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Toys are one of the many essentials that you’ll need when welcoming a new puppy. Playing with toys is a healthy part of your pup’s development, just like it is for growing humans. If you’re looking to up your puppy’s toy game, puzzle toys are a great option beyond the basics. Puppy puzzle toys stimulate their curiosity and keep them occupied and out of mischief.

The Best Puppy Puzzle Toys

We’ve rounded up the best puzzle toys for puppies that’ll get their brains working and their paws moving.

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puppy with Kong puzzle toy

A classic! The puppy version of the Kong is made to accommodate their growing chompers, using the gentlest natural rubber in the Kong line. Stuff it with peanut butter, treats, or Kong’s own Easy Treat to provide your pup with a delicious challenge. It will keep your new friend busy while also teaching good chewing and playing habits.

Verified review: “I use my Kongs (yes, I have multiple) constantly, not just to give my dog Buster something to do at home alone but to make him use his doggy brain to eat his meals. This thing can be frozen and put in the dishwasher, plus it bounces and floats. Buster loves it.”

We reviewed this toy in our article, The 12 Best Dog Toys of 2020.

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puppy with SunGrow treat dispensing puzzle toy ball

Made for puppies and small doggos, this hard, textured plastic puzzle ball makes noises and dispenses small treats as your dog rolls it around. The texture can be helpful for teeth cleaning and teething pups too—but it’s not recommended for aggressive chewers.

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Trixie gamble tower

Trixie’s Gambling Tower comes in three levels. Level one is a fun first step for puppies learning to play with puzzle toys. Your furry friend simply pulls the little ropes attached to the tower’s disks to release the treats to the bottom. Two cone compartments lift to reveal more treats. Once your dog masters this one, check out level two and the brand’s other puzzle toys.

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red and blue Kong puppy puzzle toy balls

Kick things up a notch from the traditional Kong with this puzzle ball made from soft rubber for puppy’s teeth and gums. Simply stuff the ball with treats and watch your pup go to town.

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puppy with Nina Ottosson puzzle toy

A more advanced puppy puzzle toy, designed by dog game creator Nina Ottosson, this game is sure to keep them engaged for hours. Fill the three stacked bone-shaped plastic layers with treats and watch your dog rotate the layers to get to them. Too easy? Use the covers for an even bigger challenge.

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Amazon Allrier rope ball puppy puzzle toy

If your fur baby is quite the chewer, this puppy puzzle toy could be a good option. Plant the suction cup on the floor or wall and your pup can tug away on this rope/puzzle combo, made from durable, textured non-toxic rubber. The nubby ball can be stuffed with treats.

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pup with JW Pet Hol-ee Roller ball puzzle toy

Roll on, puppy! Made in several different sizes for different sized pups, this ball works as-is or stuffed with treats. The rubber is both malleable and sturdy, so it’s great for constant chewers and teethers. The open design means you can get creative with the treats you put in, and it cleans up easily—it’s dishwasher-safe. 

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dog playing with Ethical Pet seek-a-treat shuffle bone puzzle game

Do the shuffle! Hide goodies in this wooden puppy puzzle toy, and your dog finds them by sliding the wooden disks. Perfect for keeping them mentally stimulated, and makes a good crate training accompaniment. Not for puppies who chew wood.

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Chewy Outward Hound hide a squirrel squeaky plush puppy puzzle toy

Your puppy will go nuts for this super fun (and kind of adorable) puzzle toy. The junior version includes three soft squeaky squirrels which can be hidden inside the plush trunk for your curious pup to happily burrow into and dig out.

Verified review: “Even dogs who don’t get a huge kick out of squeaky toys can get a lot of mileage out of this toy if you add a stuffed puzzle toy or bully stick to the mix. My dog Buster wasn’t interested in the toy on its own but after I added a couple of tasty goodies to the trunk, he was hooked!”

We reviewed this toy in our article, The 12 Best Dog Toys of 2020.

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plastic Mazee ball puzzle toy with treats inside

This clear ball lets your puppy see those yummy treats stuck inside the maze (while getting a whiff of them too!) which is sure to get their brains buzzing. The tough outer shell is meant to hold up against chomps—though we always recommend supervising toy time with aggressive chewers.

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Further Reading

For more info on puppy essentials, check out our articles below.

Categories: Pets