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How to keep your new puppy entertained at home

When your puppy does not have all their vaccinations yet, or the weather outside is not suitable for walking in, you may be wondering how to entertain your new puppy indoors.

Experts claim 2-3 hours of active interaction is best for puppies. It may not sound like enough, but we need to bear in mind puppies need between 18-20 hours of sleep! It’s also important your puppy learns about having some time to themselves, so they don’t develop separation anxiety when you are away.

Young puppies tend to like short bursts of activity throughout the day rather than one long burst. So, how can you keep your new puppy entertained at home during the day? Find out within this article! 

Puppy laying down
T.R Photography via Unsplash

1. Play hide and seek with your new puppy

Kids love a good game of hide and seek, and puppies are no different! Hide and seek can work in two ways, you can either hide treats for your new puppy to find, or hide yourself!

To hide treats, you’ll be tapping into your pup’s natural foraging instincts. It encourages them to use their senses to sniff out the tasty snacks. When your puppy is watching you, hide their treats either under rugs, behind doors or furniture, or even inside their favourite treat dispenser toy. Once you have done this, release your pup from their crate to find them!

If you prefer hiding yourself rather than hiding treats, you can practice recall skills with your new puppy. It’s a fun way to help them practice identifying and responding to your voice. Do this by hiding somewhere in the room and calling your little pup over to you. When they find you, remember to reward them with a treat!

It may take some time to stop your new puppy from following you to the hiding spot, but you can train them to “stay” whilst you run and hide. Alternatively, if you have someone else with you in the household, you can place your pup in their crate and allow the other person to release them when you are ready!

2. Give your new puppy enrichment toys

Enrichment treat dispensing toys or puzzle toys specially made for puppies will also help encourage them to build their foraging and problem-solving skills. Some puzzle toys will be available in different difficulty levels. This means as your pup gets better at solving them, you can keep progressing.

Treat dispensers such as the Puppy Can Toy by SodaPup are fantastic for your puppy’s much needed mental stimulation. All you need to do is to stuff the toy with your pup’s favourite treats and then let them chew until they retrieve the food. It’s a natural way to help your little new puppy relieve their gum pain when they are teething, whilst also keeping boredom away at the same time!

After all, when a puppy gets bored, they can start getting into all sorts of trouble – like chewing up your pillows, slippers, or anything else they can get their tiny teeth into! That’s why it’s best to have puppy enrichment toys on hand to give them a more suitable outlet. Check out some puppy enrichment toys below to entertain your new bundle of joy when they are at home.

If you prefer to make your own enrichment toys, check out our DIY Dog Enrichment Ideas blog!

3. Train your new puppy at home

Puppies love to learn new things, and when you are stuck at home is the perfect time to train them! We recommend no longer than 5 minutes for each training session to avoid overwhelming your new puppy.

A good starting point are the classic commands such as “sit” and “stay”, before progressing to “paw” and “roll over”. Of course, when your pup succeeds, always remember to have their favourite treats ready to reward them. The best way to a new puppy’s heart is through their stomach, after all!

Obedience training indoors is also a great way to mentally-stimulate your new puppy. It can actually tire them out just as fast as a long walk would, believe it or not! For example, you can teach your new puppy to walk alongside you and “heel” whilst indoors, which will be a lot easier than when outside as there are less distractions.

Using these methods can better prepare your puppy for the outside world, making it easier to keep them close when you're ready to explore together.

Puppy sit training
Elena Mozhvilo via Unsplash

4. Create an obstacle course for your new puppy

New puppies have a lot of energy, and an obstacle course is the pawfect enrichment activity to entertain them at home and allow them to let off some steam! Obstacle courses offer your pup mental stimulation and sensory enrichment through the challenges and different heights to leap over.

So, what DIY items can you use to create a mini puppy-friendly obstacle course? Well, you could use a cardboard box to create a tunnel, or place boxes upside down for your pup to climb over. You can even place your laundry basket upside down for your pup to jump over. The more obstacles you think of, the better!

Each time your pup succeeds in the challenge, give them a treat, and make a real fuss of them to show how proud you are!

5. Give your new puppy a chewy treat

Chewy treats for puppies are great for teething and can help soothe boredom. Chewing on treats will also promote good dental hygiene by reducing plaque and tartar build up, leading to fresher puppy breath and healthier gums!

However, it’s important to choose chewy treats that are suitable for puppies and made from safe, high-quality ingredients. Avoid treats that are too hard or small as they can be a choking hazard or damage your fur baby’s teeth.

We have a range of chewy treats and chew toys specially made for puppies. For example, Puppy Dental Dog Chews by Whimzees is a convenient, effective, and playful way to reduce plaque and tartar, clean teeth, and freshen your new puppy’s breath. Whilst also giving them a suitable outlet to chew on when needed.

6. Play Tug of War with your new puppy!

Tug of war is a fun game for puppies that will help them build strength. You probably will already know how a game of tug of war works.

Simply hold one end of the rope, or toy, and put the other end in your furry friend’s mouth. Gently pull on it and encourage your new puppy to pull back. As your dog is only little, remember to keep it gentle and don’t pull too hard.

We have a range of puppy toys that are great for puppies to chew on or play tug of war with. ZippyTuff Teether Puppy Chews come in cute shapes including elephant, duck, and rabbit. They are a great match for those sharp puppy teeth that should never be underestimated! Whilst they are ideal for puppies to chew on, they are also great for dogs of all ages to enjoy.

Similarly, Ropetugz toys are extra tough as they are made from the same durable rope used in Climbers leashes, this means they can withstand hours of play with your new puppy!

Keeping your new puppy entertained at home with WOOOF

As you can see, there are many ways you can successfully keep your puppy entertained whilst indoors. Whether you decide to make a fun obstacle course, play a game of hide and seek, or keep your pup busy with treat dispensing puzzle toys, we hope this article has given you some ideas on how to keep your new puppy happy and stimulated at home.

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