So perhaps this is true with adult dogs as well as puppies, but I'm noticing that if Olivia has already spent a bunch of time in her crate but I still have do do something, say... shower, that I have to find ways to occupy her for 10-15 minutes while I shower, dry off and dress. As this was the case yesterday I went and found Olivia's pink puppy KONG and put two pieces of broken cookie in to start and then that KONG filler stuff that's sort of like spray cheese called Stuff'N Easy Treat. Now I know there are people who are going say something like this, "*Gasp* Olivia's Human! How could you give her something so processed and unhealthy?!" Let me say this. She loves it. And while I know it's not the best stuff for her, most of the treats she gets are all natural and healthy and all that, so for an everyone once in a while thing... I let her have it. Anyways, I put one more broken cookie pie in last to cap it off and gave it to her. Not a creative KONG, but it kept her busy long enough for me to get the shower thing done. I do hope in the future to make some healthier KONG stuffings for her, but the problem with that is she seems to give up sort of easy and I don't want to get stuff having to spend hours cleaning it out after she gets bored.
The other two things I'll give her to entertain her for a few minutes are Nylabone Healthy Edibles (Puppy with DHA and omega-3) they're advertised as longer lasting... but Olivia chomps through one in about 12 minutes, and the second one is Get Naked Puppy Health dental sticks. She likes them so much I subscribed to them on Amazon.com so I get a package every month (there are 18 sticks per pack and I get the small ones).
Of course there's always the handy-dandy crate but I try to let her stay loose (often times thats on a leash, even in the house) as much as possible. That way when I'm ready to go to bed at night she's had enough exercise (mental and physical) so that she's also ready for bed, which means going in the crate.