Our dogs and cats need mental stimulation just as much as physical exercise. These interactive puzzles and toys challenge their problem-solving skills, keeping their minds active and engaged. 

By Hannah Harper
May 14, 2021
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Dogs

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Pet-Brain-Games-Trixie Activity Turn Around Dog Toy

Trixie Activity Turn Around Dog Toy

$18; amazon.com

Make mealtime a game of problem-solving with this slow-feeding toy. Distribute kibble among the beakers, and watch as your pup uses her cognitive skills to figure out how to spill the food.

Pet-Brain-Games-Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado

$20; chewy.com

Think your pup is pretty smart already? This multilevel puzzle challenges her to perform several actions at once—like sniffing while pushing with her paw—in order to access the hidden pockets of treats or kibble. 

Pet-Brain-Games-ZippyPaws Burrow Log With 3 Chipmunks

ZippyPaws Burrow Log With 3 Chipmunks

$15; chewy.com

Your dog will need to use her paws, snout, and mind to wiggle these squeaky, plush chipmunks out of their log. The task will hold her attention without needing to rely on food as a reward. 

Pet-Brain-Games-Routesun Snuffle Mat Nosework Blanket-

Routesun Snuffle Mat Nosework Blanket

$35; amazon.com

A canine has up to 300 million scent receptors, so prompting your pup to use her nose is a good way to stimulate her mind. Hide treats or kibble in the soft fabric folds for your dog to seek out via only her sense of smell. 

Cats

Related Items

Pet-Brain-Games-Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center

Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center

$39; chewy.com

Your feline will be able to smell or see the treats you put in the tunnels, grooves, and globes of this five-module play station, but she will have to think strategically (and be deft with her paws!) to get them out.

Pet-Brain-Games-PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy

PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy

$23; amazon.com

A feather toy sporadically pops in and out of six different holes, simulating fast-moving prey, which taps right into your cat's hunting drive. Blinking lights offer more visual movement.

Pet-Brain-Games-Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze Puzzle Feeder

Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder

$15; amazon.com

This box holds a maze of inner slots and chambers your cat must navigate in order to get the hidden treat or toy. It encourages natural foraging and hunting behaviors while promoting physical activity and solo play. 

Pet-Brain-Games-Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy

Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy

$16; chewy.com

Your cat will be laser-focused on the small, colorful balls that she can bop, push, and stalk on this peekaboo track. Have a multi-cat household? There's also a larger Super Roller version that doubles the fun. 

This article originally appeared in the  June 2021 issue of Health Magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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