Having to leave your pet home all day while you’re at work is painful for both of you! As pet owners, we want our pets to be happy, and we also want to prevent them from becoming depressed, anxious or afraid while we’re gone or possibly being destructive while we’re at work. Keeping your pets entertained while at work isn’t difficult, if you follow these tips!
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How to Keep a Dog Entertained While at Work
Follow these 6 tips for keeping your dog entertained while you’re at work:
1. Provide (good!) toys. Dogs need mental stimulation and exercise, and toys are a great way to keep dogs entertained. You’ll want to have a variety of dog toys so they don’t get bored. You can find dog toys here and interactive dog toys here. If your dog is being destructive while you’re at work, a chew toy would help. You can find a nice variety here. You might also consider kong toys. These are toys you put treats inside of so the dog will chase the toy around trying to get the treats out! You find find kong toys here.
2. Let them watch tv. Years ago I had a miniature Dachshund named Maggie. My dad would make fun of me because I always left a radio on for her when I went to work. But it’s useful, not only to calm the dog (play soothing or classical music), but also to prevent the dog from hearing every sound outside such as kids playing, car doors slamming, etc. I think it’s a good idea.
You can also leave the TV on for your dog. You can actually sign up for a streaming service called Dog TV, or you can stream hours-long dog videos on YouTube. The sounds and sight of other animals on these videos will stimulate your dog and help keep him entertained. But make sure to either not do it every day, or else change it up a bit so your dog doesn’t get bored!
3. Let them look out a window. Dogs are usually quite content to sit and look out a window for hours at a time. It keeps them distracted, and if there’s activity outside, it will also keep them entertained. This is a good idea, as long as it doesn’t overexcite the dog or start them barking. If you’re having a problem with your dog barking while you’re at work, here’s a free tutorial to stop dog barking.
4. Make sure they get enough exercise. They say a tired dog is a good dog. If you’re able to take your dog for a walk before you leave for work, that’s ideal. They’ll be more content to be at home alone if they’ve had some exercise and outdoor time. If this isn’t possible, just make sure your dog is getting enough exercise overall by playing with them regularly and taking them for walks. A dog who hasn’t burned off energy is a dog much more likely to destroy your couch while you’re at work!
5. Give them play dates! You could take your dog to a dog park regularly or set up play dates with your neighbors, family or friends who also have a dog. If your dog will play with other dogs, this is a great way to keep them fit, mentally stimulated and happy! Making sure your dog doesn’t have pent-up energy is important to keep them well-behaved at any time, especially when they’re home alone.
6. Hire a dog walker or pet sitter. This doesnt have to be a paid service, but it can be, of course. If you’d love it if you had someone checking in on or walking your dog every day while you’re at work, read my article called, How to Find a Good Dog Sitter (includes video).
If It’s Serious
If you feel your dog is having a real problem being at home while you’re at work, consider talking with your veterinarian for advice. You might also consider treatments for dog separation anxiety. You can get more information about dog separation anxiety by reading my article, Treating Dog Separation Anxiety – Help Your Dog to Stay Home Alone (includes video). I can also recommend a simple, inexpensive dog training program called, The Dog Calming Code, which is super effective for dog separation anxiety. And also a free tutorial from Professional Dog Trainer, Doggy Dan called, Separation Anxiety in Dogs – Why it Has Nothing to Do with Boredom.
How to Keep a Cat Entertained While at Work
Follow these 7 tips to keep your cat entertained while you’re at work:
1. Provide Food Toys or Food Puzzles. Food toys and puzzles are a great way to keep your cat entertained. Trying to get treats out of a toy or puzzle provides exercise and mental stimulation. Just make sure you aren’t giving too many treats with this method. You can find some great food toys and puzzles for cats here.
2. Provide a cat tree. That’s my boy, Whiskers in the pic sitting at the top of his cat tree. We bought this on Amazon and I’m telling you – it was the best day of his life! He spends an enormous amount of time in the cat tree, which is placed in front of my sliding glass doors. He’ll sit there for hours watching birds and squirrels, or just napping. It’s the best purchase you can make for your cat! You can find a large assortment of cat trees here.
3. Provide a scratching post. Whiskers loves his scratching post (thank God!) Not only will a scratching post keep your cat from destroying your furniture, but it also helps them relieve pent-up energy. You can purchase a variety of scratching posts here. If you need help getting your cat to use a scratching post, read my article, How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Furniture (includes video).
4. Let them look out a window. That’s Whiskers in my bedroom window. We currently live in an apartment complex, so there’s lot of activity outside. There’s a large shrub just outside our apartment, and also a tree. He loves watching birds, squirrels and the neighbors all day! If you don’t have a window ledge like mine, you can install a window perch for your cat. You can get these here.
If there’s not much to see outside your windows, you could put a bird feeder within their view! You can find some inexpensive bird feeders here.
5. Provide music or TV. There are studies that show that soothing music can affect a cat’s behavior. You can put a radio on during the day with classical music playing, or use YouTube cat music videos. You can also use YouTube cat tv videos to keep your cat entertained while you’re at work. Seriously…if you haven’t seen these, check them out. Whiskers loves these!
6. Get a Secured or Fake Fish Tank. A fish tank is a great way to keep your cat entertained. If it’s a real fish thank, then obviously you have to make sure it’s secure so the cat can’t reach into it and hurt (or eat!) the fish. And you don’t want them splashing in it making a mess either. You can get some cat proof fish tanks here. Another idea is to get a fake fish tank. These are fantastic (and calming for you as well!) You can find these here.
7. Find a trusted pet sitter. This doesn’t have to be a paid service. If you’d love to have someone coming over while you’re at work to spend time with your cat, read my article, How to Find a Good Cat Sitter (includes video).
Also, remember your cat needs exercise, mental stimulation, fun, and time with you every day. Here’s a great video from cat expert, Jackson Galaxy on the best way to play with your cat.
More Ideas for Cats
For more tips on keeping your cat entertained while at work, check out my article (includes video), How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy – 10 Things They’ll Love! You might also like to read my article, Leaving Your Cat Home Alone – Tips for Safety and Comfort (includes video).
Please Share Your Ideas!
If you have ideas on how to keep pets entertained while at work, please feel free to share them in the comment section below. Let’s share our ideas and help each other be the best pet owners we can be!
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