The 5 Best Toys for Bored Dogs

Filed in Dog Products on July 31, 2020

Best Toys for Bored DogsDog 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 5 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 5 Best Toys for Bored Dogs

1. The Classic Kong

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.

2. Snuffle Mats

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 boredness.

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

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 one of the highest-rated with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars.

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

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

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.

Tips for Reducing Your Dog’s Boredom

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

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

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

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