best toys for bored dogs? Dog owners around the world can relate to finding a chewed-up couch cushion in the living room or some other household item.

Why are dogs doing this when they have plenty of their own things to chew on? The answer is that their current toys may not be engaging enough and that they’re bored.

In order to help reduce your dog’s boredom, we’ve put together a list of the 12 best toys for bored dogs. But first, let’s talk a little about boredom.

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Do Dogs Get Bored?

Dogs absolutely can and do get bored. And unlike us, they don’t have computers, smartphones, television, or books to alleviate that boredom. They can’t take themselves for a walk or even let themselves outside. So, they have to find other ways to deal with boredom.

For some dogs, this may mean taking a nap. Others might bother their humans to walk or play with them. But when humans won’t help, dogs often find other ways to deal with boredom that aren’t so desirable. Many bored dogs will find anything they can get their paws on and chew it up. In other cases, bored dogs may stare out the window. This can lead to incessant barking and even territorial behaviors.

In reality, your dog may simply need some more activity or entertainment in their lives. Boredom is no joke, so it’s important to provide your dog with activity throughout the day to prevent problem behaviors.

Let’s take a look at some of the best toys you can use to alleviate your dog’s boredom.

The 12 Best Toys for Bored Dogs

1. The Classic Kong

$16.93
$12.99
9 new from $12.99
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

The classic Kong is one of the best chew toys for bored dogs. Although this snowman-shaped toy has been on the market for over 40 years, it is still one of the most popular dog toys. Not only is it a chew and fetch toy, but it is a food dispenser as well.

It comes in many different sizes, and there is even an extreme version for the toughest of chewers. It’s dishwasher safe, making it easy to keep clean.  Plus, it is made out of rubber and tear-resistant. For dogs that love to fetch and chase, the odd shape causes it to bounce in an interesting, unpredictable way. You can give it to your dog as a treat (or when you just need him out of your hair) or use it to feed portions of his meal.

Our favorite way to use the classic Kong is to stuff it with yummies and freeze it; this will keep Fido busy for even longer. There are even sites where customers share recipes using the toy. Kong toys are also known to help dogs with separation anxiety when remaining at home.

As a result, we highly recommend the classic Kong for all dog owners and it’s one of my top picks for best toys for bored dogs.

2. Snuffle Mats

AWOOF Pet Snuffle Mat for Dogs, Interactive Feed Game for Boredom

$16.59
2 used from $14.71
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

If you’re looking for toys to keep a dog busy, snuffle mats are a great option. These are essentially mats made of long strips of fabric in which you can hide goodies for your dog. They have to use their nose to “snuffle” around the mat and find the treats.

Since dogs love to explore their surroundings through their sense of smell, your dog will likely love this mat. These mats test your dog’s mind and hunting instincts and help him burn off energy and reduce boredom. You can use a snuffle mat as a fun activity or you can hide your dog’s dinner among its many fleece strips. They also work well when the weather is poor outside and you can’t go outdoors.

There are a number of snuffle mats available on the market, some of which have added puzzles for your dog’s entertainment. However, it is also easy to make a DIY snuffle mat out of old blankets you have at home. Most snuffle mats are machine washable, which is a huge plus when you consider how much slobber they’ll be soaking up on a daily basis!

Overall, we highly recommend snuffle mats to help keep your dog busy and entertained.

3. Outward Hound Puzzle Toys

$24.99
$14.02
9 new from $14.02
3 used from $9.25
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

Puzzle games are some of the best toys for bored dogs. Though there are a number of these on the market, the brand Outward Hound is highly-rated with many positive reviews on Amazon. These were designed by Nina Ottosson who has won numerous awareds for her dog games and puzzle toys.

Puzzle toys are typically made of plastic and have compartments or sliders that open to reveal a treat. It’s up to your dog to figure out how to open each compartment to get his prize. These games come in different difficulties as well, providing mental exercise for both beginners and puzzle toy geniuses. You can buy one at the easy, intermediate, advanced, or expert level.

Because most puzzle toys are made of plastic, it’s important for you to supervise your dog while they work out the toy. Dogs that are prone to chewing may destroy components of the toy and therefore aren’t always the best candidates for puzzle games.

Not only do they exercise your dog’s brain, but they help release energy through digging, chewing, and hunting.

As a result, these toys help reduce destructive behaviors and cure boredom.

4. StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy

$20.79
22 new from $20.49
4 used from $15.54
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

This toy is shaped similar to a bowling pin and has a small hole in the middle where treats can escape. Of course, your dog has to work to get the treats out by pushing the toy around with his paw or nose.

The toy is made so that it will “bob” instead of fall over when your dog pushes it. The large version of this toy can hold up to three cups of dog food, so you can use it to feed your dog her meals.

