10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained While You’re Away

Boredom can lead a dog to become destructive, biting furniture or barking incessantly instead of playing or staying calm. To keep your pup happy and occupied during your absence, here are ten proven ways to entertain your dog while you're away.

1. Tire Them Out Before You Leave

Morning Walk or Playtime: Start your day with a good walk or energetic playtime session. This will help burn off some of your dog's energy and leave them feeling calmer throughout the day.

Interactive Fetch: Instead of throwing the ball endlessly, make fetch more mentally stimulating. Play fetch with a puzzle ball that dispenses treats, or hide the ball for them to find.

2. Engage Their Senses with Food Puzzles and Games

Stuffed Kong: This classic toy is a lifesaver for many dog owners. Stuff a Kong toy with kibble, peanut butter, or other dog-safe treats and freeze it for an extra challenge. Your dog will enjoy licking the Kong to get the treats.

Snuffle Mat: Scatter treats or kibble on a snuffle mat or a fabric mat with fleece or felt strips sewn on. These mimics forage for food in the wild, keeping your dog mentally stimulated as it sniffs out its rewards.

Puzzle Feeders: Various puzzle feeders are available, from balls with hidden compartments to interactive feeders that require your dog to manipulate levers or paws to release treats. Choose one based on your dog's difficulty level.

3. Keep the Treats in Accessible Corners

Keep the small treats around the house before you leave. This will keep your dog entertained as it uses its powerful sense of smell to sniff them out. Make sure the treat-keeping places are safe and accessible for your dog. Avoid keeping the treats near electrical cords or in small spaces they might get stuck in.

4. Create a Safe Haven with a Doggy Window Perch

Cozy Crate or Den: Provide your dog with a safe and comfortable space to relax while you're gone. A crate or a designated dog bed with their favorite blanket can be their sanctuary. Make sure the crate is big enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably.

Window Perch: Dogs love people-watching and observing the world outside. If your dog is crate-trained, consider creating a window perch inside the crate so they can enjoy some entertainment while feeling secure.

5. Background Noise for Comfort

Some dogs may find silence anxiety-provoking. Leaving the TV or radio on low volume with calming music or dog-oriented shows like DogTV can provide background noise and keep them company.

6. Rotate Toys to Keep Things Interesting

Dogs can get bored with the same toys every day. Keep a selection of toys and rotate them regularly. This will keep them interested and engaged in playtime. Include a mix of chew toys, plush toys, and interactive toys.

7. Long-Lasting Chews for Relaxation

Keep your dog active during the day with organic, durable chew toys like bully sticks or Himalayan chews. Chewing is a natural relaxing activity that lets your dog spend time without you feeling occupied.

8. Consider Dog Daycare or Pet Sitting

Consider a doggie daycare or pet sitter if you're going away for a long time or your dog has separation anxiety. Dog daycare offers socialization and supervised playtime, while a pet sitter can visit your house for walks and playtime.

9. Install Pet Cameras at Home 

Installing pet cameras at your home can give you peace of mind. Pet cameras allow you to monitor your dog remotely, and two-way audio cameras let you talk to your dog and calm it down when necessary.

10. Leave a Worn Piece of Your Clothing

Dogs can find comfort in familiar smells. Leave behind a piece of clothing you've worn recently, like a t-shirt, in their crate or bed. Your scent can provide a sense of security and comfort while you're away.

Additional Considerations

While the above tips offer a great foundation for keeping your dog entertained, here are some additional factors to consider:

Customizing Dog Activities by Age and Breed 

Young, lively puppies have different demands than older dogs. Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers need more mental and physical stimulation than Pugs. Adapt activities to your dog's energy level and difficulty.

Addressing Separation Anxiety 

If your dog has separation anxiety, these techniques may not work. To treat their nervousness, visit a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for a complete training plan. Desensitization, counterconditioning, and anti-anxiety medication can assist.

Dog-Proofing Your Home 

Home dog-proofing is necessary before leaving your dog. Remove shoes and electrical wires, throw pillows that your dog may chew on, and restrict access to dangerous locations like the kitchen or bathroom.

Gradual Reintroduction 

Once home, greet your dog carefully and avoid overwhelming it with joy. Let it approach at its own speed. Before leaving, avoid protracted, emotional goodbyes that worry dogs.

Wrapping Up

So, before you leave home for a longer period, it’s great to prepare a plan for your dog's care. This will enable you to focus on your day and work by knowing your furry friend is content and entertained. It would be best to prefer a trusted veterinary marketplace to get reliable dog supplies such as grooming products and nutritional diets. 


What are some signs my dog gets bored when I'm gone? The common signs include destructive behavior, excessive barking or whining, and accidents in the house.

Is it okay to leave the TV or radio on for my dog? It's essential to consider your dog's personality. Monitor your dog's reaction constantly before leaving any electronics on for extended periods. If loud noises from the TV or radio startle your dog or make it anxious, it's best to leave it in quiet solitude. 

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