The Best Toys to Entertain Your Dog While You Have a New Baby
Oh boy, has life changed taking care of a new baby around the clock! One day I caught myself plastered to the couch staring off during one of the baby’s naps and saw my dog just sitting there, bored amidst the constant chaos. I felt guilty and knew I needed to find a solution. My dog needed some constructive, interactive toys to keep him mentally stimulated while I had my hands full. I tell my dog training clients all the time that they need to provide their dogs with both mental and physical stimulation.
Physically stimulation consist of activities such as running, playing retrieve, dog play with other dogs, or any form of the dog exercising. Those are all great outlets that make for a tired dog, but the majority of dogs will rebound fairly quickly, and could even start to build endurance to consistently need that in order to be satisfied. Also, as a new mom, you probably don’t have the time, or energy to provide those outlets.
Mental stimulation is when we challenge the dog by using their mind and senses. Think about if I were to sit you down and make you study calculus or if you had to work on a complex problem-solving exercise. This burns your dog’s energy levels, challenges them, and stimulates their mind and makes them completely satisfied. This is especially important when you don’t have as much time as you used to for balancing walks and play.
When you think of dog toys, you probably imagine the toy isle at your local pet store and gravitate towards all the soft squeaky ones. Your dog might play with them for a short amount of time, but then quickly looses interest especially if you are not able to interact with them and want the dog to play by themselves. Balls, tugs, and stuffed animals all need human help to make the toys appear “alive.” This is where the thought behind interactive dog toys began.
KONG, in my opinion is the founder of the interactive toy.
This company understands the value of why this works for dogs, and how this product can solve so many other behavior issues for dogs such as: boredom, separation anxiety, chewing, digging, barking and even weight management. As a new mom, I wasn’t able to give my dog what he needed to feel satisfied and these toys helped bridge the gap between the hardest seasons of motherhood. Because of them, I was finally able to provide the dog the outlets he needed and also be there for my newborn.
No new mom should bring home their newborn with out first having a collection of these KONG interactive toys for their dog. In between incorporating your dogs obedience into your new life with the baby, here are 5 genius inventions from the KONG company that all moms should have:
Top Five Dog Toys for Busy Moms
I am an old school girl, and this is my favorite!
The KONG Classic is the gold standard of dog toys and has become the staple for dogs around the world for over forty years. Offering enrichment by helping satisfy dogs’ instinctual needs, the KONG Classic’s unique natural red rubber formula is ultra-durable with an erratic bounce that is ideal for dogs that like to chew while also fulfilling a dog’s need to play.
I would use the KONG Classic during my newborns nap hours in the day. I would put some dog treats in the middle, then close the ends with either yogurt or peanut butter. I then would freeze it for a few hours and give to my dog while the baby was asleep. He would be busy for hours and then I could also get some rest (or do laundry and clean!) without feeling like my dog was being jaded.
KONG CLICKS is more of an engagement toy for your dog. It is a mentally stimulating treat dispensing puzzle that has versatility in the levels of difficulty so therefore keeps even the smartest of the dogs engaged. I liked this toy for when my daughter started eating in the high chair. I would cut up a few carrots and put them inside. That way my dog was not just vacuuming up all the crumbs under the high chair!
KONG Duratreat was how I taught my dog the difference between his toy box and my daughters! Dogs want to explore the toys you are interacting with your babies with, it also doesn’t help that dog toys and babies toys look alike. Anytime my dog would grab something that is my daughters, I would go over and show him his toy box. It wasn’t working and that is when I found the KONG Duratreat. I started putting a treat in this toy and then when my dog was not around, I would put it into his toy box. Eventually, (and with the help of the high value reward inside) he would wander over to his box and then get rewarded for playing with a toy in there. It was a double win for mama because I taught my dog that his toys were the ones in his box and then when he found it, it kept him busy for a while.
This is a fun toy that rolls and bounces as it randomly dispenses the dogs kibble. This is how I would sometimes feed my dog his meals. Instead of using the traditional boring food bowl, I would challenge him to earn his meals! It kept him busy and was also instant entertainment for my daughter. She would laugh away as he played with it.
This KONG shaped toy is another food dispensing product. I like this one for smaller spaces because it sits upright and until the dog nuzzles it or uses their paw to knock it over then the treats come out. My favorite part about this toy is the cleaning. The top unscrews and makes it super easy to sanitize!
Make It Easier for Your New Baby and Dog to Co-Exist
Obedience will always be your number one tool for mentally stimulating your dog, and for more ideas on obedience exercises to incorporate around your new baby, check out the Dogs to Diapers film.
This is a tough season for everybody in the house (well not your perfect newborn that just eats and sleeps) but you can help your dog to adjust and evolve with the changing environment and routine.
Where To Buy
*Too busy to run to the pet store? No problem! Here is a link to KONG