How to keep dogs entertained while at work

2 dogs watching tv

For countless pet owners, the question of how to keep dogs entertained while at work is a constant concern. Leaving our furry friends alone for extended periods can be a stressful experience for both the pet and the owner. However, with a bit of creativity and planning, you can ensure that your dog remains happy, engaged, and well-behaved even when you're not around.

Understanding the need for entertainment

Dogs are inherently social creatures, and they thrive on interaction and stimulation. When left alone without any form of entertainment, they often resort to destructive behaviours out of boredom or anxiety. These behaviours can range from incessant barking and whining to chewing on furniture or even trying to escape.

Boredom in dogs isn't just an inconvenience. It can lead to serious issues like depression, obesity, and destructive behaviour, which can harm both your pet and your home. So, it's vital to keep them occupied during your absence.

Recognising signs of separation anxiety

Before exploring ways to entertain your dog while you're at work, it's important to understand the signs of separation anxiety. This condition can manifest in various forms, including:

  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Destructive chewing or digging
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Excessive grooming
  • Attempts to escape
  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Refusal to eat
  • Panting or drooling

If you notice any of these signs, it's important to address the root cause of the anxiety before introducing new forms of entertainment. You may need to work with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist to help your pet feel more comfortable being alone.

Can you have a dog working a 9 - 5?

Thinking about having a canine companion to accompany you in your 9 to 5 grind? The idea of "Can you have a dog working a 9 - 5?" may sound unconventional, but it's not impossible. While our furry companion may not be able to churn out spreadsheets or attend boardroom meetings, they can certainly bring a unique dynamic to the workplace environment.

Dogs are known for their therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress and increasing productivity, which can greatly enhance the overall morale in the office setting. Some companies even have "bring your dog to work" days or pet-friendly policies to boost employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

However, it's important to remember that having a dog in the workplace requires careful planning and consideration for things like allergies, phobias, and the overall temperament of your dog. It also necessitates that you provide adequate breaks for walks and playtime.

Can a dog be left alone for 8 hours?

While it's not ideal, the reality is that many adult dogs can handle being alone for about eight hours. Learn more about which dog breeds are best suited to being alone if you happen to work all day on a blog elsewhere on our site.

Puppies, on the other hand, need more frequent attention and should not be left alone for this long. However, just because some dogs can handle this duration doesn't mean they should be regularly subjected to it.

Dogs are social creatures and prolonged periods of isolation can lead to stress, anxiety, and destructive behaviour. In such situations, doggy daycare or hiring a pet sitter could be beneficial alternatives to ensure your furry friend isn't feeling neglected.

Implementing strategies to ease separation anxiety

Before you head out for the day, there are several strategies you can implement to help reduce separation anxiety in your dog:

Gradual departures

Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration. This approach helps reassure your dog that you will return, thereby reducing their anxiety.

Quick goodbyes

Long goodbyes can increase your dog's anxiety. Instead, make your departures and arrivals low-key to normalise the process.

Crate training

If your dog views their crate as a safe space, it can provide comfort when you're not home. However, it's crucial to ensure that the crate is associated with positive experiences and is never used as a form of punishment.

Morning exercise

A good workout can help tire your dog out and keep them calm during your absence. Consider a brisk walk or a play session in the garden before leaving for work.

Providing a window view

If your dog enjoys watching the world go by, giving them a window view can provide hours of entertainment. However, if they are prone to barking at passersby, you might want to skip this tip.

Creative methods for keeping your dog entertained

dog biting on a dog chew

Now that we've covered the basics let's explore some creative ways to keep your dog entertained while you're at work.

Use dental chews and long-lasting treats

Dental chews and long-lasting treats can keep your dog occupied for hours. Not only do they provide entertainment, but they also contribute to dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup.

Interactive toys

Interactive toys can stimulate your dog's mind and keep your dog busy. These interactive dog toys often involve puzzles that your dog needs to solve in order to get a treat, providing both physical and mental stimulation.

Puzzle toys

A puzzle toy is a fantastic way to challenge your dog's problem-solving skills. These dog's toys are designed to hold treats, which your dog can only access by manipulating the toy in the correct way.

Frozen treats

Freezing dog treats or wet dog food in an ice cube tray can create a delicious and time-consuming snack for your dog. As the ice melts, your dog will be able to enjoy the treat, keeping them entertained for a while.

Hide treats

Create a fun scavenger hunt for your dog by hiding a few dog treats or their favourite chew toys around the house. This will keep your dog busy as they use their sense of smell to find the hidden goodies.

DIY treat dispensers

An empty water bottle can be turned into a homemade treat dispenser. Simply remove the cap, fill the bottle with treats, and watch as your dog has fun trying to get the treats out.

Television and music

Believe it or not, TV and music can be great distractions for dogs. Consider leaving the TV on an animal-themed channel or play some calming classical music.

Use a pet camera

Investing in a dog camera allows you to monitor and interact with your dog while you're away. Some pet cameras even come with a treat dispenser or laser pointer for added fun.

Hire a dog walker

Hiring a reliable dog walker to visit during the day ensures that your dog gets physical exercise and human interaction. A dog walker can be a great solution, especially for high-energy breeds that require a lot of exercises.

Doggy daycare

If your dog enjoys socialising with other dogs, consider doggy daycare. This can provide your dog with a fun-filled day of play and interaction.

Adopt a second dog

If it fits within your lifestyle and budget, consider adopting a second dog. Having another dog in the house can provide companionship and playtime, reducing feelings of loneliness.

Create a snuffle mat

A snuffle mat is a great DIY project that can keep your dog entertained for hours. A lick mat is filled with hiding spots for treats, which your dog will enjoy sniffing out.

Ensuring your dog's safety

While it's important to keep your dog entertained, it's equally crucial to ensure their safety. Always supervise your dog with a new toy or treat to ensure it's safe for them.

Moreover, consider getting a dog insurance quote for added peace of mind. A good insurance plan can cover unexpected vet costs if your dog gets injured while you're not around.


dogs at doggy daycare

Leaving your dog home alone while you're at work doesn't have to be stressful for either of you. By using a combination of the strategies mentioned above, you can ensure your dog stays entertained and content while you're away.

Remember, a happy dog is a well-behaved dog. With a little planning and creativity, you can keep your dog entertained and look forward to a peaceful and destruction-free home when you return from work.

In case you are interested in getting a dog insurance quote for your furry friend, you can get a quote through our website. If you would like to talk to one of our pet insurance team, you can get in touch with us on 0330 102 5748.

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  • 98% claims paid *
  • Claims paid directly to vets
  • 24/7 vet video consultations
  • Interest free monthly payments