Updated: Jan 29
Tip: Don't overbuy before your puppy comes home! I totally made that mistake with Bella. I even have a full container in my closet filled with toys that I transfer out. A lot of items have been donated too. Pick up just a few staple toys and see what your new puppy gravitates towards! They might like squeaky over crinkly, soft over tough, noisy over quiet...you get the point!
Be sure to supervise activity with any of the below items.
Frozen Kongs: Fill with some goodies and pop it in the freezer for a while. The added challenge of the items being frozen can keep your pup occupied and happy for a while! Check out the Kong sizing information for safety.
Fun toys, linked for examples:
Tennis balls/squeaker balls
Wobble Wag Ball (fun but annoying noise)
Squeaky pig (same thing)
Snuffle Mat: Encourages the dog to use their nose and brain! Bonus - mentally challenging and tiring!
Want to practice this before purchasing a snuffle mat? Use a muffin tin! Fill the tin with food and treats and cover it with balls and other toys (whatever you have on hand). Example photo below. You can also take a towel, fold it in half lengthwise, and sprinkle in some kibble/treats. Roll it up and let your pup sniff out the food!
Need to calm down an excited or overly tired pup? Try a LickiMat! Constant licking can help calm down the brain and force them to slow down. Peanut butter, nonfat plain yogurt, bananas, wet dog food (even wet kibble pressed down) - anything your pup favors!
Hot outside but want to hang out outdoors? Fill a small kiddy pool with dog/kid-safe balls and ice cubes! For added sniffy enrichment, throw in some kibble/treats.
Everything linked is just to provide a visual example. Many of these items can also be found at your local pet stores, as well as stores like TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, or Ross!