Whether your dog is in a crate while you are away or couch surfing from room to room, it is nearly inevitable that they will look for something to occupy their time until you get home. Maybe you’ve had the unfortunate experience of discovering your new puppy’s handy work on the couch, or perhaps you just want to be proactive with your stir-crazy new rescue—either way, we’ve got you covered. After just a little prep time before you leave the house, your pooch will soon be happily busy with their own 9-5 job!
Are you intrigued yet? Here are some of our staff favorites when it comes to setting up our dogs for a fun-filled day while we’re away:*
1. The Kong Classic - This is a tried-and-true favorite, and for good reason. Not only is this toy widely used by working dog trainers and rescues, it has also been a staple in companion dog homes for years! A Kong can be stuffed with a multitude of treats according to your dog’s particular dietary needs and culinary desires. Frozen raw food, bully sticks, freeze dried food, or even just their daily ration of kibble will all keep your pup busy discovering treats long after you’ve left. And while peanut butter is a popular filler, make sure yours is all natural with no added salt or sugar – those are no good for a daily snack.
2. Puzzle Feeders - Many different companies dip their toe into this category and truly this diversity works out in the consumers’ favor, because there are so many options to choose from! This diversity is critical, because the type of treat-dispensing toy your dog may need varies greatly on their current state of neurological development. Your nine-week-old German Shepherd will almost certainly require a different toy than your friend’s six-year-old lab. Ideally your dog will experience the perfect balance of intrigue and reward as they knock around their new toy.
3. Puzzle Game Floor Toys - This last category is for the truly pensive pup that aspires to be much more than just a couch potato (although there is no shame in being an accomplished napper as well!). Puzzle Games are usually in a placemat shape with several different mechanisms required to uncover the reward, often encouraging pups to use their noses as well as their paws! As you might guess, it takes a very thoughtful and patient pup to figure it all out. With such a variety of puzzle toys, we definitely recommend assessing your dog’s frustration levels before leaving any at home with them alone.