How To Keep a Dog Busy While At Work?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 10/01/20 •  8 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

“How to keep a dog busy while at work?” is an inevitable though and question if you work a 9 – 5 day job and you own a dog. Obviously, your boss doesn’t welcome the idea of you bringing your furry animal to work. Now you are faced with the challenge of keeping her busy while you’re at work, especially if she’s an active one. As much as most dogs would like to sleep away their time, this isn’t the case for active dogs.

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

It is vital that you engage your bored dog while at work in some interesting activities to keep her busy and entertained because when they are alone and bored, it could result to unpleasant scenarios as they tend to be destructive to both themselves and to your home as well. A bored dog will always want to find a way to be occupied and happy, and since she doesn’t have anything to do until you get back, she could find joy littering your home with chewed clothes and shoes or even loads of torn papers – believe me, you don’t want this to be you. We are going to highlight 10 different ways to keep your dog active while at work. Follow the tips listed below for ways to allow your dog to have an enjoyable alone time for an absolute peace of mind when you’re away.

1. Kong Hollow Toy

KONG toys are the most popular chew toys to keep dog busy while you’re away. Before going to bed, simply fill the hollow toy with her favorite dog food or peanut butter (dogs like the taste and just can’t seem to get enough). For a more time-consuming option, after filling the chew toy with peanut butter put it in the freezer and allow it freeze all through the night. Just before you leave for work the following morning, bring out the toy from the freezer and drop it for her to slowly eat her food. This will help keep her occupied for an extended period while you’re away.

2. TV

Before leaving for work in the morning, ensure you leave the TV on to occupy dog while away. Tune in to a channel that shows animal or dog related content and allow your dog to get distracted by the sounds. Listening to other dogs or animals will help your dog stay motivated and also help calm her down if she’s an anxious dog

3. Rotate Toys

It’s a great idea to have lots of toys to keep dog busy. However, it becomes boring and less adventurous when she sees same toys daily. Rather than having a full box of toys for your dog to play with, only bring out a few to busy your bored dog while at work. Keep her intrigued with new toys by rotating them every few days just to keep things exciting. Each time she sees the new toy she gets thrilled and less bored since she doesn’t have to see the same toy every day. Remember to always check the toys you leave out to ensure they are safe for your dog.

4. Physical Activity

Exercising your dog each morning might not sound like the easiest thing to do but it’s definitely worth a shot. If you can find a way to do this before leaving for work, then do it. Too much energy will keep her active during the day and can cause her to become destructive.

You could take her for a walk, a jog, or even play a game of fetch with her to help wear her out. Remember it’s not just about physical activities that will run off her energy, it’s also about giving her extra stimulation to keep her occupied while you’re out. When she’s well exercised, she’ll sleep for long hours. Might even lie comfortably on her bed till you get back home from work. You could also exercise her mentally; a quick session to train her on a few simple commands will do.

5. Toy or Treat Hunt

Having a bored dog doesn’t actually always turn out well, especially when the owner isn’t home. Hiding toys and treats for your dog around the house is another great way of keeping your dog stimulated while at work. Look for possible places you’re certain your dog goes to play, hide a few of her toys or food there and allow her to sniff them out. That way, she doesn’t get bored since she’ll keep looking to find more hidden treasures.

Try not to hide the toys in places she could destroy things, rather hide them in accessible places for her to have fun and play with

6. Leave Your Dog an Attractive View

You could distract and occupy dog while away by providing an attractive view for her. Just like humans, a dog’s heart also leaps for joy when she sees a beautiful view. Before leaving for work in the morning, you should consider leaving the blinds or curtains open to allow for a nice view. As she listens to the beautiful sound of Mother Nature and watches everything happening around the house, it helps occupy her mind and reduces the chances of her ruining your things before you get back.

7. Plan a Playdate With a Second Pet

Has your dog has been spending too much alone time recently? Scheduling a playdate with another pet could be a perfect idea. If there a dog in the neighborhood that your dog gets along with, you can try talking to the owner about setting up a playdate for both pets during the day while you’re away.

Make sure it’s someone you can trust, and if he agrees, you can both decide to set a date for both dogs to play together. At the end of the day, you come back to find both dogs really exhausted. In as much as this is a wonderful idea, it should be done on occasions as it is not an everyday option.

8. Help Your Anxious Dog Relax

Some dogs become anxious when their owners leave them alone at home. In some cases this could even lead to dog depression, check out our article to identify early signs! As a result of being restless, so many things could go wrong. However, there are a few ways to help your anxious dog feel calm and relaxed.

One of the simplest and easiest ways is to apply an essential oil like frankincense, lavender, or peppermint on your dog’s sheets.

An alternative could be the use of a dog pheromone collar or spray. The pheromone released and the ones lactating mothers emit are similar. Once it is released, it triggers a sense of relaxation to help your dog calm down. You can either apply the spray on your dog’s bed or get the collar to be worn around her neck.

9. Sign up For a Doggy Daycare

This is also an option for dogs that love interacting with other animals or dogs. There are many doggy daycare services you can sign up your dog in. Gather as much info as you can about the place, get feedback from pet owners, and visit the facility to avoid making a wrong decision. When you’re certain it’s the right environment for your friendly pet, you can go ahead to enroll her. This will bring you peace of mind knowing that your furry animal safe and happy. Check out our latest article: Is Doggie Day Care Right for Your Dog?

10. Employ a Dog Walker

Hiring someone you trust or someone from a boarding facility to walk your dog is a great idea to keep your dog active while at work. Your intelligent and active dog can now get regular exercises she craves, and since it’s a human, your dog is likely to connect and gain a lot of attention. This doesn’t give your pooch the chance to ruin your expensive clothes and shoes.

The thing is you have to try to spend more time with your dog as much as you can. However, since you can’t always be with your dog, it is imperative that you put a few things in place while you’re away. Just as we have listed in the guide above, these ideas are perfect to help keep your dog stimulated while at work.

(Visited 1,395 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

Keep Reading