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Are Your Dogs Home Alone During the Day? Here Are 5 Boredom Busters!

From treat puzzles to audio chats, these activities will engage your pups during the workday.

Heather Marcoux  |  Jul 15th 2015


We would love to be with our dogs 24/7, but unfortunately most of us must go to work. And while we’re out climbing the corporate ladder, they’re at home climbing the walls. To keep your pups happy during the workday, try these five boredom busters.

1. Challenge your dog’s brain with puzzles

My dog Ghostbuster loves his puzzle ball so much he brings it outside. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

My dog Ghostbuster loves his puzzle ball so much he brings it outside. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

More challenging than a chew toy stuffed with treats, dog puzzles keep your pooch engaged in a productive activity while you’re away. Puzzles can be filled with kibble or dry treats, and the dog has to work pretty hard to get the morsels out. There are plenty of puzzles on the market in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and textures, so you’re bound to find one your pup likes. Be sure to have supervised puzzle play before leaving — that way, you can help him learn how it works.

2. Check in and chat with a pet-monitoring system

Zeus knows his human isn’t far thanks to Piper. (Photo via GetPiper.com)

Zeus knows his human isn’t far thanks to Piper. (Photo via GetPiper.com)

Wish you could chat with your dog during the workday? Thanks to gadgets such as PetcubePiper, and Motorola’s Scout, you can spend coffee breaks doing exactly that. They use an HD camera and a two-way audio system to let you see, hear, and talk directly to your dog. You can even practice long-distance commands and alleviate any workday boredom either of you are feeling. With such tech, you can finally find out what your pup does all day while simultaneously keeping her from missing you too much.

3. Make time for midday walks with your dog

Ghostbuster has a big stretch before his lunchtime walk with Marshy. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

Ghostbuster has a big stretch before his lunchtime walk with Marshy. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

If you’re one of the lucky few whose commute takes up only a fraction of your lunch break, then you can probably make it home for a quick walk around the block with your pup. It may not seem like much, but even a quick 10-minute stroll over the noon hour can really help with a dog’s boredom (and bladder). Coming home in the middle of the day teaches your dog that you haven’t forgotten about him, and it breaks up the day for both you and your furry friend.

4. Hire some help

Dogs on leashes by Shutterstock.

Be sure to ask for private walks for your pups. (Dogs on leashes by Shutterstock)

If your commute is too long or your workday just doesn’t allow for an off-site lunch break, hiring a dog walker can be a great solution. Plenty of dog walkers list their services online, but if you’d rather hire someone based on a personal recommendation, your dog trainer, groomer, and veterinarian are all likely to know an experienced pro who offers this service.

5. Become a morning person

An early morning walk means Ghostbuster has sweet dreams while his people are at work. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

An early morning walk means Ghostbuster has sweet dreams while his people are at work. (Photo by Heather Marcoux)

It can be so tempting to hit snooze on a weekday morning and buy yourself five more minutes in bed, but if that five minutes is coming out of your dog’s walking time, it’s coming at too high of a cost. Exercising your pup in the morning can really help stave off doggie boredom later in the day — your pooch will be tired out and ready for a nice long nap by the time you’re heading out the door for work. As an added bonus, you’ll arrive at the office with a clear head and extra energy (and you’ll probably need one less cup of coffee than usual).

What strategies do you use to keep your dog happy while you work? Tell us in the comments!

Read more by Heather Marcoux:

About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.