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How to Keep Your Dog Entertained While You Work

06 January 2022

In many ways, having a pet dog is not too dissimilar from having a child. They need a great deal of attention, care, and entertainment to keep them healthy. However, all the attention they need doesn’t mean that we ourselves are always free to stay at home with them! And unlike a child, who we can put safely in the hands of a creche or school, most dogs will stay at home while we go off to work outside the house.

And while dogs are highly resourceful and can be left up to their own devices, many dog owners stress about the boredom their dog may face throughout the working day. Here are some fun and simple tips to keep your dog entertained while you’re out of the house!

 1. Leave behind some treats

As anyone with a dog will know, they absolutely love food. No matter the breed or personality, food is pretty much guaranteed to be the number one way to motivate and stimulate your dog’s attention. By leaving behind some treats for them to eat throughout the day, you can keep their mind active and engaged while also ensuring that they remain well-fed and satisfied.

Even better, is to keep them mentally engaged with the treats you leave behind. Try leaving them somewhere that requires the dog to complete a task before they can get access to the treats, or if you have time, try creating a treasure hunt! Before leaving to work, leave behind a trail of treats throughout the house or garden, so your pooch has a nice mystery to put his nose to work on. You might not have time to set up a canine treasure hunt every single day before work, but turning it into a weekly habit can serve as a fun activity for both you and your four-legged companion.

 2. Access to the outdoors

As house trained as some of them might be, it’s important to remember at the end of the day your dog is still an animal and it’s going to need access to the outdoors. While there are many dogs who have adjusted to home life, perhaps in an urban setting or an apartment, and are not so accustomed to large amounts of time outside, access to the outdoor world is still a must.

Outdoor dogs benefit greatly from having access to an outdoor space such as a garden or yard, so if your living situation allows for it, consider getting a doggie door that will allow your pup to explore the garden at his own leisure.

For dogs who are without physical access to the outdoors during the day, make sure to leave them with some sort of access to the world outside of the home. Leave some curtains open, and make sure the dog has somewhere from which they can access a view of the outside. Being able to watch the outside world pass by, even if they cannot og outside, is a great source of mental stimulation for dogs, that keeps their minds active and occupied even while you’re away.

3. Get in touch with the neighbours

Just because your work may take you outside of the house, doesn’t mean the same applies to everyone! So many people are currently enjoying the perks of working from a home office, that it’s highly likely one of your fellow dog-owning neighbours will be home throughout the day.

Lots of communities are setting up groups in which they can check in on each other’s dogs throughout the day, or take their neighbours dogs to walk while they work. This is a great way to build a sense of community and cut down on the costs of dog-sitters and dog walkers. If no such group exists in your local community, try reaching out to your neighbours, or even hanging up a sign with your phone number at the local newsagent’s!

 4. Keep a rotation of different toys

Even if they have an all-time favourite, most dogs will also have a selection of toys for them to test out and play with. Introducing novelty into a dog’s toys is a great way to keep a consistent level of mental stimulation over a long period of time. If your dog seems particularly bored, try investing in new and entertaining toys, and rotate them into the dog’s schedule. Before you go to work, leave a different selection of toys out for your furry friend to sink their teeth into, so they don’t begin to feel bored and fatigued by the same old routine day in, day out.

As a dog owner, it helps to get creative when it comes to keeping your companion entertained. Each dog is different, so it’s important to observe your own and learn what it is they need from their own behaviours. Some dogs will be more easily satisfied than others, and in those cases it may be necessary to invest in a dog-sitter or doggy-daycare. No matter what, the best way to end the working day is to come home to a happy and fulfilled dog, and make sure you let them know that you missed them!