As our time away from home increases, both we humans and our beloved furry companions are navigating a new routine. Adapting to this change, it’s crucial to ensure our pets stay engaged, especially as we go about our work. The last thing we want is to worry about their boredom. Providing them with stimulation becomes essential to keep them occupied while they explore the house during the day.
You’re already familiar with the fundamental guidelines for leaving your pet at home: Ensure they have enough food and water, give your dog a pre-departure exercise, and remove any potential hazards.
Continue reading to discover our recommended selections of toys, games, and tricks that will captivate your dog or cat’s attention when you need to leave them alone. And if you wish to keep an eye on them while you’re out, consider installing a Google Nest Cam — it includes intelligent alerts that let you check in at any moment, ensuring your pet is at ease, relishing their new toys and treats, no matter where you are.
Make a safe space
Let’s begin with a fundamental step: designate a space in your home where your dog or cat can feel at ease, safe, and content. It’s essential that this area prevents them from getting into any mischievous behavior (such as the kitchen, perhaps?). For dogs, think about cordoning off a section of the house, like the living room, furnished with their cherished toys and a cozy cave bed. As for cats, you might create a cozy corner on a windowsill or place a self-warming bed for them to nestle into.
Fill a toy with frozen treats
Fillable toys have earned their reputation as the go-to method for keeping pets engaged. For dogs, take a hollow rubber toy, pack it with peanut butter or another beloved filling, and freeze it overnight to offer hours of enjoyable licking. Meanwhile, for cats, opt for a comparable item, load it up with treats that are dispensed as they play, creating an interactive challenge to keep them occupied.
Secure the entertainment
Surprisingly, there exist TV networks, YouTube channels, and radio stations specifically crafted to engage and soothe your dog or cat. For dogs, consider tuning in to DOGTV before you leave, as its programming is formulated to reduce stress and anxiety throughout the day. For cats, a multitude of entertaining YouTube channels are available, featuring flying birds, dynamic landscapes, and games tailored to feline preferences.
Then lure the entertainment to your window
Satisfy your backyard birds’ hunger while providing your cats with captivating entertainment through a window feeder. The feeder will attract a flurry of birds, capturing your kitties’ attention as they observe the outdoor activity. This simple and economical approach offers an extended period of feline fascination, requiring minimal effort on your part.
Rotate some brain game toys
Engage your pup or kitty’s mind with treat-dispensing and puzzle toys that offer rewards for conquering challenges. These toys not only combat boredom (which can lead to destructive behavior) but also activate their innate hunting and foraging instincts. Experiment with entertaining wobbly toys or interactive puzzles designed for dogs, and consider treat mazes or concealed toy boxes for cats.
Lay out a snuffle mat or scratcher bed
Snuffle mats possess an undeniable cuteness factor, and they’re an item you’d definitely want to observe your pup exploring through the Nest Cam’s intelligent alerts. These delightful mats are available in a plethora of charming patterns (imagine a sunflower garden) that entice your dog to engage in nose play. Scatter small delectable crumbly treats throughout the mat’s crevices and let your dog relish the task of hunting down every last morsel. For cats, consider a two-in-one scratcher bed, often infused with catnip for added allure, which effectively safeguards your furniture from claws while offering an inviting spot for napping.
Be a catnip fairy
Prior to your departure, add a sprinkle of catnip onto cat beds, in different corners, or on toys for them to stumble upon during the day. Watch as they become animated, either licking, rolling around, or getting thrilled until they eventually doze off. Alternatively, you can stow away some captivating catnip-infused toys behind closed doors and unveil them just before you leave, maintaining their excitement and novelty.
Tap into the thrill of the chase
If your furry friend delights in chasing after various objects, consider introducing them to an automated toy that bounces, wiggles, and rolls. For cats, seek out a device that activates and deactivates at unpredictable intervals, providing them with a hunting or chasing experience even when you’re absent. For dogs, explore electronic toys that can be synced with a smartphone app, allowing you to remotely control the movements and revel in the ensuing hilarity, all while keeping an eye on the action through your Nest Cam.
Our cute dog covers baby with blanket and brings her toy