How To Keep Dogs Occupied

Put some kibble in a Kong or other similar toy along with a nice treat, such as a tablespoon of peanut butter, canned pumpkin, or mashed banana. Pro tip: Freeze it to extend the shelf life for your dog!

Puzzle games and toys that dispense food are excellent for cerebral stimulation (and for dogs that consume their meals too quickly, too!) To prevent them from eating the kibble, your dog must “solve the riddle” by tilting or shaking the puzzle toy. Trixie or Nina Ottoson are the creators of some of our favorite food-related puzzle toys.

What can I do to keep my dog busy all day?

How to occupy your dog while you’re at work

  • Toys with simple DIY goodie dispensers.
  • As a diversion, use music and television.
  • your dog over FaceTime!
  • toys that dispense food.
  • Playing hide-and-seek.
  • Get the day going with a lot of action.
  • Make certain your dog can get to a window that has a view.

How can I keep my dog busy for hours?

Your dog will be entertained for hours on end with a scrumptious stuffed KONG toy. Simply place a KONG filler, kibble bits, or wet food into the aperture, then watch your dog amuse himself by working hard to get to the treat. Seniors, pups, and extreme chewers should choose the KONG created for them instead of the original red KONG, which may be the most recognizable in the toy range and the best alternative for the majority of adult dogs (and their teeth).

Pro tip: Hide the KONG and let your dog go retrieve it to boost their enjoyment (and buy yourself some more quiet time). Alternately, freeze the KONG after you’ve filled it to keep your dog entertained while their treats thaw.

What should I feed dogs to occupy them?

Regular enrichment, which keeps pets’ habitats safe and interesting and enables them to indulge in their basic behaviors like sniffing or chewing in dogs, is one of the keys to a happy and healthy pet. Right now, a lot of pet parents may find it challenging to stay entertained and active at home, and for certain pets, boredom can result in harmful and unpleasant behavioral patterns. It’s crucial for dogs and cats to work and learn from home just like their owners do! These enrichment suggestions are wonderful methods to keep your furry buddies content, healthy, and behaving like best friends while they’re in quarantine.

Staying Active (In More Ways than One) Is Key

There are many entertaining and cost-free ways to give your dog or cat a cerebral workout from the comfort of your home, in addition to physical exercise.

For dogs:

  • Use a snuffle mat to distribute treats or dry food, or fill a puzzle toy with tasty treats like plain yogurt, peanut butter, or their meal for a tasty challenge that will occupy and challenge your dog’s mind. You can also try freezing the stuffed toy after your dog masters utilizing a puzzle toy so that getting all the food out takes even longer for your dog.

Lacking a puzzle toy? You can use plastic jugs, paper towel rolls, PVC pipes with holes drilled into the sides, cardboard boxes (of different sizes), and so on.

  • Create a scavenger hunt so your dog may use their keen sense of smell. Treats can be concealed in partially visible areas throughout a room, or even within cardboard boxes, empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, or egg cartons. If you have a yard, you can just throw your dog’s food on the ground for him to find.
  • Engage your dog in quick, effective training activities like teaching them to “sit,” “down,” and “come,” or having them target your hand or a specific object. If your dog has mastered the fundamentals, seek for trick training manuals or DVDs to teach them more complex maneuvers like the “spin” or “roll over.” Numerous qualified dog trainers offer virtual tutoring if you need assistance with training.

Is Your Dog Bored?

Finding fresh activities to keep your dog occupied is crucial, whether the kids have returned to school, the grownups are away all day at work, or the regular routine of walks and playtime have simply grown boring. Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation to stay wholesome and content. Furthermore, it’s well known that dogs who are bored often find themselves in trouble.

Caren Malgesini, a vet assistant at PAWS, an animal rescue group in Lynnwood, Washington, and the proprietor of the dog training facility Caren’s Canine Counseling in Everett, Washington, says, “My philosophy is a weary dog is a good dog.

