The 6 Best Dog Treat Toys Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Dog treat toys are a great way to keep your canine companion entertained. These toys are not just a fun way to give treats to your dog, they carry multiple benefits for canines too.
Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to choose the right treat toy for your dog. To ensure we provide you with the most accurate information, we teamed up with veterinarians and canine nutritionists to form a panel of independent experts. We then spent months researching the most popular dog treat dispensers, testing out dozens and dozens of options before finally narrowing down the list below to just our favourites. Let's check them out!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
- Simple yet clever design
- Made with food-grade polymers
- Easy to fill
- Endless entertainment for your dog
- Available in 2 sizes
Runner Up -
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
- Easy to fill
- Adjustable openings
- Sturdy and durable
- Available in 2 sizes
Third Choice -
Zenify Dog Treat Puzzle Ball
- Made with non-toxic rubber
- Promotes oral hygiene
- More challenging than most treat balls
Australia's Best Dog Treat Dispensing Toys Reviewed
Ready to see some of the cutest dog toys ever made? Then our curated list that resulted from hands-on testing by our panel of experts will help. Take a look and find something your favourite canine will love.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
KONG is a big name in the world of dog treat toys - and there is a good reason for this. Their original toy became globally popular quickly, and they soon started developing more creative solutions for dogs.
Truth be told, not all of their toys are perfect, but I’ve found the Wobbler to work great when I want a dog food dispenser toy for my pupper.
Shaped somewhat like the original KONG, the Wobbler works on an entirely different principle. This toy is not chewable. Rather, it stands upright and ‘wobbles’ as the dog tries to get the treats inside, always returning to the upright position, making it somewhat similar to our second choice ahead. With one small hole on the side, this toy will slowly dispense kibble and keep the dog interested for a long time.
The KONG Wobbler being tested by our independent expert team.
Our team of independent experts' favourite thing about this toy is how easy it is to fill. All you need to do is unscrew the top, add as much food as you want, and screw it back on. With most food dispensing toys, inserting the treats can be quite fiddly and slow, but not with the Wobbler.
This system also makes the toy very easy to clean. Considering it’s dishwasher-safe too, it doesn’t get any better than that.
The Bob-A-Lot is another popular favourite among treat dispensing toys. Many pet parents with hyperactive dogs have found that this is the only toy that can keep their canine companions interested in extended periods.
This toy is shaped somewhat like a round bottle. Due to the weight distribution, it always returns into the upright position, while your dog tries constantly to roll it over and get the food out. It's similar to our number one choice by KONG, but a bit more flexible. The Bob-A-Lot opens at the top so you can fill it with kibble with ease.
The StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Unlike the KONG, there are multiple openings on the sides of the toy that allow the treats or kibbles to fall out intermittently. Each opening is adjustable, so you can adjust the level of difficulty and adapt the toy to the size of the treats you are putting inside.
Related: Best Interactive Dog Toy.
The main downside of this toy is that it tends to create quite a bit of noise. As your dog plays with the toy, it will inevitably bump into pretty much every object around. If you don’t mind the noise, though, the toy is great!
The Bob-A-Lot used to be available in only one size. It was great for larger dogs, but owners of small dogs found out the toy was too big for their pooches to handle. StarMark heard the complaints, though, so they offer the Bob-A-Lot in mini-size too. This is something everyone on our team of independent experts appreciated since it meant an option for everyone of our dogs!
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Most treat-dispensing balls for dogs will have one large opening in the middle. For some dogs, this challenge is too easy (or even sometimes too frustrating - it all depends on the personality).
This ball from Zenify, on the other hand, offers a challenge that can feel more relaxing to the dog although it lasts a long time. This is because the Zenify ball has lots of small openings all along the surface of the ball closed-off by rubber teeth. This design can be soothing for dogs since it satisfies the natural chewing instinct while allowing them to constantly reach small amounts of food to keep them interested.
The Zenify Dog Treat Puzzle Ball being tested by our independent expert team.
Related: Best Dog Treat Ball.
Overall, our panel of pros loved the Zenify treat ball, but we have to conclude it won’t work for larger dogs. Unlike the other choices on this list, the ball comes in only one size, which measures 5 cm in diameter. Large dogs could easily swallow a ball of this size which makes it a choking hazard. For smaller dogs, on the other hand, this ball is the perfect challenge.
Aussie Dog never ceases to amaze us with their simple but clever toys. Their toys are always durable and functional, and this is the case with the Tucker Ball too.
The Aussie Dog Tucker Ball was designed to be ‘oversized’. That is, your dog should never be able to fit the ball in their mouth. Luckily, unlike our number three option, this ball is available in 3 sizes, so you just need to choose the right one no matter how large your dog is.
Related: The Best Dog Subscription Box Australia.
When the ball is sized appropriately, your dog will not be able to chew on it but will instead roll it around trying to get the treats. This eliminates the problem with many other treat-dispensing toys - your dog canine companion cannot chew it apart in case of frustration.
The Aussie Dog Tucker Ball being tested by our independent expert team.
The Tucker Ball has another cool feature that I love. Inside the large ball, there is another small ball, which creates a stimulating rattling sound. This made the ball interesting to my dog even when empty. But it has another function too. The smaller ball inside will prevent too many treats from dropping out of the Tucker Ball, thus keeping the game going for longer!
The original KONG toy is an all-time best seller. What’s special about KONG rubber toys is that they make different versions to suit every dog. The difference is in the texture of the rubber, and this version is created to be especially soft and gentle.
