Dogs are a blessing – there’s no doubt about that. Let’s face it, they are better than most people – loving, caring, and loyal. And, all they expect in return is our undivided attention and unconditional love – which of course we are all too happy to provide. But, what happens when you have to leave your furry best friend to his own devices all day while you’re at work? Some dogs dont take being alone very well and can develop separation anxiety. This can lead to a variety of not-so-good habits such as chewing, digging, and other destructive behaviors.
What to Consider:
The most important factor to consider is safety. When left to their own devices, some dogs can manage to get themselves in trouble. When considering gadgets for your dog when he is home alone, you need to make sure that it suits your specific dog’s personality. For example, if your pooch is known for destroying toys, you need to choose one that is as close to indestructible as possible. Knowing what is, and isn’t, going to work for your fur-friend is the way to go. Find something that will keep his attention, distracting him from the fact that his favorite hooman isn’t home while also being safe enough without supervision.
One of the biggest factors that may come into play if you leave your dog home alone is something called separation anxiety. This is when a dog feels anxious, panicked, and/or fearful when separated from you. It can cause a number of different negative behaviors such as incessant barking/howling, destruction, and sometimes even aggression. If you believe that your pup might be suffering from separation anxiety, he should be examined by a veterinarian. Usually, several different therapies go into the treatment of separation anxiety.
15 of the Best Products to Stave Off Doggy Boredom
The Kong toy is definitely a classic and the furthest thing from high-tech, but it will keep a restless dog entertained for hours. Made of strong, thick, power rubber, it can withstand even the most obsessive chewer. For a little extra special something, place some peanut butter or a tasty treat inside of the hollow area.
Completely washable and with replaceable parts, this interactive toy links directly to your smartphone, can dispense food, and automatically adjusts its behavior based on your dog’s play style, breed, weight, and age. One of its best features, however, is the long-lasting charge which provides 8 hours of interactive play and stimulation. The Go Bone is a great way to have complete interaction with your pet no matter where you are.
13. Petzi Treat Cam:
This pet cam offers several different features to help keep you connected to Fido throughout the day. See, talk to, take pictures of, and dispense treats to your pet. The one-way audio is clear, of the highest quality, and provides a great way to interact with your precious pooch. Plus, the Petzi Treat Cam will order more scooby snacks when you get low. This is one gadget for dogs when they’re home alone that you probably shouldn’t live without.
This hand-made, well-designed, feeding mat provides a unique way to intrigue your dog’s natural instinct – their sense of smell and foraging skills in particular. Durable, washable, and easy to use – simply pour the food on the mat and let the furbaby go at it.
Both comforting and calming, especially for pups that suffer from separation anxiety, this soft plush comes with a disposable heat pack and features a battery-operated heartbeat device. To make it even more efficient in comforting your pet, you should try to transfer your scent to it – spritz it with your perfume or sleep with it before giving it to Fido. Then place it in their ‘safe space’ (playpen, room, crate, etc.) where he can seek it out when he feels the need.
This puzzle feeder, from Nina Ottosson, is versatile and challenging. 20 separate compartments, multiple removable pieces, plus it has 3 different feeding settings with different difficulty levels. A great gadget option to keep Fido entertained, reduce boredom, and offer plenty of mental stimulation. With this cool doggy puzzle, yours is sure to be the smartest pup on the block in no time.
Improve Fido’s IQ with this interactive toy. It is fully interactive to captivate as well as motivate your pooch. Durable and easy to clean and the special rollerball will slow down eating. Boredom is one of the most common reasons for bad behavior so why not keep him busy and challenge him at the same time.
This wifi pet camera is Alexa compatible and fully interactive. With full, 160 degree views and both sound and motion alerts you can use your smartphone to speak to and even play with your dog while you are away from home. There is also an autoplay option to keep Fido entertained when you can’t. Easy to set up with high-quality picture and audio. Furthermore, it comes with a one year warranty and for the first 12 months, you have access to 24/7 customer support. A great option for keeping your precious fur kid happy and entertained when you can’t be with him.
