Unless you work from home or work at a very pet-friendly office, chances are your dog is going to be stuck at home for a majority of the day. This can be heart-breaking for many dog parents: having to close the door as your pet sadly watches you leave, knowing that they’re going to be stuck inside alone for hours until you get home.
Since our dogs are some of our best friends, it doesn’t seem fair that they have to be cooped up inside bored all day. But is it possible to learn how to make your dog happy even when you’re miles away at the office, busy at work?
The answer to that is a resounding yes. There are some simple and easy ways that you can make your dog happy even if you’re away all day at work.
Check out these 10 easy ways you can make your dog’s day better and happier than if they’re just left alone all day.
1. Switch Up Their Toys
We have the tendency to spoil our dogs: bones, squeaky toys, rope pulls, and more tennis balls than you can count.
Giving them all their toys at once means they might get overwhelmed with all the options, or they’ll get bored of them pretty quickly. Try taking almost all the toys except a few away from your dog each day.
Then every day, you can switch out the toys they have available to them. To your dog, it will be like getting a brand new toy every day, which is bound to make them excited and happy.
Having a “new” set of toys every day will also keep your beloved pet entertained throughout the hours that they’re alone at home.
2. Provide Snacks
It’s no secret that most dogs live to eat. Whether they’re eating their food, treats, your food off the counter, or the stuffing inside their favorite toy, dogs love it all.
This is especially true when dogs are bored. How many times have you come home to find the garbage strewn everywhere, or a roll of toilet paper mysteriously missing? We can understand this urge to eat when bored: people do this all the time.
Keep your pet full and happy by leaving snacks for them for throughout the day. You could opt for an Unhumid automatic feeder, which is especially useful for days you’re running late and want to give them their dinner.
To make it a little more entertaining for your dog, try filling a kong with peanut butter or pieces of kibble. This will keep your dog occupied, happy, and fed all at once.
3. Hire a Dog Walker
Dogs need exercise. Dogs can become depressed if they don’t get enough exercise, which is one of the saddest things we’ve ever heard.
If your dog can’t get outside and run around during the day, it’s a good idea to hire a dog walker to come in and take your dog for a walk. Your dog will get to get out in the sunshine, interact with a person, and get some much-needed exercise.
Depending on the activity your dog requires, you can have a walker come every day or once a week. If you have an active, worker breed, they might need a longer or more rigorous walk to satisfy their needs.
But even if your dog doesn’t love going for walks, it’s a good idea to get them moving outside. There’s no need to make your tiny chihuahua go on a 5-mile walk every day, but it can’t hurt to get them out for a 15-minute walk once in a while.
4. Take Them to Doggy Daycare
Doggy daycare is another option for giving your dog some happy and fun times while you’re at work. If you can’t afford this every day, even one time per week would provide your dog with fun and excitement to break up the time alone at home.
This is an especially great option for pets that love interacting with other dogs. Your dog can make some other puppy friends, run around, and have much more fun than just sleeping alone at home.
This is also a great way to break up the monotony that your dog experiences day to day. They’re stuck in the same house with the same toys and same surroundings every day: no wonder they get sad after a while. Getting out of the house and being around new people and pets will spice up their lives.
5. Get Them a Luxurious Dog Bed
That being said, dogs do sleep a lot. On average, dogs sleep anywhere between 12 and 18 hours every day.
Chances are a good part of the time they’re alone at home is spent sleeping. So why not make sure that they’re getting the best sleep possible?
Get them a comfortable and proper sized bed to make your dog happy during their daily naps. Go for luxury if you really want to pamper your pup.
6. Leave the TV On
Without people in the house, your dog is alone with only the noises they make to keep them company. This, as you can imagine, is lonely and sad for anyone, even for dogs.
A way to remedy this is to leave the television on. Many dog owners opt for Animal Planet; hearing the sounds of other animals (often dogs) will help stimulate your dog and give them some entertainment in the hours they’re alone.
7. Keep Them Calm
Not only can being alone for hours make your dog unhappy, but it can also give them anxiety.
Many dogs have separation anxiety when they’re alone or away from their owners. This can cause them to look for ways to get their anxiety out, which often means destroying the sofa, chewing your favorite shoes, or ripping up a bunch of paper towels.
Provide enough activities for your dog so they’ll be able to channel any anxious energy into their toys instead of on your belongings. If your dog has severe anxiety, you can speak to your vet about anxiety medication that will make them feel calmer and happier during the day.
8. Stimulate Their Brain With Puzzle Toys
Boredom is one of the worst parts of leaving your pet alone all day. If you only had a few toys and were confined to the same place day after day, you would get bored too.
Try giving your dog puzzle toys. These types of toys usually involve treats or food, but your dog must solve a puzzle or use the toy a certain way in order to get the food.
This will not only keep them occupied for hours at a time, but it will also stimulate their brain so they won’t be bored with the toy after a while. Treats as a reward don’t hurt, either!
9. Make Sure They Have Water (Iced if You’re Feeling Fancy!)
We’ve mentioned keeping food and treats around for your dog during the day, but you should also make sure that they have plenty of water. Dogs need a lot of water each day; if they run out throughout the day they could become dehydrated, which can lead to severe health complications.
Not only that, but a hungry and thirsty dog is an unhappy dog. One option is to get a “fountain” water bowl that provides a constant supply of water to your dog.
You can also try leaving ice cubes or large chunks of ice for your dog. This will provide them with the water they need, but also an activity as well.
Similar to chewing a bone, your dog will chew and lick the ice cube for entertainment. you can even freeze some of their toys or treats into the ice block to make it even more of a toy for them.
10. Get Another Dog!
The more the merrier, right? If you can’t afford or don’t have access to doggy daycare or dog playdates, getting a second dog would provide an instant best friend for your dog to play with.
Getting another dog will provide entertainment to your pet: they can play together, take naps together, play with toys together, etc. Dogs form bonds with each other: having more than one dog will provide entertainment, love, and comfort for the hours that you’re away at work.
Playing with other dogs will also give your dog more exercise than they’d get on their own. They can run around the house, play fight, play tug-of-war, etc. Alone, your dog wouldn’t get to do any of these activities.
Another dog will make your dog happy and give them a companion for when their human companion is gone during the day.
How to Make Your Dog Happy: Wrapping Up
Dogs are man’s best friend. Leaving them alone all day with nothing to do isn’t how you should treat your best friend. Hopefully this article helped teach you how to make your dog happy even when you’re busy at work every day.
Ever wonder how you can keep yourself happy and entertained once you’re out of the office? Check out our blog for some ideas.