However, keeping your dog entertained doesn’t need you to shell out a lot of cash on doggie daycare, a dog walker, or expensive toys. You may discover, or even manufacture, the ideal toys to make playtime more enjoyable for you both or to occupy your dog on his or her own with a little imagination and knowledge of your dog’s characteristics.

According to Malgesini, it’s crucial to take into account your dog’s age, breed, or breed combination. She points out that working dog breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, and Australian Cattle Dog require greater physical activity and cerebral stimulation than more laid-back varieties like the Basset Hound or Bull Dog, which prefer less demanding playtimes.

Two categories of engaging dog toys are suggested by PAWS:

Rope toys for tug-of-war games and interactive toys that require your participation, such as balls and Frisbees to fetch

Distraction toys that occupy your dog when you’re not available or available to play, such as chew toys, puzzle toys, and toys that conceal food treats

Interactive Toys for Dogs

Dogs were bred to interact with humans, even non-working dogs. Spend as much time as you can playing with your dog since, according to Malgesini, doing so deepens your relationship. She observes that dogs who don’t contact with people often become needy and depressed.

According to Detroit-based blogger Jen Gabbard, who provides a multitude of inexpensive or free activities to keep your dog entertained on her blog Puppy Leaks, “We don’t give them enough to do, so they get into trouble. The simple interactive dog toys from Gabbard include:

A fantastic way to exhaust yourself and your dog is to play tug of war. Additionally, you may easily create your own tug toy from old t-shirts, towels, or other soft materials rather of having to purchase one.

Dogs frequently like chasing balls, Frisbees, or plush toys. According to Gabbard, certain rubber toys have strange shapes that cause them to bounce unpredictably, adding to the pleasure of the game. Dogs love to play with tennis balls.

Distraction Toys for Dogs

“According to Malgesini, a lot of dogs are left alone all day. “But if you make it enjoyable for your dog, anything can be a game.

Before letting your dog play alone with a new toy, you should, however, keep an eye on him or her. Younger dogs are more likely to be aggressive and consume a piece of the toy, which can cause intestinal blockages. “Malgesini says to keep an eye on them to see what they do with it.

In case your dog is left alone at home for an extended period of time, Gabbard offers the following suggestions:

Give your dog a Kong toy that has been stuffed with treats, ice-cream, or other food. Gabbard loves Kongs so much that she feeds them to her own dog for every meal. “According to Gabbard, it’s partly because she eats rapidly but primarily because she needs to keep her mind active.

These treats, which are a free substitute for Kongs, are prepared by freezing dog treats in ice or by freezing broth made of meat or vegetables to make ice cubes. According to Gabbard, it’s remarkable how busy ice treats can keep your dog for so long.

Build a digging area in your yard that resembles a miniature sandbox and hide toys there for your dog to find if your dog enjoys digging.

Change It Up to Keep Your Dog Engaged

According to Gabbard, playtime is most enjoyable when it includes both physical and mental exertion because they can both be exhausting. Do not undervalue the value of play.

Your dog can be emotionally and physically stimulated in other ways without using toys. Gabbard advises dog owners to:

Your dog can be taught to assist around the house. Gabbard has trained her dog to bring sticks and tiny logs to the woodpile, as well as to assist her in picking up her toys. It’s enjoyable and practical at the same time, and working breeds may particularly appreciate it.

Before letting the dogs play unattended, make sure the two get along well.

What can I do while at work with my dog?

When you spend the entire day at work, there are 11 ways to make your dog feel less lonely.

  • Know where in the house is best for your dog.
  • Determine how long you can leave your dog alone.
  • Keep Your Dog’s Morning Potty Time Slow.
  • Turn on your dog’s preferred television channel.
  • So that your dog may see outside, open some curtains.
  • Give Your Dog A Playful Toy.

Do I have to keep my dog amused all day?

You need to think of some fun, interactive things to do with your dog so that they can stay emotionally and physically fit. Your dog, whether it is young or old, large or small, needs to be entertained. You can choose anything from a straightforward game of fetch to practicing obedience or going to the nearby park.

According to a recent study, dogs who don’t play as often display more behavioral problems like anxiety and aggression.