The best part of this toy is that you can manage how difficult it is for your dog to get treats. There is a top compartment that holds treats, so first, your dog has to get the treats to fall through that compartment into the base. Then, your dog has to get the treats out of the side hole.

If this is too difficult for your dog, you can make it easier by pouring all the treats directly into the base. This toy also has sliders you can use to make the dispensing holes smaller, making it tougher for your dog to get her reward.

Though this toy gets high marks for being so customizable, it can be difficult to fill due to the opening at the top being so small. If your dog is a chewer, you’ll need to keep a close eye on him with this toy. Chewers tend to chew the Bob-A-Lot apart rather than booping it around as they’re supposed to.

5. Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole

$28.99
4 new from $28.99
3 used from $26.27
Free shipping
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

Flirt poles are a fantastic way to exercise your dog without tiring yourself out. A flirt pole is essentially a rod with a string attached to it; on the end of the string is a lightweight toy referred to as a lure. Something about the way the flirt pole moves the lure gets dogs excited, and they seem to absolutely love chasing the lure.

Though flirt poles can be a lot of fun for you and your dog, it is of the utmost importance that you read all of the instructions and warnings provided. There are many flirt poles on the market, but not only does Squishy Face Studio have the highest rating on Amazon, they’ve made a firm effort to ensure that their product is being used safely.

Flirt poles should not be used with puppies whose bones are still growing, nor should they be used with dogs who have joint issues or are prone to them.

Furthermore, it’s best to take your dog for a short walk before and after using this toy in order to prevent muscle strain. This is necessary because the flirt pole causes many dogs to leap and jump. As long as you follow instructions and use this product safely, you can easily alleviate your dog’s boredom and provide exercise.

6. NOUGAT Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

$24.99
$17.99
5 new from $17.99
Free shipping
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

There’s nothing quite like coming home to a shredded chair and stuffing everywhere. Now you have to clean it up and you can’t even punish your pup, because they probably don’t remember it anyway. Although, those eyes sure don’t look innocent.

Instead of leaving your dog with nothing to do, try a Nougat dog toy for aggressive chewers to keep them occupied. There are plenty of chew toys on the market, but this particular product is unique. This crocodile shaped squeaky toy is designed to keep your dog stimulated and occupied. The squeaker in its head keeps your dog coming back for more while it’s red or green rubber construction is almost chew proof.

The tooth nubs in the croc’s jaws are perfect for keeping your dog’s teeth and gums clean. Add a bit of doggy toothpaste to the mouth for extra fresh doggy breath and intact furniture all in one rubbery package.

7. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

$11.99
4 new from $11.99
7 used from $7.23
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

None of us wants to have to be away from our dog, but it’s part of life. We have to go to work or the store or out with other humans. That doesn’t mean we have to leave our dogs empty handed while we’re gone.

The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is an interactive toy that gets your dog moving by simulating human laughter. It only comes in one size, but the six clutch pockets make this toy easy to pick up for pups both big and small. It comes in two colors, the classic green and a white, glow in the dark version for hours of fun even when the sun is done.

The best part is that there are no batteries required. Three tubes inside the ball make the most hilarious sounds every time your dog rolls it across the floor. This encourages your dog to exercise their mind and keeps them occupied when you can’t be right there with them.

8. CPFK Dog Chew Suction Cup Tug of War Toy

Amazon.com
as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

Many dogs love a good game of tug of war, but we humans can’t spend our whole day there on the other end of the rope. CPFK’s Suction Cup Tug of War Toy lets you keep your dog entertained without even having to be there.

This multifunction toy comes with the choice of one suction cup or two to accommodate dogs of any size and strength. More than that, the premium ingredients mean this toy is tough as nails. A 360 degree chew surface on the ball helps keep your dog’s teeth in tip top shape while a bell inside encourages your pooch to release all their energy.

If your dog is more food motivated, don’t worry, this toy has treat leak technology that drops treats a little at a time. All this comes together in one brilliant design that will occupy your dog for hours on end when you can’t be there.

9. Best Pet Supplies Dog Squeaky Chew Toys

$7.99
3 new from $7.99
Free shipping
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as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

Dogs and squeaky toys are synonymous with fun, but Best Pet Supplies Dog Squeaky Chew Toys are truly, well, the best. They sell this canine entertainment classic in three sizes and forty-five different skins. That means they have the match for any dog or interior decoration imaginable.

These stuffing free chew toys keep your floor from being littered in white fluff while eliminating the potential your dog could swallow some. Most options have multiple squeakers to make sure every bite is a mouthful of squeaky fun. That makes this the perfect toy for dogs who enjoy a good stuffed animal, but tend to pull out the batting.

If your dog is more likely to shred soft toys you might want to make this something they use only when supervised. You could even use this toy for extra special bonding time if your dog is the type to tear it up and swallow the fabric.

