Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Best mental stimulation toys(12 Posts)
At some point in my working day my 4 month old has a very wakeful couple of hours. I feed her, do some training, take her for a walk but then she still seems to need more stimulation before the children come home when I really need to get on with some work. A kong or her regular toys don't seem to hold her attention for long enough.
Do you have any favourite toys that I could wheel out for that hectic period? There are so many out there - I don't want to waste my money on lots more stuff for landfill.
I wouldn't buy any but try some of these:-
A cardboard box full of old paper with kibble inside it
Muffin baking trays with balls in the holes and food under some of them
Roll up an old towel with food inside it
Use an empty milk plastic bottle with some food inside
My 5 month old pup really enjoys the Kong wobbler, takes longer than a normal kong. He also loves his hol-ee ball. He enjoys playing with it as it is, but I also push things into it at times, e.g. a large carrot, a flannel with little treats hidden inside... He also loves the flirt pole, but that needs your involvement, so not so useful if you're working.
Hol-ee ball (I push slices of ham or a babybel cheese in and he has to roll it around, squash it etc to get to the food.
A simple slow feeder bowl with food frozen in it will occupy them for a long time.
Join the Facebook group ‘Canine Enrichment’ they have loads of great ideas
Tape shut the ends of a cardboard tube from kitchen towel with some treats inside it.
Leave kibble scattered under an old mat or towel.
The ones I have bought that have been succesful are a licky mat and also a snuffle mat.
Thank you for your replies. I have taken on board the free options as well as the shop bought options.
A really simple one is to lay a towel flat, sprinkle kibble on it, then roll it up (and tie in a knot if you want to make it harder)
Or stack empty toilet rolls in a box and sprinkle kibble in and around them. Fold the ends over to make it harder
Teach her 'Find it'. Shut her out of the room while you hide a toy (you show her first) and let her in asking her to 'Find it!'. when she does get very excited and have a quick little game with it, then hide it again.
You can freeze peanut butter in a kong
What breed is she? Some are just, quite simply, high maintenance, and will need a lot more walking, training and playing wit than others.
At four months old she is unlikely to voluntarily entertain herself for long with any toy just yet - because she will find you more exciting and so attempt to regain your attention.
I would be tempted to leave a kong and another toy and then make myself unavailable, even though she is unlikely to play with them for long - the aim being, longer term, that she slowly learns that she cannot get your attention while you are working, and to entertain herself (or sleep) rather than worry about her being distracted and entertained right now, if you see what I mean.
Only caveat would be that, at this age, you will still need to keep a close eye out for toiletting needs.
I'd be wearing her out with scent work - hide tiny bits of food around. I believe 10 mins of scent work is as tiring as an hour's walk.
We also use egg boxes with treats in. The best bought one was a snuffle mat. We keep it rolled up when not using it so it’s a treat.
Also ostrich bone, yakkers and beef tails. Lamb tails and chicken feet all kept her occupied. She lost interest in kongs.
A really good on was mixing the crunch juicy bits from a roast with some water and freezing it in an empty plastic pesto pot. She has it as a Ice lolly to lick out.
Or empty yoghurt pots kept her busy too, make sure can’t get her nose stuck.
10 minutes trying also tired her out, sit, wait and stay. Or lead train8ng 8n the ga4den or a sniffy walk outside. Also settle on her mat. A few minutes of that bought quite a lot of peace.