Dogs are highly social creatures and they adore spending time with us. Your dog will benefit physically, cognitively, and emotionally from play. Exercise, mental stimulation, and a stronger bond are all benefits for your dog. Play is beneficial to everyone. The Power of Play: How Play Taught My Afraid Dog to Explore a New World

Do dogs at home become bored throughout the day?

the conclusion Dogs do get bored, yes. You would get bored if you spent the entire day lounging around the home with nothing to do. To keep your dog entertained, try some fun new toys or puzzles, and exercise is always beneficial. Changing up your dog’s routine helps keep him engaged and content while keeping the house tidy!

How can you entertain a dog who is bored?

Dog breeds were initially developed for certain jobs. Even companion breeds were designed to be with their owners all day. But nowadays, the majority of dogs have everything they want without having to put in any effort. They also spend hours by themselves while we leave for work or errands. Do dogs become bored, then? Absolutely! Dog ennui can result in troublesome behaviors, but a happier dog is more vital. Learn the symptoms of boredom and receive a ton of advice on how to make sure your dog is getting all the stimulation he requires by reading on.

Doggy BoredomSigns and Symptoms

A bored dog will create his own amusement. And probably in ways that don’t suit you. Bored dogs will tear up pillows, chew on furniture and shoes, and even unroll your toilet paper if left to their own devices. whichever distractions they may find. It’s even more exciting since you can’t stop them because you’re not there.

Large messes waiting for you when you get home are a surefire indicator that your dog is bored. Digging in the backyard and trash cans being turned over are other possible sights. Even at home, you can exhibit signs of boredom. Your dog may be bored and looking for something to do if he is constantly mugging you for attention and being restless. He might also over-bark or leap up on you and your guests.

If you notice damaging conduct and a clingy attitude, make sure separation anxiety isn’t the cause. Most of the time, your dog is just acting bored and enjoying being unsupervised. On sometimes, though, it denotes severe anxiety of being abandoned. Consult a dog trainer or an expert in animal behavior if you have any questions.

Physical Exercise

It’s true that a weary dog is more likely to slumber while you’re away than to cause problems. Therefore, be sure to give your dog ample physical activity. The amount of activity your dog needs can be discussed with your breeder or veterinarian. A Chihuahua might be content with a short walk and some playtime in the backyard, but an active Border Collie will want much more to meet his needs.

Make sure you’re including more strenuous activity like chasing a ball or flying disc or giving him a safe space to run free because a ten-minute walk around the block won’t tire any dog. And be sure to spice up your daily stroll. They ought to offer more than just a bathroom break. Take alternate routes and let your dog pause to smell the mail that has been urinated in.

Mental Stimulation

It’s just as crucial to exercise your dog’s brain as his body. Additionally, it is similarly draining. Try playing interactive activities to mentally tax your dog before you go for work. You can play together and strengthen your relationship by engaging in games like tug of war or hide and seek, where your dog must find you. Fun boredom busters include scent games where you hide toys or rewards around the house.

Squeaky toys and comfort items for your dog are fantastic, but you should also include some puzzle toys in the toy box. You can buy lift-the-flap toys that conceal food, plush puzzle toys with hidden squeaky parts, and balls and cubes that your dog must roll around to access the treats you’ve hidden within. A snuffle mat can also be an option. These conceal treats or kibble for your dog to sniff for in the form of cloth flaps and loops. Regardless of the toys you offer your dog, make sure to switch them up periodically to keep your dog interested. When your dog hasn’t seen a toy in days, even an old one feels brand-new and thrilling.

Additionally, you can create your own puzzle toys using household items. Roll of toilet paper should be filled with peanut butter, with the ends folded in. Just keep an eye out to make sure your dog isn’t consuming the paper. Treats can be sealed in a paper bag, which your dog can then break open. To make him have toss the container around to reach the treats, put them in a water bottle with the cover off. Or you can conceal a reward in a muffin pan cup and lay a tennis ball on top of each cup, making your dog remove the ball to get to the treat.

