The cold weather should not deter you from entertaining your Labrador. Your furry friend is also likely feeling bored, particularly if you leave them alone for most of the day. While ordinary dog toys might entertain them for a short while, there’s only so much they can do with such. Compared to other dog breeds. Labradors are somewhat predisposed to canine obesity. We’ve reviewed the top 12 indoor toys that will prove handy for exercising your Lab when you are indoors.
Best indoor toys for your Labrador at a glance:
- Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
- Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone
- KONG Wobbler
- Planet Dog Orbee-Turf Snoop
- ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz
- Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board
- Nina Ottosson’s Dog Twister
- Petsafe Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat
- Trixie Mad Scientist for Dogs
- Nylabone DuraChew Ring
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Toy
- AFP Interactive Food Maze Dog Toy
- PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal-Dispensing Dog Toy
- ZippyPaws Zoo Friends Burrow
Best known for partner brands such as Charming Pet and Pet stages, Outward Hound is a renowned pet gear company best known for dog puzzle toys and slow feeding bowls. Among the company’s most popular puzzle toys is the Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel Dog Toy.
Sniffing out small animals from their hiding places is a behavior that’s ingrained in dogs. When you cannot take him to the local park, give your Lab the satisfaction of sniffing out squirrels from plush body toy.
The toy is composed of several pieces: a soft tree trunk with holes, and three (or more) squirrels stuffed inside. Your Lab will love yanking the squirrels off the tree trunk. Stuff them back into the trunk to prolong the game.
Unlike similar interactive toys from other brands, this toy comes in four different sizes. Ginormous is the largest size featuring six squirrels. The tree trunk has five holes while the standard trunk has three holes. The dimensions are as follows:-
- Ginormous – 15” length x 7”wide x 6.5”high
- Large – 8.5” length x 7.5”wide x 7.5”high
- Medium – 6.5” length x 6.5”wide x 6.5”high
- Small – 4” length x 7”wide x 5”high
As they are available in different sizes, you can upgrade to the next size as your Lab grows older.
Why we like it
- Your Labrador’s mental wellbeing is as important as its overall health. The Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel stimulates your furry friend’s brain power.
- It has a durable design along with an engaging array of sounds, shapes, and textures.
- If your Labrador is not into chasing squirrels, you can choose other variations such as bird, bee, and hedgehog.
- It is a playful and fun outlet for your Lab’s excess energy
When choosing a toy for Fido, make sure that you buy the right size. As it is a soft plush toy, you will need to supervise your Lab as he plays.
This is a non-edible chew toy that is made using bacon-flavored and durable nylon. According to the manufacturer, the wishbone is made using 100% real food ingredients thus giving it enticing flavor and scent. The wishbone design makes it easy for your dog to chew on.
Why we like it
- The Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone is manufactured by a company whose specialty is chew toys. Thus, you are guaranteed of a quality product
- It holds up well to moderate chewing
- It is non-toxic
- The bacon flavor is particularly appealing to dogs
- The wishbone’s ergonomic design will make it easy for your Labrador to grab and chew on
While the Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone is one of the best and most durable chew toys in the market, it is not indestructible. You will need to supervise your Lab while he chews it and replace when you notice signs of wear such as deep dental marks, cracks, and overall skeletal damage. It might also not be a good toy for the more aggressive chewers.
Basically, the KONG Wobbler is an interactive food dispensing toy. It doubles up as a toy and a feeding bowl. It sits upright until your Lab pushes it with his nose or paw. It dispenses tasty treats as it spins, rolls, and wobbles around.
This Kong-shaped toy is a perfect feeding medium for Labradors as they are prone to gulping down their food within minutes. The KONG Wobbler automatically slows their feeding times. As you Lab has to work for what he’s eating, this toy is an ideal mental stimulant. It is weighted at the bottom. This means that when your Lab nudges it at the top, it will wobble back up.
