5 Fun Ways to Keep a Puppy Entertained
There aren’t many more exciting occasions in a family’s life than when they bring home a new puppy to become a member of the pack. It’s a new day, a new era, and a time that’s filled with hope, anticipation, and excitement. For the first couple of days after a puppy arrives, everyone is euphoric, and for good reason: Your puppy is friendly, playful, curious, and adorable. It whimpers at night because it wants to be comforted, it ambles up to you in the living room when it wants to cuddle and it tugs at your shoe, hoping for a big-time playing.
After a few days, things begin to settle down. Your housetraining is going well, and your new furry friend knows where to find food and water. You decide to leave it for a few minutes to run a quick errand. That’s when the first dose of reality hits: You come home to find that your adorable little friend has unleashed a wave of destruction on your home, and you’re not sure what to do about that. It’s the first time you start to think about how to keep a puppy entertained. Is it even possible?
Yes, it certainly is. KONG has been working with dog owners for 50 years, and we know how to keep a puppy entertained such that the chance that behavioral problems will arise is minimized. Below we’re going to lay out a handful of ideas for you to keep in mind that hopefully will restore some order to your life with your new best friend.
1. Provide Audio Comfort
This may not seem like a potential solution for how to keep a puppy entertained, but one way to help it avoid any type of panic is to provide it with some audible comfort when you do leave the house. Turn on the television for it, and make sure that it’s tuned to something that’s relatively mellow and relaxing. Nature channels work well for this, as does anything that broadcasts classical music. What you’ll want to avoid is sporting events, action movies, and the like that come with a lot of loud sounds and sudden explosions. This will have the opposite of your desired effect.
2. Hammer Away at the Exercise
Whether you’re asking how to keep a puppy entertained, how to soothe a senior dog or how to deal with serious behavioral problems in adult dogs, it seems that one of the answers is always exercise. That’s because aside from nutritious food, water and oxygen, exercise is just about the best possible thing for any dog, puppies included. You have a lot to work on anyway with your new friend, such as teaching it how to walk on a leash, how to heel, how to come when called and the like, and this is all very tiring and exciting for a puppy. Make sure you spend a lot of time engaging in physical activity, and get ready to hear those satisfying snores of deep sleep after you’re finished.
3. Put the Training Hours In From the Start
We mentioned it above, but a perfect answer for how to keep a puppy entertained is by continually challenging it to learn new things. We talked about walking on a leash, housetraining, and the like, but there are still a lot of other things for a puppy to learn. It needs to learn basic commands like sit and stay, and it needs to know specifically what’s allowed in your home and what is not. For instance, is your puppy going to be allowed on the furniture? If not, then you have no time to waste in teaching it what’s proper. This is also fun, interesting, and exciting for a puppy, as they are like human babies in that they are sponges of learning. Every lesson they learn is exhilarating, and they only want to learn more.
4. Socialize Your Little Friend Immediately
The early stages of a dog’s life are absolutely critical in terms of its overall, long-term development. The lessons it learns right off the bat are going to stay with it for the rest of its life, so be mindful of that when you think about how to keep your puppy entertained. Do you want your furry friend to be comfortable around people? Most people would say yes, so that means that you need to socialize it as much as possible. If you’re invited to a barbecue, for example, ask the host if you can bring your puppy. If so, bring it and let him get to know people. Manage that process so it learns the proper way to approach humans, but get it used to being around people and watch that puppy fill up with happiness as it works the crowd. Do this often, and you’ll have a dog that loves people.
5. Toys, Toys, and… More Toys
When most of us visualize puppies, we think of them at play. After all, that’s what they do – they play and play, and then, they play some more. Puppies generally know two speeds: overdrive and park. When they’re in overdrive, they need things to keep them occupied. Perhaps the best answer for how to keep a puppy entertained is by providing a lot of toys for fun. Not only will it lead to your puppy tiring itself out, but it’ll also teach it the right way to play. Instead of chewing on the leg of the coffee table and getting corrected, it’ll chew on its chew toy and receive praise in response. The proper toys will also be a source of comfort to your puppy when you leave the house.
If you’d like to get started with some toys as you search for answers on how to keep your puppy entertained, start with KONG. Since 1970, we’ve been providing toys and several other solutions to dog owners who want to give their furry friends the best lives possible. Take a look at our solutions page to get started, and congratulations on your new puppy!