Training, Training, Training

It’s not the only purpose of training to impart etiquette. It’s a fantastic method to stimulate your dog’s mind as well. Obedience is a terrific place to start, but what happens after you run out of behaviors to teach if you don’t want to compete? How about learning some tricks? You may teach your dog countless amusing habits and match them to their interests and skills. Toy breeds can learn to crawl beneath the coffee table, whilst giant breeds may be trained to climb a ladder. AKC Trick Dog titles are something to strive towards.


Not just puppies benefit from socialization. Even adult dogs can benefit from meeting new people and visiting new locations. It’s mentally challenging and a terrific method to keep your dog from getting bored. On your walks, be open to the possibility of running into new neighbors and their dogs. or plan doggie play dates for puppies. Just make sure the other dog is vaccinated to date and a good playmate for your puppy. A boisterous dog that enjoys roughhousing shouldn’t be paired with a timid dog, for instance. Finally, take a look at the local dog parks. You can let your dog run free and meet new people. However, always keep a close check on your dog. Not every visitor will be as friendly just because he is.

Mealtime Games

Making your dog struggle for his food may be as simple as being very satisfying. Consider placing that food in a slow feeder bowl as opposed to simply placing a plate of kibble on the ground. The challenge is intended for dogs who eat too quickly, but any dog can gain from it. Or you can put the kibble in a puzzle toy that releases food. A 30-minute game will replace the current two-minute gobble-fest that is mealtime. Another simple game you might play during dinner is kibble hide-and-seek. Simply scatter your dog’s food about the home or backyard and allow him to explore each piece.

Jobs for Your Dog

Numerous dog breeds have a history of working, whether it is herding, guarding, or pulling carts. Even breeds that were created to be companions like to stay active and have a goal. Giving your dog a job will help to minimize boredom because it will satisfy his or her need for a task. Giving him a pastime or a method to earn incentives will satisfy his psychological requirements without having to put him to actual work as a search and rescue dog or therapy dog, for example.

Select a pastime for your dog based on his likes and heritage. Terriers were bred, for instance, to hunt vermin on the ground. The ideal present for these guys would be a digging box in the backyard. Make a sandbox and fill it with dirt or use a kiddie pool. After that, bury unique toys for your dog to discover. Your dog will spend hours searching the box for treats if you keep replenishing it.

Dog Sports

Another fantastic method to give your dog a job is through dog sports. Choose an activity you believe your dog will enjoy from the many possibilities available. For instance, AKC Scent Work is enjoyable for all breeds, but Beagles and other scent hounds find it especially thrilling. For herding breeds, consider treibball instead. A dog must aim for and push fitness balls your way in this activity. Agility is a fantastic sport for any breed since it strengthens the link between humans and dogs while also offering both physical and mental exercise.

Different dog sports have DIY versions that you can practice at home. Drafting and carting, for instance, are excellent activities for breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs have historically pulled carts carrying goods from the country to the city. These dogs have a fun way to honor their heritage by pulling a homemade cart around the backyard or neighborhood. Another choice is to construct a little agility course out of household items in the living room or backyard.

Outside Help

No matter what you do, you may need to leave your dog alone for a longer period of time than he would prefer. You can employ outside assistance in addition to offering challenging toys, delicious chews, and a plush Kong. Your dog can go for a midday walk with a dog walker to get some exercise and fresh air. Alternatively, you can pay a pet sitter to drop by while you’re away. Your dog can be entertained, kept company, and even have his Kong refilled by a sitter. Finally, take into account canine daycare if you want to keep your dog company all day. He can spend hours playing under supervision with other dogs and return home content and worn out.

The AKC is available to assist owners with queries and worries regarding COVID-19 and canines. On our Coping With COVID-19 hub, you may get answers to your problems as well as suggestions for at-home activities, training advice, educational resources, and more.

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Do you desire a well-behaved dog but are unsure on how to get one? Starting with the e-book on the fundamental five commands is a wise move because it will lay a solid basis for your dog’s future training.