You can choose from large to small options. The former fits about one to two cups of food while the small one fits about half to one cup of food. The large one measures 10.5x6x7 inches. While it will definitely get nicks when bitten by your Lab or when it’s knocked against hard surfaces, it built to last for years on end. The dispensing hole is also Kong-shaped and is about 1” high and 3/4” wide at its broadest. This implies that you can use it on a wide variety of treats.
All you need to do is unscrew the top and fill it with your preferred kibble. A few dog owners have complained that the hole on the toy is too large. For this reason, you might want to consider the small version
Why we like it
- It regulates the amount of food your Lab gulps down
- Your furry friend gets a mental workout even as they feed
- It is made using FDA-approved and hard plastic polymer
- The hard plastic makes this toy rather durable
- It screws on and off easily. This makes cleaning and refilling a breeze
The Planet Dog Orbee-Stuff is a great toy for mentally stimulating and challenging your overactive Labrador. From interactive entertainment to getting tasty treats, your furry friend will love every feature of this toy. It can also be used as a fetch or even bouncy toy.
Orbee-Turf Snoop is a translucent, squishy ball that is made using BPA-free thermoplastic elastomer. While the thermoplastic elastomer is strong, durable, soft, and easy to break down and recycle once it wears out. The plastic is free of chemicals such as phthalates. The Orbee-Turf Snoop has a diameter of 5 inches. This makes it perfect for a dog of any size.
All you need to do is take the toy and gently rub the neck to pop it out. Once you do this, the half-circle orb more or less becomes tube-shaped. Fill it up with bones, cheese, peanuts, and any other treats. Nudge the neck downwards to close it and shake it so that the treats are well inside it. Give your Labrador an extra challenge by closing the neck with a 2.5” ball nook. The nook’s bumpy side increases the toy’s bounce when it’s tossed about. Your Lab will have to release the hidden treats out by nibbling, nudging, pouncing, and rolling the toy.
Why we like it
- It is made using tough non-toxic material that’s bouncy and buoyant
- It provides your Labrador with brain stimulating and long lasting entertainment
- The toy’s expandable feature makes it easy to clean and dry
- The nook is infused with natural mint oil that keeps your furry friend’s breath fresh
Orbee-Turf Snoop is not meant to be a chew toy. Strong chewers will most probably be able to chew a hole or split the toy. Always supervise your Lab as he plays and replace the toy once it begins to wear off.
With the Skinny Peltz from ZippyPaws, you get a set of three no-stuffing plush toys that will provide your Lab with hours of squeaking fun. You furry friend will love playing with the set of woodland creatures which include a squirrel, a raccoon, and a fox.
Each toy in the set comes with two round squeakers that ensure that your pooch gets hours of squeaking action. The no-stuffing feature makes the Skinny Peltz toys durable and mess-free. Skinny Peltz is available in two variations:-
- The large version: 18” x 2.5” x 0.5”
- The small version: 11” x 2” x 0.5”
Why we like it
- The no stuffing feature makes the toys quite durable
- As each set has three toys, you get value for your money
- The toys are appropriate for a dog of any size
Channel you Labrador’s energy and overstimulation by buying him the Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board. The toy is ideal for an intermediate gamer. You pooch is rewarded with a treat every time they lift, slide, or fold the cone.
The Activity Flip Board features lids and pawns that open when your pet moves the wheel as well as slides and cones under which you can hide the treats. The cones’ unique design ensures that they cannot be knocked over. The toy features a rubber base ring that keeps it stable and prevents it from sliding. It is made of 100% plastic and has a 23 centimeter diameter and is 8 centimeters high.
To set it up for playtime, place your pooch’s favorite treats in the board’s compartments. You can fill up all or some compartments. Your dog will reveal the treats as they slide the covers, or lift the cones and flaps. You can vary the treat’s placement and numbers to make the game more challenging and mentally stimulating.