Unlike the KONG toy in our number one spot, the rubber is sufficiently elastic and strong that puppies can enjoy gnawing at the toy without tearing it apart. This is especially great for teething puppies!
The KONG toy is hollow through the middle with openings on both sides. This space can be filled with treats of your choice. Small treats, kibble, peanut butter, your own homemade filling or a store-bought one, the options are potentially endless.
The KONG Puppy Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Related: Best Puppy Toys.
When you fill the KONG with kibble, the challenge will be easy due to the size of the opening. However, it is still enough to entertain most puppies in the beginning. Over time, you might want to create a more difficult challenge. Our panel of experts recommend filling the KONG and then freezing it. It is one option in this case that works great (if you are using dry snacks add a bit of water).
The Nina Ottoson collection from Outward Hound offers a wide range of seriously challenging treat toys. They are not called toys, but puzzles and the name fit quite well.
To get to the treat, the dog needs to play with the movable pieces and figure out how to find the treat. These toys are great for mental stimulation, and they can show how smart most dogs are.
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Our team of independent experts liked the Tornado puzzle because it’s simple enough to be interesting to almost every dog, but still not too easy. Additionally, it doesn’t contain any small parts that can easily be broken off, unlike some other puzzles from the Nina Ottoson collection.
The Criteria To Follow When Choosing a Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
From puppy days until old age, mental stimulation is very important for dogs (1). Getting an interactive toy that dispenses treats is not only a great boredom buster but can help keep your dog’s mind and instincts healthy.
Now, not all treat dispensers are made the same. You can find lots of different types - from simple fillable balls to extremely complex puzzles and everything in between. The search for the right one will depend on what you are trying to achieve with the toy. Are you just trying to keep the dog occupied while indoors? Some dogs will be occupied with almost anything, while others need an extra challenging toy to keep them interested.
Related: Best Dog Toys Australia.
On the other hand, treat dispensers can be a great way to get your dog to slow down when eating if they keep eating too fast (3). You still want your dog to get enough food, so in that case, for example, you’ll want a toy that has a large enough capacity that you don’t have to fill it 10 times per day.
In any case, here is what our team of independent experts recommend you consider before buying a treat dispenser for dogs:
Material & Safety Concerns
Just like with any dog toy, you should always check what info you can find about the material it was made from. This is especially true with toys that get in contact with a dog’s mouth which is pretty much always the case with treat dispensing toys.
You might or might not be surprised to learn that there isn’t much regulation regarding the safety of dog toys (in Australia and elsewhere) (4). The safety issues you should look for concerning the material relates, first of all, to the structure of the toy. You don’t want anything that can be easily broken and with small parts that your dog can swallow. Additionally, there are some concerns considering additives like bisphenol A that are often added to plastic toys (5)
Size and Filling Capacity
When it comes to treat dispensing toys, choosing the right size is especially important. If the toy is too big or too small it might fail to keep your canine companion interested. The sizing will depend on the toy in question, but, in general, you don’t want anything that’s so small that your dog could swallow it easily.
Moreover, some treat dispensers will only hide a bit or two, while others can hold a whole cup of food. The choice is entirely up to you, just make sure you are aware of what you're buying before you choose the new toy.
When you stuff your dog’s toys with food, you’ll want to be able to clean them well after that - especially in cases when your dog can’t get to every tiny hole and lick it clean. Dishwasher-safe treat toys make life easier. At the very least, you’ll want a toy where the openings are easily accessible for cleaning.
My Final Verdict
If you don’t know where to start with treat dispensing toys and are looking for a quick recommendation, our panel of independent experts recommend one of the ‘wobbling’ toys like the KONG Wobbler or Bob-A-Lot from StarMark. These toys are easy to handle, fill, and clean, and will keep almost any dog entertained.
The perfect toy will depend on your dog, though. If your dog needs a more difficult challenge or perhaps prefers chewable toys take a look through other picks on our list.
Related: Are Dog Treats Healthy?
While it somewhat depends on the toy in question, there are many options when it comes to fillings. Almost any treat-dispensing toy can be filled with dry food such as kibble, small treats, or larger treats broken into small pieces. Some toys, like most balls or the KONG, can also be filled with mushy foods like peanut butter or pate. The options are endless.
Yes, treat dispensing toys can be great for dogs. They stimulate their minds by making them work for the treats, keep them entertained and teach them to deal with frustration. However, you shouldn’t use these toys excessively and make a hungry dog fight for food all the time.
Most of the time, dogs don’t need special training to use treat toys. However, it might be a good idea to show the dog how the toy works, especially if the toy is a more complex one.
- Helmer, Jodi. “Brain Games: Mental Stimulation Keeps Dogs’ Minds Sharp”. FETCH by WebMD. Retrieved February 21, 2023. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/mental-stimulation-sharpens-dogs-minds
- Watson, Emily. July 19, 2018 “Why interactive toys are good for your dog”. Animal Wellness Magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2023. https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/interactive-toys-2/
- Coates, Jennifer. August 14, 2015. “How to Get Dogs to Eat Slower”. PetMD. Retrieved February 21, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/dr-coates/2015/august/how-get-dogs-eat-slower-33018
- RSPCA Australia. February 20, 2019. “Making playtime a good time for you and your pet”. Retrieved February 21, 2023. https://www.rspca.org.au/blog/2019/making-playtime-good-time-you-and-your-pet
- Bratskeir, Kate. April 9, 2019. “Are Plastic Dog Toys Harming Your Pet?”. HuffPost. Retrieved February 21, 2023. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/no-plastic-dog-cat-toys_n_5d6a808ee4b0cdfe0570dbb3