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    How to keep your dog entertained while at work

    By Caroline Wilkinson,

    20 days ago

    If you want to learn how to keep your dog entertained while you're at work, you've come to the right place. Whilst we'd love to spend 100% of our time with our dog, that's not always possible.

    Keeping your dog entertained is not only good for your dog, but also for your peace of mind as a pet parent. However, it’s important to note that the ideal state for your dog during your absence is to be relaxed - resting or asleep - as this shows that they are not stressed or bored. We also need to be make sure that we’re not relying on our dog feeling comfortable solo for extended periods of time.

    As a certified canine behaviorist, I feel that being able to remotely watch your dog can be useful to ensure that they’re feeling confident and relaxed when you’re not there. I ask all my clients to film their dogs during periods of absence - so it’s worth investing in one of the best pet camera models to watch your dog when you’re out at work.

    If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to keep your dog entertained while at work, read on!

    How to keep your dog entertained while at work

    First off, it’s important to note that many dogs enjoy routine. Being able to predict what’s happening each day can give them a sense of security. Ensuring that all their physical needs have been met - a calm walk, time to toilet, being fed - is important before they’re left alone.

    Giving them a mental workout can also allow them to better relax when you’re not there - a few minutes of training or some scent work is ideal.

    But when you leave them alone, you might be wondering do dogs get bored - and what can you do about that?

    Interactive toys

    Puzzle feeders, lickimats, or the best snuffle mats for dogs can keep them mentally stimulated and help tire them out before they settle down. Ensure that your dog has had their usual meal before providing food-filled toys, so that they’re not frustrated if the food isn’t coming quickly enough.

    Make sure that any food toys are safe for them to be left with - although usually, most fillable food toys are more safe than a long-lasting chew would be in terms of choking risk.

    Rotate toys

    Whether it’s their interactive toys, favorite balls or tuggy toys, rotating them each day can keep them interested and engaged in solo playtime.

    Scent work

    You can provide a sensory experience for your dog to explore, allowing them to create some feel-good hormones to help them relax and settle down for a snooze. Utilizing scent can be as simple as leaving a piece of your clothing in their bed to provide comfort, to hiding treats in safe places around your home for them to sniff out.

    Build up alone time slowly

    Training your dog to be comfortable alone is vital. Gradually increasing the time they spend alone can help them adjust to your absence without stress. If your dog is particularly anxious, consulting an ethical dog behaviorist will be useful to help your dog feel more confident when you’re not there.

    (Image credit: Getty Images/S Turner )

    Choice of sleeping spots

    As dogs are polyphasic sleepers - meaning they enjoy their rest during multiple sessions throughout the day - they often move around to sleep in different areas. Giving a choice of sleeping spots - be that different heights or textures of beds, the sofa, or various areas of your home - can allow them to be more comfortable when they settle down to rest. You might have a dog who likes to follow the sunspots around your home or likes to be close to the radiator during winter, so set up sleep zones to suit their needs.

    Music or white noise

    Playing calming music or white noise can create a peaceful environment that encourages relaxation and sleep. There are even some specific playlists designed for dogs - including ones where people read stories for your dog.

    Professional pet care

    Hiring a pet professional to visit your dog or take them out on either a solo or group dog walk can add a welcome bit of companionship to your dog’s day. It also allows them a chance to toilet and get some more mental or physical stimulation during your absence.

    Some pet parents prefer to use a doggy daycare environment to ensure their dog is never left alone, but this can be quite a lot of stimulation for some dogs - especially young puppies, who need a lot of sleep, or anxious dogs.

    Ultimately, a well-exercised, mentally stimulated dog with a comfortable, calm environment will be more likely to rest and sleep while you're at work, ensuring their happiness and health.

    Google G3AL9 Nest Cam (Outdoor / Indoor, Battery) Security Camera

    This camera allows you to monitor your home and the safety of your dog while you’re away. Being battery powered, you can place it in any space around your home to ensure your dog's emotional wellbeing is in check. And it has the bonus of being able to review footage of your dog once you get home if you’re unable to while out. View Deal

    Should I leave the TV on for my dog when I go to work?

    Some pet parents report that their dogs find comfort in the TV being left on when they’re on their own. However, in my behavior work, I find that for dogs who need some sort of auditory stimulation, a constant playlist or white noise can be more effective.

    Playing continuous music or white noise creates a constant buffer between the quiet of your home and any external noises. They are also consistent in sound - there’s no silences, no laughter, no change in pace of music, and, most importantly, no ad breaks!

    TV shows and advert breaks often feature sound effects of door bells, dogs barking, or even loud bangs. These can be enough to set your dog off barking - so constant sound is definitely a winner over TV.

    (Image credit: Getty Images/scorpp )

    Do dogs prefer silence or music?

    There have been various studies conducted around the effect of music on dogs - findings have ranged from it creating more optimism in dogs, helping them to sleep for longer periods, or encouraging a calmer mood state. Findings have also favored classical music, soft rock, or reggae! So, it can be a fun trial to see which genre of music your dog prefers!

    If your dog is responsive to noises outside of your home and finds it hard to settle when they hear external sounds, then playing a continuous playlist or using white noise can be beneficial in encouraging them to get better rest.

    If your dog prefers to be left alone within a crate, check out our best dog crates guide to find the best one for them. Got a more anxious dog? We’ve put together a list of the best calming treats for dogs .

    MidWest Homes for Pets Ultima Pro Series LongDog Crate

    If your dog loves to relax in a crate, this is worth investing in. It’s durable and offers two options of door access. It folds flat for storage and is strong enough to be used during travel. View Deal

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