Has your dog destroyed anything in your house? If he has, it’s probably because he’s bored. Dogs need to be mentally stimulated; otherwise, they will find their own ways to occupy themselves, which often leads to unwanted and destructive behaviors. Here are some ways to keep your dog entertained while you’re away.

Install a Doggy Door

If you have a fenced-in yard that your dog is used to going in, let him go out whenever he wants by installing a doggy door. This is sure to keep your pooch occupied while you’re at work. The outdoors has plenty of sounds and odors your dog is going to want to investigate. As long as he hasn’t shown any undesirable behaviors such as digging, allow him to scope out the backyard.

Get a Pool

Most dogs are natural swimmers. Some need an introduction to a swimming pool to understand just how fun a pool can be. Because some dogs are intimidated by new things, a step-by-step process is often the best way to address this. Purchase a kiddie pool and show it to your dog without water in it. Toss some toys or treats inside to encourage him to go in. Once he is comfortable with this, add water. Although this process may take time and effort, eventually, your dog is going to love playing in his pool. 

If he enjoys frolicking in a little pool, maybe he would be crazy about swimming in a larger one. Ask yourself, “Should I check out pool builders near me?” You might really enjoy swimming with your dog on a larger scale. Swimming is a great way to tire out your pooch before you have to leave the house. If he is tired, he’ll sleep rather than misbehave.

It’s important to note that you should never let your dog near a swimming pool alone. Block off the entrance to a large pool or empty a kiddie pool. Your dog has a chance of drowning, even in shallow water.

Hide Treats

Before you have to leave for work, hide some of your pooch’s favorite treats around the house. This is going to keep him occupied for hours. Choose different spots to hide them so the game doesn’t get dull. However, be mindful about where you place the treats so your dog isn’t getting into something he shouldn’t. 

Use a Dog Puzzle Game

This is another way to hide treats. With puzzles, however, your dog needs to think about how to get the treats out. These games help to develop your dog’s problem-solving skills. Some puzzles require your dog to shake and toss the toy around to get the treats to fall out. Others have moving parts that your pooch must remove or flip open to uncover a treat.   

Turn on the Television

If your dog gets lonely when you’re away, try turning on the television. It can actually ease separation anxiety. The best part is that there is an actual channel that was created for dogs. If this doesn’t work or you’re looking for an alternative, try anything that is based around nature.   

Create a Window Seat

Dogs love to know what’s going on outside. If they hear something and can’t see what it is, they often bark until the sound subsides. Clear a spot by a window so your dog can look out. Rather than making him run over and stand up to see out the window, put a chair or elevated stool nearby so he can sit and watch. Consider adding a bed or cover so he can lie down comfortably while awaiting your return. 

Dogs need something to occupy them, especially when you’re not home. Luckily, there are various ways to keep your pooch mentally and physically active. If you let him find his own form of entertainment, you’re likely going to be sorry. His idea of fun might be to rip your carpet or couch cushions apart. Avoid these negative behaviors by actively choosing what his next form of entertainment is going to be.


About the Author: Kevin Gardner works as a business consultant and unwinds by getting out of the office to spend time with his dogs, Stuart and Pepper. He enjoys writing about the things he’s learned as a pupper parent and loves to share his insights to help others.