How to keep your dog entertained while you’re away

Leaving your furry friend behind when you have to go to work, run errands, or enjoy some time away can be tough. But there are plenty of ways to keep your dog happy and entertained while you're not at home, so they won't get bored or into mischief.

If you're like most pet owners, you don't look forward to leaving your furry friend behind when you have stuff to do that doesn't involve your pet. The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep your dog entertained while you're away – and here are some of our favorites.

How to keep dog entertained - Dog at home in the living room playing with his toys

Designate a special area in the house or the yard, where your dog can play.

Arrange an Activity Center

Your pet’s activity center can be a special area in the house, or simply a designated area in the yard, where your dog can play. Fill it with their favorite toys and other things they love that help them stay busy, like chew bones and puzzle toys. If you have the space, consider adding a doggie pool or sandbox to your outdoor space to help them work out any extra energy while you’re gone.

Set Up a Puppy Playdate

If you know other nearby dog owners, ask them if they'd be willing to set up a puppy playdate with both of your pups. Not only can this help your dog stay socialized and entertained while you're not around, it's also a great way for your dog to make some new friends.

Take Them to Doggy Daycare

Most cities have professional daycares that offer supervised playtime for dogs, and this can be a great way to give your dog more socialization options, especially if you don’t know anyone else with pets. Just make sure to do your research and find a daycare with a good reputation, positive reviews, and plenty of experience working with dogs.

Give Them a Good Outside View

If you have a fenced yard, consider adding some doggie doors so your dog can come and go as they please. But if your pup needs to stay indoors while you're away, set them up with a good view of the outside world (if it keeps them calm), so they can watch all the action happening outside, which may help them avoid feelings of stress or loneliness.

How to keep dog entertained - Pomeranian dog watching smartphone on the bed

Keep your pup content with online videos made for calming and occupying dogs.

Leave Some Love Behind

Record yourself reading a book or telling a story so your dog can listen to it while you're away. Or leave behind a piece of clothing that smells like you so they can snuggle with it any time they miss you. You can also hide some of their favorite toys around the house as a “scavenger hunt” that could keep them occupied for hours.

Turn on Music or the TV

Some dogs love to listen to music or watch TV, so leaving the radio or television on for them when you're gone can help. There are also hundreds of YouTube videos made specifically for calming and occupying dogs while their owners are away – and you just might find something that keeps your furry friend content throughout the day.

Set Up a Pet Camera

Want to keep an eye on your pup when you're gone? Set up a pet camera at home. A pet camera helps you check in on your dog throughout the day to make sure they're okay, plus most pet cameras come with two-way audio, so you can talk to your dog and hear them bark back! There are plenty of great options available these days, so look for one that fits both your needs and budget.

How to keep dog entertained - Welsh corgi pembroke dog walking on a leash with human in the city

Consider getting a dog sitter to entertain or take your pup for walks.

Get a Dog Sitter

If you want your dog to have someone to cuddle with while you're gone, consider getting a dog sitter. Dog sitters are typically experienced with dogs and know how to keep them entertained. They'll also be able to take them for walks and make sure they get plenty of exercise. Just be sure to interview several potential dog sitters before making a decision, and don't forget to ask for references!

Take Them for a Hike Before You Go

If you know you'll be gone for a while and want your pup good and tired before you leave, try taking them for a hike or vigorous walk. Hiking or walking with your dog is a great opportunity to bond with your pup and get some fresh air yourself – but be careful not to overdo it, as you don't want your dog to get too overheated or exhausted.

Get Your Pet a Companion

If your pet seems extra lonely when you’re away, consider getting your dog a companion. Whether you get a new puppy or adopt an older dog from a shelter, having another pet around can help keep your dog entertained and less lonely while you're away. Just be sure to introduce the two pets slowly so they can get used to each other.

Make Sure They Have Plenty of food and water

Finally, it's important to make sure your dog has everything they need in terms of food and water while you’re away. Leave out enough food and water for them to last the entire time you're gone, plus a little extra just in case. It's also a good idea to put their food and water bowls in a place where they won't be able to knock them over.

No one likes leaving their dog behind when you leave home for a few hours. But with a little advance planning, you can rest assured knowing that your pup will be entertained and well-cared for in your absence.

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