Pet ParentingLifestyle

Interactive Toys: Definition and Benefits

What are interactive toys, and how can they benefit your pet?

chocolate lab with rope

Article Highlights

  • Interactive toys are great for stimulating your pet

  • There are many benefits in addition to keeping your pet busy

  • There are a variety of interactive toys to choose from

Interactive toys are a great option to help stimulate your pet. Interactive toys are pet toys that require your pet to interact with it in some way. Pets love these toys because they can do more than just carry them around. Interactive toys help your pet mentally and physically.


Interactive toys provide benefits other than keeping your pet entertained. They can help with separation anxiety, slow down fast eating, keep pets moving, and curb destructive behavior. Some use food as an incentive and some don’t. Interactive toys are good for pets of all ages.


There are many types of interactive toys. Some of the most common are treat dispensing plush and puzzle toys, hide-and-seek toys, and responsive toys.

Treat dispensing toys are great because they provide an incentive for pets. They have to work at getting their treat from inside the toy, using their physical ability and puzzle-thinking skills. These toys provide a slight but manageable challenge for your pet. More complex treat dispensing toys may involve a puzzle. In order to get the treat, the pet has to solve the puzzle. With the more complex ones, it is important to make sure it’s not impossible for your pet to complete the puzzle. If it is, they will likely give up or lose interest.

Hide and seek toys include detachable parts. These smaller parts can help create a game with your pet by hiding them throughout the house or putting the smaller parts in the base. Both provide a game for your pet to play: either find them throughout the house or get them out of the base.

Responsive toys react when your pet plays with them. The responsiveness can help dogs feel like someone is playing with them. These are best for dogs with separation anxiety, as they get constant feedback or movement from the toy.

There are a wide variety of interactive toys for you to choose from. Find ones that suit your pet’s need best and have fun.