Why we like it
- The toy is perfect for energetic dog breeds such as Labs
- It is dishwasher safe and is easy to clean
- The plastic material is quite durable
- The package includes a booklet that has tips and tricks for enhancing your pooch’s playtime
While your Labrador needs lots of company, the truth is that he needs lots of mental stimulation and enrichment. Nina Ottosson’s Dog Twister is the perfect toy if you are looking for a way to keep your Lab’s brain active. It is suitable for Labs of any size and age. The toy combines independent playtime with brain stimulation to prolong playtime thus exercising your Lab’s body and mind.
The Dog Twister features nine compartments, sliding linings, and locks. It has a 26 centimeter diameter and a height of 4.5 centimeters. It is made using food-grade plastic that is free from phthalates, BPA, and PVC.
Pull the handles out of your Dog Twister to unlock it and reveal the treat panels. Place kibble and treats into the different compartments as Fido watches. Line up the paw panels and lock it by pushing in the handles. Your lab has to access the treat by lifting the pegs and moving the blocks one after the other with their paws or the nose.
If your Lab is not yet familiar with dog puzzles, encourage him to learn by leaving the handles unlocked. This enables your pet to smell and access the treats easier. As he learns the ropes, you can adjust the difficulty by leaving some compartments open and others closed.
Why we like it
- It helps curb destructive behavior in your Lab by keeping him engaged
- The toy is made using recycled plastic that is dish-washer safe. You can also easily clean it using soap and water. In case you prefer the latter, make sure you rinse it thoroughly in readiness for the next game.
- Helping your dog successfully solve the puzzle gives you time to bond with him
- You can use the Dog Twister to make mealtimes more exciting and slow for fast eaters
This Twist ‘n Treat from Petsafe is a good treat dispensing toy that will also provide your Labrador with some much needed mental exercise. Unlike most toys that are made of plastic, the Twist ‘n Treat is made of natural rubber.
The Twist ‘n Treat toy comes in three sizes:
- Medium – suitable for puppies between 20 to 50 pounds
- Small – suitable for puppies of around eight to 20 pounds
- Extra small – suitable for puppies under 10 pounds
The toy is made up of two parts that are screwed together. Once you unscrew, you create a large gap through which you can insert treats. Twist the two halves in a clockwise direction to close the treat dispensing toy. For a longer playtime, screw the two halves closer together.
Why we like it
- This toy works perfectly well with spreadable and small treats
- The adjustable opening enables you adjust the difficulty levels of retrieving the treats
- It is made using natural rubber that’s rather easy to clean and durable
- Its unique “cone” shape makes it easy to roll around
- It is available in different sizes
Channel your Lab’s playfulness and intelligence by engaging them with the Trixie Mad Scientist Toy for Dogs. The toy measures 8.5 x 7 x 13 inches and is made using materials that are intended for game play not chewing.
The treat dispensing toy features three beakers that hang from a rotating rod. The beakers are designed to store the treats in the innermost part thus preventing them from falling out. Rotating the beakers at a certain speed releases the treats once they are suspended at a certain angle. The toy features a weighted base with rubber feet that help keep it in place.
You can use the beakers by themselves or along with their lids. There are two sets of lids with varying hole patterns through which treats must navigate. You can mix and match the lids to make the game even more challenging.
While this may be a pretty challenging, your Lab will be itching for playtime once they learn the ropes. Fill the beakers with treats as your Labrador watches and flip them over. This ensures that they do not end up destroying the toy while trying to solve the puzzle.
Why we like it
- Using the Mad Scientist for Dogs is a great way of providing physical and mental stimulation to your Labrador
- It is a great way of horning your Labrador’s problem-solving skills
- The toy is suitable for a Labrador of any size and age
- Alternating the lids helps you adjust the game’s difficulty levels
- It is mad using BPA-free plastic
As the treats are released when the beakers are upside down, using wet treats would only create a mess.
