A dog is a man’s best friend, or so they say. But would you leave your best friend all alone with nothing to do? You’re a busy person. I get it. So am I. We can’t always be there for our furry friends. But if your dog is left alone too long and too often, he may become agitated, depressed or even destructive out of sheer boredom.
Finding ways to keep your dog entertained while you’re at work will give you peace of mind and contribute to your pet’s emotional well-being. So, how can you keep your pup busy and happy while you’re earning his keep? Here are eight ways to keep your dog busy while you’re at work.
1. Give your dog a puzzle toy or treat.
Toys might seem like a no-brainer, but not all toys are alike. Some, such as Kong brand toys, will keep your dog busy for longer. Kong creates toys designed to keep your dog engaged. Puzzle toys with treats inside allow your dog to learn patience and concentration, for which they are rewarded. Another similar option is a rawhide bone.
2. Give your dog special toys.
Choose some special items that he only gets to play with while you’re gone. Extra durable rubber chew toys are a great option. Alternate what toys you put out on different days to keep him guessing.
Another fun toy is a bubble maker. Many dogs enjoy watching floating bubbles. Bubbletastic makes a bubble maker just for dogs and there’s even a bacon scented model. Who knew?
3. Create a game for your dog.
Hide treats or toys around the house for dog to hunt for. You can start doing this while you’re at home, showing him a few, so that he gets used to the idea. To making finding the prizes more challenging, create an obstacle course. Place a pillow in a doorway with a toy on the other side, or try putting a treat behind a stack of books in a corner. These are little mental challenges for your dog that come with a reward.
4. Let your dog spy on the neighbors.
Another good way to keep your dog from becoming bored is to ensure that he can look out the window. It helps if he can look at the backyard or into a field where there might be other pets, children or even wildlife to watch. If you don’t have a good window, consider a fish tank.
5. Let your dog watch TV.
Some dogs enjoy watching TV. Try putting on a dog-themed movie or show, such as 101 Dalmatians, Old Yeller or Lassie. There are even shows created just for dog viewers. Check out DOGTV on Youtube. Many dogs enjoy the sounds even if they don’t watch. Leaving the radio on is also a great way to make your dog feel like he’s not alone.
6. Arrange for a visitor.
Having someone stop by your house while you’re at work will be fun for your dog. It can be anyone, such as your mom, your neighbor or a paid dog sitter. Even if someone just drops in to get your mail, your dog will get some enjoyment out of seeing a human. If you need a paid dog walker or sitter, try Rover.com You can keep your dog guessing by rotating which day of the week the visitor is going to show up, or even change who shows up.
7. Get your dog a companion pet.
Pets can have pets too! Many dogs like having companion animals to keep them entertained and happy. A cat, bird or even another dog are all options. Just make sure that both animals get along before you leave them alone together.
8. Prepare your dog for a long nap.
Exercise your dog with a walk or a game of catch before you leave for work so that he’ll be tired when you leave. This will likely cause him to sleep for an hour or two while you’re away. You can also get your visitor, from above, to help tire your dog out for a nap.
Try any or all of these tips, and you’re sure to keep your dog a little happier and more entertained while you’re at work.