Not unlike the PetCube Play, this wifi, and Alexa compatible pet camera also offers excellent picture and sound quality. Play with, and fully interact with your pooch through a smartphone app. The 2-way audio feature means that not only can you talk to him but Fido can also speak (bark?) back to you! The Furbo also provides 160-degree full room views and night vision capabilities. Where this one stands out is with its nifty barking sensor – which notifies you if Fido has a barking fit. It also has the ability to give him a treat when he is being a good boy.
This strategy game is a terrific way to keep your dog’s brain in good working order and can also be a good way to keep him entertained when having to be home alone. The two levels of difficulty provide mental stimulation while also honing motor skills. Non-slip, well-built, and easy to clean and set up, the Trixie Mad Scientist Game provides the perfect outlet for excess energy and boredom while you’re away.
This 3 in 1 smart toy promotes healthy play, sharpening everyday skills such as problem-solving while also tapping into their natural hunting instincts. Super simple to assemble and fully washable. Although it is durable and sturdy, aggressive chewers should be supervised to avoid injury.
With more than 18 different sights and sounds, the Blinky Babble Ball is sure to keep your favorite four-legged friend engrossed for hours. This particular toy is great for keeping him active, stimulated, and is well-constructed, built to take anything that is thrown at it – pun totally intended. Fido will be furever thankful for his fun, new contraption – he won’t even notice you’re gone!
While the DogIt Mind Game is not ideal for aggressive chewers, this suction cup toy is the perfect companion for lovable but mouthy mutts. It is also a great solution for pups that need training or who suffer from separation anxiety. The double suction cups can withstand even the most powerful pooches and the entire toy is well-built, constructed of high-quality materials. It has been proven to reduce stress and prevent destructive behaviors, not to mention it also helps to keep Fido’s teeth clean.
This innovative Bluetooth speaker offers more than 3 hours of calming music to keep your pooch calm and content while you’re away. It has a variety of different soothing music including classical, reggae, and piano, and has been proven to not only soothe your dog’s anxiety but it can also calm your nerves. And, if Fido prefers another type of music, the SD card is easily interchangeable.
And, the one home companion that Fido should not be without – the Wicked Ball by Cheerable. Completely automatic and fully interactive, this nifty gadget is one of the best smart dog toys out there (although it works for cats too!). With several features such as built-in obstacle avoidance and three different reaction modes, the Wicked Ball makes the perfect intelligent companion for your pet when you can’t be there – with no app required!
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Safe and Happy While Home Alone:
- Wear Him Out: Take your dog for a few walks around the block before you leave for the day. Exercise can help to calm him and relieve at least some of the anxiety.
- Trial Runs: One of the most effective ways to ease your dog’s fear of being left alone is by slowly getting him used to the experience. Before leaving him a full day, try doing a few short trial runs. Leave him for 30 minutes to an hour and see how he does.
- A Safe Space: Whether it be a doggy playpen, crate, or an entire room of the house, your pooch needs to have a designated area that he knows is just for him. Having this area, or safe space, for him to go to when he feels bored or lonely, can help provide comfort when you’re not able to.
- Use Your Scent: Place a blanket or piece of clothing, with your scent on it, in his kennel or playpen. Your scent will have a calming effect as well as comforting him.
- Forgive and Forget: If your pooch misbehaves when left home alone, try not to show anger or discipline him, especially initially. You do not want to associate you leaving with something negative.
To truly understand how your canine companion feels being left home alone, you have to try to see it from his perspective. He likely does not comprehend what is happening – all he knows is that his favorite person was here, and now they’re not. It can be a bit scary and panic-inducing. That is why it is so important to provide plenty of gadgets to keep him busy while you can’t be home with him. Because what it all really boils down to is that that four-legged furball loves and misses you so much that he simply cannot contain himself. Luckily, these gizmos can help make everything a bit easier. Get him one, two, or all of them – after all, that adorable ball of fur is so totally worth it.