Chewing is an effective way of keeping your Lab occupied and staving off boredom. When your pooch becomes bored, he may become destructive or kill the boredom off through indiscriminate chewing, excessive backing, and digging.
Being a high-energy breed, your Labrador needs powerful and durable chew toys. The Nylabone Dura Chew Ring is made using strong and durable nylon. The toy features an intriguing flavor and texture to rouse your pet’s interest. The ring shape makes it easy for your pooch to hold onto the toy. The differently textured bristles make helps promote clean teeth thus improving your pet’s overall oral health.
Why we like it
- The raised bristles help control tartar and plaque build-up
- The Dura Chew Ring is designed to encourage positive chewing behavior in your pet
- It’s a great way of satisfying your dog’s natural need to chew
- The durable nylon makes this a perfect toy for the most aggressive chewer
Mental stimulation toys from Starmark are intended to keep toys mentally engaged and physically fit through an activity they like. Keeping them engaged helps prevent destructive behaviors. A bored dog is likely to entertain himself by adopting unacceptable behaviors such as chewing.
If your Labrador is food-motivated, they want to spend hours playing with the Starmark Bob-A-Lot toy. The toy’s design is pretty simple as it more or less resembles a bottle with a rounded bottom. The bottom wobbles about once your Lab nudges the toy with his paw or nose. As it bob about, it releases treats or kibble from the hole at the side.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot comes in two sizes. The large one is about 9 inches tall and has two openings while the small one is about 6.5 inches tall and has a single opening where treats fall out. The larger one can hold up to 3 cups of treats while the smaller ones hold one cup.
Why we like it
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot provides your pooch with hours of mental stimulation and physical exercise
- Due to its size, the large one can hold a wide variety of kibble and treats
- It is easy to clean and fill
- You can easily adjust the opening thus controlling how easy or difficult your dog’s playtime is
- You can use it to slow down a fast-eater
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot is particularly beneficial for hyperactive dogs and pups
All For Paws (AFP) is a pet product company that specializes in manufacturing stylish and unique products for cats and dogs. Their Interactive Food Maze is aimed at stopping your Lab from gulping down all the food on his dish.
All you need to do is scatter the treats across the food maze and let your Lab figure out the best way to get them out and feed on them. They can use their nose, paws, tongue, or anything else that works. This helps slow down their eating this preventing stomach and digestion-related issues that are typical of larger breed dogs. Eating slowly helps regulate the amount of food your pooch eats hence minimizing the chances of obesity.
The toy comes with two interchangeable mazes that allow you to increase or reduce the difficulty level. It comes in one size that measures 28 x 28 x 8 centimeters.
Why we like it
- AFP Food Maze toy helps slow down meal times thus preventing your Lab from eating too much too fast
- It is suitable for wet and dry food
- The non-slip rubber rim at the bottom helps keep the toy in place as your furry friend feeds and plays
- It is easy to wash and is dishwasher safe
The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug is a treat dispensing toy that is intended to stimulate your Lab’s sense of smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing. Your pooch will hear the treats rattle, smell them, and get a reward once he successful tugs the rope thus releasing the treats. This makes the toy the ultimate tool for interactive play.
The treat dispensing toy is rather easy to operate and is available in three sizes. The large size features a bottle that’s about 25 centimeters long and an 11 centimeters diameter. The small and extra small sizes measure 20 cm x 8 cm and 17 cm x 7 cm respectively.
Once its playtime, unscrew the bottle, fill it up with dried kibble or treats, and latch the ball to which the rope is attached back on. Your Labrador is motivated to get the treats as he sees the through the clear bottle. He tugs on the rope and the treats slowly get dispensed.
Why we like it
- The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug is made using durable, non-toxic material for prolonged playtimes
- The textured rubber ball maintains your pet’s dental health
- You can use it to regulate how much food your Lab gulps down
- You can use it to train your pooch basic commands such as ‘bring’, ‘fetch’, and ‘leave it
The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug is not intended for chewing.