10. WENXUAN Pineapple Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewer

Amazon.com
as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

This pineapple shaped chew toy promises loads of fun for your dog. It’s natural rubber construction can stand up to even the most avid chewers. It comes in four sizes with grooves on the pineapple that help to keep your dog’s teeth sparkling clean. They’re also perfect for slathering peanut butter and cheese whiz into.

Pack the hole at the bottom with treats and seal it up with peanut butter for hours of fun for your pooch. If you really want to get fancy, you can fill it up and freeze it to keep your dog busy while you’re at work.

If you can, try keeping a second one on hand, so you or a dog walker can switch it out in the middle of the day to make sure your dog has no shortage of things to occupy their time.
The best part is this toy is machine washable. Simply soak it for a short while and throw it in the dishwasher to avoid introducing harmful bacteria to your pup.

11. Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Gator & Gorilla Chew Toy

$10.99
$7.85
4 new from $7.85
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

The Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Gator and Gorilla are durable rubber chew toys with built in grooves and the power of baking soda to help your dog’s teeth stay pearly white.

Slather the grooves with peanut butter or cheese whiz and freeze it to give your dog hours of tasty chewing fun. You can even fill the bottom up with treats or dog food to keep your pooch coming back for more. Made from solid rubber, this toy is built to last. Even the most dedicated of chewers will find it hard to destroy this toy.

It keeps your dog busy with constructive chewing time rather than destructive. No more coming home to a torn up sofa or their crate in pieces. It also can help soothe separation anxiety while keeping their mind occupied and their mouth busy.

In short, this is a one size fits all kind of toy that freshens breath while saving your furniture alongside your sanity.

12. Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush

$27.62
$16.95
3 new from $16.95
1 used from $16.10
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 12, 2021 7:14 am

The Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush is the perfect toy to keep your pup happy and relaxed. This mechanical ball comes in three different skins and plays into your dog’s prey drive.

It encourages your dog to be active and satisfies their predatory needs without having to deal with shredded furniture or the local squirrel population.

If your pup is the type to tear up soft toys, you can buy replacement covers. You can even change the battery.

In short, this interactive plush makes the perfect boredom buster.

Instructions: To activate it, pull the tail out from the safety scrap, open the Velcro fabric cover on the back, remove the plastic tab from the ball, remove the plastic ball, press and hold the on/off button for 2-3 seconds while giving the ball a shake, put the ball back inside the plush skin and fasten fabric cover and you’re ready for playtime.

To turn the Doggie Tail off after playtime, simply press the on/off button and tuck away safely from your pet to prevent destructive chewing.

Tips for Reducing Your Dog’s Boredom

Before trying to relieve your dog’s boredom, make sure that he is actually bored. A dog will show signs and symptoms of boredom, but you may want to rule out other conditions such as separation anxiety.

While toys can be a great help when it comes to reducing a dog’s boredom, there are some things you can do such as:

1. Rotate your dog’s toys.  Dogs will get bored with toys that they see all the time, just as we get tired of wearing the same clothes over and over. However, you don’t have to buy your dog a bunch of new toys to keep her interested.

Instead, put some of your dog’s toys away in a closet for a week or two. When you bring them back out, your dog will get excited as if she’s never seen them before. Keep rotating your dog’s toys like this and she’ll always be happy to play with what you offer.

2. Engage with your dog. Some owners think they can just give their dog a toy and he’ll keep himself entertained, but this often isn’t the case. Most dogs want to play with you. They enjoy being chased, tugging, or playing fetch. With many toys, you need to actively play with your dog or she will either lose interest in the toy quickly or chew it up and look for something else to do.

Many of the toys on our list are interactive and don’t require you to actively play with your dog, but you should still be present to supervise. Remember that these toys can never replace actual interaction with your dog.

3. Provide more exercise. If your dog seems bored often, it’s probably because she has a lot of energy and her needs aren’t being met. More exercise may solve the problem. If you have a busy schedule, you can hire a dog walker. Or, try out a toy like the flirt pole we listed in this article.

Conclusion on Best Toys for Bored Dogs

As you can see, there are a lot of great toys on the market to solve your dog’s boredom.

These recommended toys above are some of the best toys for bored dogs.

Put these toys together with our tips, and you’ll be busting your dog’s boredom in no time!

If you’re looking for new toys every month, I’ve also written a number of articles on the best dog subscription box. These boxes are a convenient option to automatically get toys and treats delivered to your door each month.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Comments (2)

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  1. Diane says:

    Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush IS hORRIBLE. All that fur goes into dogs teeth and can choke on it, I returned mine.

    • Katie says:

      Diane,
      My name is Katie, Hyper Pet’s Customer Satisfaction Specialist. I would love the opportunity to help you with your experience. We take each customer concern very seriously. Can you please contact me at your earliest convenience to assist you with this concern? You can reach me at consumerexperience@cosmicpet.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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