Keeping puppy entertained in crate without promoting excitement

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/8hvsay/keeping_puppy_entertained_in_crate_without/

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Hi all, I just adopted a puppy two days ago (~15 week old Brussels Griffon mix, according to the rescue). She has been in foster care from about 8 weeks of age, and fortunately is crate-trained for night time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like she has much experience being left alone during the day.
Also unfortunately, I have a strange work schedule – 4 days a week (yay!), but two of those days are 11 hours long. I can come home for about 1.5 hours in the middle of the day, but that still leaves her with two 5-hour stretches.
This schedule will only hold for the next three weeks, until she is done with her influenza series and can go to doggie daycare, but regardless she needs to get used to being crated in the day. I’ve been reading that I should give her a special treat or toy that she only gets while crated, and that many people use Kongs stuffed with wet food. She’s EXTREMELY food-motivated, which is good. However, as she was winding down for bed time tonight, I opened a can of food for my cat, and she went bonkers – her switch flipped from sleepy puppy to excited puppy looking everywhere for canned food, which kept us up for an extra hour.
Given this reaction, is it still ok to use a kong for entertainment during the day? I worry that instead of feeling calm like she’s supposed to in the crate, this will instead create an association of high arousal/excitement in the crate.
Thoughts?

submitted by /u/owlandpussycat
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