The Zoo Friends Burrow is one of the most reasonably priced indoor toys. However, manufacturers have not compromised on its ability to provide your Lab with hours of entertainment and stimulates interactive play.
The toy is made up of four parts: a large toy with three holes and a three small toys that fit inside the holes. Each of the small toys has a squeaker. To get the smaller toys and squeakers out of the larger toy, your Lab will have to think. The toy’s hide-and-seek will keep your Lab engaged for hours on end. Hence, it’s the perfect toy if you spend lots of time away from home.
Zoo Friends Burrow comes in multiple designs. You can get Bamboo ‘n Panda, Monkeys ‘n Banana, Giraffe Lodge, and Penguin Cave among other great designs. It is available in large and small sizes for medium and small dogs.
Why we like it
- This toy is a great option for Labs that are toy-driven more than they are food driven
- The soft material will not hurt your dog’s teeth
- The toy’s interactive play is sure to keep your dog engaged and mentally active
- It helps your Lab develop problem-solving skills as he digs out the small toys and squeakers from the larger toy
How to Choose Safe Indoor Toys for Your Labrador
Dog toys, especially for active breeds such as the Labrador is not a luxury; it’s essential. Being a high-energy dog breed, you can rid your Lab of the excess energy by keeping him engaged through indoor games. They help fight boredom, prevent the development of bad behaviors, and provide comfort along with mental stimulation. Play is an effective way of helping your Lab socialize with other pets and people in your home.
However, all toys are not manufactured equally. Depending on the size, age, and personality of your Lab, some are fun and safer than others. Here’s a brief guide on how to choose safe indoor toys for your Lab.
Indoor dog toys are made of materials ranging from hard plastic to soft fabrics. Check that the materials used to make the toy are safe and non-toxic. Choose the material based on your dog’s personality. Aggressive chewers might easily chew through a fabric or rubber toy. Also, buy toys that are specifically manufactured for dogs.
Most of the time, the manufacturer will dictate the size of the dog the toy is suitable for. An indoor toy that’s too big and bulky for your Labrador pup could end up frustrating your pet. One that’s intended for smaller dogs may become dangerous for a large dog. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before buying your indoor toy and replace them as your furry friend grows.
· Choking hazards
Before buying your Labrador a toy, make sure it has no choking hazards. Remove any tags, papers, and strings before presenting it to your dog. Once he starts using it, check the toy from time to time for signs of wear and breakage. Throw away toys that are chewed through, broken and worn immediately.
Different indoor toys are created for different purposes. Active toys are intended to encourage healthy play in your Lab. These include hard, chewy toys, rope toys, balls, and squeaky toys. Comfort toys are soft, stuffed or unstuffed plush toys that help your furry friend overcome anxiety and unrest. They can include puzzles or even stuffed animals. Distraction toys are task-oriented. They help your Lab get rid of pent up energy as well as alleviate stress and anxiety that originates from boredom, confinement, and isolation. Distraction toys can include natural or artificial bone, puzzle toys, and treat dispensers.
Unsafe toys include:-
- Toys with small, sharp parts including batteries, pins, and springs
- Those with harmful chemicals such as phthalates and lead. Remember that some fabrics could have poisonous dyes. Normally, dyes are not verified for consumption
- Dog toys with decorations such as buttons, decorative eyes, and loose strings or yarn as these are a choking hazard
- Squeaky dog toys that are too thin or small. If your Lab is a vigorous chewer, he can easily swallow such toys whole or pieces of them
It’s not practical to buy your Labrador every indoor toy you come across. The mentioned toys are some of the best in the market. While some Labs may prefer intense activity toys others may enjoy chew toys. They may also prefer different toys depending on the mood. Depending on their personality, your Lab will clue you in on what they like and don’t like. In case it’s a Lab pup, you might want to consult your vet on the most appropriate indoor dog toy.