If you’ve ever marveled at how even the oldest dog seems to act like a puppy, you might be on to something. Scientific research suggests that dogs are basically baby wolves. The process of domestication favored dogs who looked cute and acted like puppies well into adulthood. So while this means your furry companion will play with you until his last days, it also means you need to ensure he’s entertained, even when you’re not around. If you’ve had enough balls, ropes, and rawhides to last a lifetime, don’t fret. These innovative dog toys are good for your dog, allowing you to rest easy knowing that Fido’s getting a bit of intellectual stimulation even when you’re not around.

These innovative dog toys are good for your dog, allowing you to rest easy knowing that Fido's getting intellectual stimulation if you're not around.

Teaser Balls

If your dog loves digging almost as much as he loves balls, you can merge the two interests in one convenient toy. Teaser balls fit a smaller ball inside of a larger one, encouraging your dog to dig to get to the little ball. For many dogs, this is an exhausting and stimulating tasks that can be even more fun than a rousing game of fetch.

These innovative dog toys are good for your dog, allowing you to rest easy knowing that Fido's getting intellectual stimulation if you're not around.

Treat-Dispensing Toys

Is there any dog in the world who doesn’t have a favorite food? Even the most persnickety canines seems to love a savory-smelling sausage or bit of chicken liver. Treat-dispensing toys offer your dog a treat, but only when he takes the correct action. Though there are dozens of options on the market, most rely on a similar model. The treats are hidden in a chamber, and when your dog moves the toy in the right way, a treat comes out. Buster Cubes, for instance, need your dog to nose the cube around, occasionally getting a treat. These toys keep your dog moving—making them great for overweight canine companions—and keep their minds occupied when you can’t be there.

Puzzle-Dog-Toys

Puzzles

Puzzles aren’t just for kids anymore! Puzzles take it one step further by requiring your dog to solve a problem to get a treat. Rover might have to lift up a cup to reveal the treat underneath, push a lever, or roll a ball. This encourages your dog to learn how to solve problems, cultivate a better attention span, and avoid destructive chewing.

SkineezFox

Stuffing-Free Toys

If your dog loves furry toys, but you’re sick of your house looking like the murder scene of 100 stuffed animals, stuffing-free toys might be your new best friend. Stuffing-free toys are soft on the outside, but come without the stuffing that destroys your house (and can choke your dog). They’re often long and falt-perfect for games of tug-o-war!

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Silent Squeaker Toys

Dogs are predators by nature, which means they can’t resist the draw of an injured animal. Of course, few among us are willing to allow our canine pals to bring their prey into the house, so squeaky toys have to serve as a close substitute. But the endless squeaking is enough to send even the most patient of dog owners over the edge. Silent squeaker toys offer your dog the reward of a squeaky “prey” animal, but at a frequency you can’t hear. Your guests, your neighbors, and anyone within earshot of your dog will thank you.

What dog toys have been a lifesaver for you? Tell us about your favorite toys in the comments!

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