Why Are Interactive Toys Important for Dogs?

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 11:15:38 AM America/Los_Angeles

Dog pawrents have an almost infinite variety of choices when it comes to dog toys. Interactive toys, however, are unique because they encourage independent play and promote mental stimulation. Plus, they usually involve a treat or two – what’s not to love? Read on to learn more about why interactive toys are a tried and true fave of both dog owners and their furry companions! 

Photo by Mathew Coulton

What Are Interactive Dog Toys?

Interactive dog toys have become increasingly popular among pet pawrents. Unlike traditional toys, interactive ones require dogs to actively engage with them. Usually, the toys incorporate rewards like treats in order to encourage continued play. 

What Types of Interactive Dog Toys Are There?

There are plenty of options when it comes to interactive toys. Snuffle mats cater to a dog’s foraging instincts and offer a fun alternative to the good ol’ treat ball. Treats can be hidden in various pockets or folds to encourage your pup to dig for a tasty snack. Lick mats are another treat-oriented option, but work with the use of a spreadable goodie instead. Some lick mats have a suction cup that makes them especially useful during baths or location-specific training.  

The Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys

It’s not surprising then, that interactive dog toys come with a wide range of benefits. Here are just a few reasons why interactive toys are important for dogs. 

  • Provides mental stimulation: Sufficient mental stimulation not only prevents boredom, it can alleviate stress and anxiety, too! For dogs who are home alone often or have separation anxiety, an interactive toy can be an important part of their routine. 
  • Fosters independence: Having a toy to call their own helps our canine companions have a sense of ownership. Positive toy experiences also teach dogs that they can find joy in experiences that are separate from their furry friends or human pawrent. 
  • Offers an appropriate outlet for chewing urges: A bored or teething pup can engage in destructive behavior as they search for something to chew on. A chew toy or snuffle mat offers a more appropriate outlet that isn’t your favorite rug or shoe!
  • Promotes natural hunting instincts: Encourage your doggo’s foraging instincts with a snuffle toy that rewards “hunting” with a yummy snack.  
  • Assists with training needs: While many dog owners resort to treats, some dogs are equally motivated by toys or playtime – especially if that toy involves some tasty goodies! Rewarding good behavior with a lick mat can be especially helpful for location-specific training such as potty training. 

Planning to be away from home? Offer plenty of interactive toys and a pee pad to make their time alone as stress-free as possible. A real bark pee pad like Bark Potty is the answer to all your pet potty needs while you’re apart from your fur baby. Natural materials not only provide a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic wee wee pads, they also stimulate your dog’s senses with textures and odors that canines love!