7 Ways to Keep Your Pet Entertained While You’re Away

How Long Should You Leave Your Dog at Home?Leaving your pet at home is not an easy part of any pet parent’s day. Many pet parents have full-time jobs and other obligations that keep them away from the house for extended periods of time, which is simply a part of everyday life. However, pet parents should take caution in leaving their pet’s home all day. The length at which you should leave your dog at home is a matter of the individual dog.

That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when keeping your dog at home for extended periods of time: including, age of your dog, amount of exercise they are given, and overall behavior.

Firstly, you should consider the age of the dog. If your dog is under 18 months, and they are still learning to be potty trained, you are more likely to set them up for potty training success if you are home frequently to let them out. If your dog is older, they might be more comfortable staying at home for long periods of time.

Secondly, consider the amount of exercise you provide your dog both before and after leaving the house for the day. If your dog isn’t provided an opportunity to stretch their legs, they are more likely to be bored, destructive, or even obese.

Lastly, if your dog is not yet used to you being away from the house, they might start to become destructive. If this is the case, you may have to start with being away for short periods of time and work your way up to being gone for a full day. This process will take a lot of patience and some creativity on your part. The best thing you can do is make your absence a positive experience by entertaining them with the following options.

1) Petcube: The Petcube is an awesome new pet camera that allows you to interact, talk and play with your pet while you are away. Their technology includes a two-way audio stream through a built-in microphone and speaker, and a laser pointer for entertainment. To learn more about Petcube, visit their website here.

2) Pet Tutor: The Pet Tutor is a smart wireless training game system for your pet. It gives you the ability to reward your dog for good behavior through the Internet. To learn more about the Pet Tutor, visit their website here.

3) Adopt Another Pet: If you have one dog at home and you believe that would benefit from the companionship of another dog or cat, you should definitely look into adding to your family. However, it is important not to use another pet as a treatment for your dog’s separation anxiety. If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it is recommended that you work on this before getting another dog.

4) DogTV: DogTV provides your dog with entertainment while you are away. All of the programming is scientifically developed to provide the right company for your dogs. The content has been analyzed and research so that it is specific to a dog’s sense of vision and hearing. To learn more about DogTV, please visit their website here.

5) Soothing Sounds: Soothing music and sounds can have a calming effect on your dog. Why does sound have such an effect? Sound healers have studied the therapeutic nature of sound through the years. They have discovered that by adjusting the different relationships between tone, tempo, and pattern, one can alter breathe, heart rate, and brain waves. To learn more about sound therapy and calming music for dogs, please visit Through A Dog’s Ear.

6) Puzzle Toys: There is a myriad of puzzle toys available for dogs. Each of which challenges your dog mentally. Providing them with mental stimulation while you are away is just as important as providing them with exercise.

7) Self-Fetching Toys: These days technology is making not just our lives better, but our dog’s lives too! With new toys like the iFetch, your dog can play fetch all by themselves which will keep them busy for hours! Most importantly, your pet will be getting exercise even while you are away!

If you are ever unsure about the amount of time you leave your pet at home, I highly recommend having a conversation with your veterinarian.


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Positively Expert: Rachel Sheppard

Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.


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  • Rousha Gauthier

    I have 3 fur babies. Sam was 4 in February. Fancy was 4 this past July. And Shurlok is a product of the two, almost 7 months. Sam is a Shih Tzu I got at the age of 5 weeks. He's spoiled, as he should be, and used to be very well behaved. Fancy is a "meth-house rescue" Pekingnese that I rescued from a horrible situation almost 2 years and to this day is still pretty skittish, and has seizures because of the drugs she was subjected to and has some of the worst separation anxiety I've ever seen in a dog. Shurlok is almost 7 months old, a peketzu. We are still trying to get the potty training thing down which seems to not be working. This is where Sam's behavior has gone awry. We rehomed the other litter mates and kept Shurlok, and now Sam completely ignores, gets "sassy", when told no, etc. I understand that some behavior problems would come about, but he is beginning to use the bathroom in the house, which he's NEVER done, because Shurlok is still being worked with. It's frustrating, to say the least. Instead of just cleaning after Shurlok, I'm now cleaning after Sam as well, and my house seriously smells like a kennel. I try increasing their potty walks, because Sam refuses to go potty in his own yard. It still doesn't seem to be helping. Any suggestions? And suggestions on getting Shurlok potty trained would be greatly appreciated also.

  • Michael White

    On entertaining your dog while you are gone.... Wait for it.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrToSDLbWTs

  • Michael White

    Ok, the set up is different. This link showed how one person entertained their dog while they were gone. I may try this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrToSDLbWTs If this link doesn't work, go to youtube and look up the video: How to Entertain your Dog #1

  • Ashley Valkyrie

    I'm disappointed that a product that includes a laser pointer for "entertainment" was included at the top of the list. Laser pointer games can be very frustrating for dogs and cause obsessive compulsive behaviors.

  • Rachel Sheppard

    In all honesty, this seems like it might frustrate a dog a little bit. My main concern about this alternative would be if the dog ate or swallowed the string or balloon. However, thank you for sharing.

  • Rachel Sheppard

    Hi Ashley, thank you for sharing. Not all entertainment options are a perfect solution for pets. Each pet parent should take their individual pet's needs and personality into account when looking into solutions. Also, if there are any doubts or further questions, it always a good idea to discuss with a veterinarian.

  • Rachel Sheppard

    Hello Rousha, thank you for your comment. Here are some articles that you might find helpful. The key in my opinion is always positive reinforcement. https://positively.com/dog-behavior/puppy-knowledge/puppy-housetraining/ https://positively.com/dog-behavior/nuisance-behaviors/potty-problems/adult-dog-housetraining/

  • Pam Vogt

    I use several of these tricks to keep my two dogs entertained while I'm working. I try to mix it up so they never know what's in store. One of the things I do is hide treats and/or dog food in their toy basket. It gives them something to hunt for and sometimes they discover a toy they forgot about! The food I hide is part of their regular diet to keep them trim.

  • Jenny H

    This of course applies to dogs left alone and inside a house. If you have a (safe, fenced roomy) yard with grass, trees and places to investigate, then you don't need any of these things, And even less so if you have more than one dog.
    I always feel very, very sorry for 'house dogs' 🙁

  • Carriana Goins

    She wimpers when she is alone and i wake up erly to entertain her while my parents are at work i get tired and i need a way for her to be happy without me being tied

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