How to keep a puppy entertained
Tips for entertaining your puppy
A new puppy requires a lot of attention — walking, feeding, training and playing. Even if you’re working or learning from home and are able to spend a lot of time with your puppy, you still can’t give your full attention 24/7.
Keeping a puppy happy and entertained involves proper exercise, active playtime and solo playtime with engaging toys. Our guide will help you find the right toys and activities to keep your energetic puppy happy throughout the day.
Give your puppy proper exercise time
If your puppy is always looking to play, they may not be getting enough exercise and are looking to burn energy. The right amount of exercise for your puppy can leave them content — though, of course, they’ll still want plenty of playtime.
How to exercise your puppy
Puppies have lots of energy, and it needs to be expelled — unless you want the puppy to take that energy out on your home in the form of chewing, digging or tearing things apart. Plus, when your puppy is tired, they may sleep while you’re busy working.
If you have a backyard or a long hallway in your home, play fetch with a frisbee or a tennis ball launcher. Squeezing in a walk before work or school can help, and if you can be home on your lunch break — especially in the earlier months of your puppy’s life — it will help them to socialize and develop a routine.
Consider your puppy’s breed
Some dog breeds need more attention and more exercise, whereas some prefer to lounge around without anyone around. How much attention your puppy needs comes down to their personality as well as the tendencies of their breed.
Larger dogs like Labradors and golden retrievers need to be able to run and play for a substantial amount of time each day. Smaller dogs like chihuahuas or Yorkies need less time — but still some — to exercise and play each day. All dogs crave love and attention, and most get sad when they’re home alone or not getting any attention. Some breeds in particular, like French bulldogs, become morose if they’re alone all day.
Look into the breed of dog you’ve chosen, and if your puppy’s breed (or mix of breeds) requires an abundance of attention and exercise, make sure to take several play breaks throughout the day.
How to entertain a puppy while you’re busy
Looking to keep your puppy entertained without giving them your full attention all the time? It’s important to find ways to help your pup entertain themselves. One way to do this is to find toys they enjoy playing with on their own — and this may take some trial and error.
Choosing dog toys
When buying toys, think about how big your dog will be when fully grown. Dogs that will stay small should be okay with smaller chew toys, but you might want to have some bigger chew toys ready for when larger breeds reach their full growth potential. We’ve found that treat-type chew bones that help clean teeth can occupy large dogs’ attention for a bit.
Interactive dog toys
Look into interactive dog toys that are designed to engage puppies and hold their attention. These types of toys also can tire puppies out with no participation required on your part.
Some of these toys include puzzles where your puppy needs to uncover a treat or get a treat to come out of a ball. These types of toys require physical maneuvering, and all dogs love treats, so they’re motivated to keep playing.
Train your puppy to know when it’s playtime
If you teach your puppy about your home routine and how they can identify when it’s time to play, both of you will be happier for it.
After returning from a morning walk as you’re getting ready to start your day, show your puppy a chew toy or a puzzle toy and put it on their bed so they can lie down in their space to chew and play. If they come under your feet whimpering and looking to play, bring them back to their bed with the same toy and try to get them to play with it there again.
Make sure to get a variety of toys — chew toys, chew bones, tennis balls, puzzle toys, treat toys and plush toys — in case your puppy gets bored with one or two toys. If they leave their bed or they attempt to play with you while you’re still busy, bring them back and switch the toy. When you’re done for the day, make it a routine to let your puppy know that playtime can begin — whether that’s a phrase, a special toy or something else.
Stephanie Shipman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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