- An awesome WiFi controlled robot to interact and play with your pet while you're at work
- One of the best treat dispensing cameras with top spec features to interact with your pet
- A great budget ball thrower and suitable for inside use. You could away pair with a cheap camera.
How to entertain a dog home alone
Just like humans, dogs can get lonely and bored when left home alone for hours. But sadly, as much as we’d love to, we can’t spend every hour of our life with our pets. We’ve got jobs, errands to run, important functions to attend. So what does this mean for the four-legged family members? It’s sad but sometimes they have to be by themselves.
But the good news is, pets don’t have to be lonely and bored simply because they’re home alone. Not anymore. Technology has made lives much richer for us and our pets, and there are some amazing toys to keep a dog busy while at work or away. With these fun pet toys, you no longer have to worry about leaving your dog home alone.
The truth is that leaving your pet home alone can be a source of stress for both the dog – or cat – and owner. But if you make your home as conducive as possible and put things in place to keep your pets busy and entertained when you’re out, you’ll be amazed at how good they’ll do on their own. In this post, we will share our favorite toys to keep your dog (or cat) busy and stay tuned for some bonus tips on how to entertain a dog home alone at the end.
Got a cat? You may also like: 5 cat cameras with treat dispensers
Rough Price Guide
As the price on Amazon is often changing, I have used the 💲 symbol as a guide:
- 💲 – Up to $25
- 💲💲 – Around $25 to $50
- 💲💲💲 – between $50 and $100
- 💲💲💲💲 – From $100 – $200
- 💲💲💲💲💲 – Over $200
*The links in this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Take a look at our About Us page for more info on this.
Best toys to keep dog busy while at work
1. Wickedbone Smart Bone, Automatic & Interactive Toy for Dog – 💲💲💲
If your pet is prone to separation anxiety or getting anxious and depressed when left home alone then you definitely have to do something about it. Stressing and wondering what you’re pet is up to in your absence does nothing to help the situation. But you can do something to ensure your dog stays active and happy for as long as you’re out.
The Wickedbone Smart Bone is an automatic and interactive dog toy designed to keep dogs and even cats engaged for hours. This smart pet toy requires no app, it’s designed to automatically interact with pets. The Smart Bone is actually a smart ball that is made from very durable materials and comes with a one year warranty from its manufacturers.
This ball provides your pet with the option to safely unleash its boundless energy without wreaking havoc in your house like destroying your furniture or peeing on your couch. It keeps your pet happy and engaged so she won’t remember that you’ve been gone for hours.
- It engages and stimulates your pet
- It has three reaction modes and an Intelligent Companion system
- It’s water-proof, safe and durable
- The elastic stretches too far
- The battery life isn’t great
2. VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot – 💲💲💲💲
Another great pet robot that’s not going to drill holes in your pocket but still does a good job of keeping your pet active and happy in your absence is the Varram Pet Fitness Robot. Pets are happier and healthier when they are active and busy, and this smart pet robot ensures your pet stays active in your absence which eliminates boredom, sadness, and loneliness while filling their day with fun activities like catching treats, following the robot around the house and playing with it.
You can schedule playtimes and treat tossing times with the control app, so if you have a very busy day ahead just push some buttons in the mobile app and your pet can play all day. The control app also has some stats which lets you know how your pet engaged with it, both dogs and cats — even pigs — love this pet bot because it keeps them on the move.
- Interactive pet toy with treat dispenser
- Encourages activity and fitness
- Durable design
- Convenient scheduling and intuitive controls
- No camera
- Very aggressive dogs can tear it down
3. IDOGMATE Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy – 💲💲💲
Another exciting gadget you can use to focus your pets’ nervous energy is the iDogMate automatic ball launcher dog toy. This toy is ideal for both medium dogs and puppies weighing under 30 pounds. It shoots small tennis-like balls to between 10 to 35 feet away and you can choose how far away you want the ball to go with the 4 distance setting option.
These balls are specially made for pets from non-abrasive materials for their teeth. You can control this gadget with the remote control and watch your pet excitedly run after the balls. This automatic ball launcher also lets you choose the direction you want the ball to go. This is a perfect gadget for playing with your pet both indoors and outdoors.
If you’re too busy to play with your pet yourself, distract her by launching a ball and she’ll stay busy for hours chasing balls. And once your dog learns to put the balls back, the launcher will keep throwing the balls. this is especially fun when paired with a pet camera so you can keep an eye on the action!
- Random distance setting
- Auto shut off feature to save power
- Has a remote control
- Excellent for indoor and outdoor use
- Balls can get jammed
4. IQZoo The Intelligent Dog Feeder – 💲💲
If you’ve got a little furry friend who gets anxious and refuses to eat in your absence, then the IQZoo intelligent dog feeder is exactly what you should get. This intelligent dog feeder allows your canine or feline to get fed while playing around with it.
The IQZoo dog feeder is actually very simply designed, it gradually releases small amounts of food to your pet while keeping her engaged and stimulated in the process — because she has to keep toying with it to get more food. It’s a gadget that totally revolutionizes your pet’s mealtime and it can make a mealtime last for as long as 90 minutes. During which it will provide focused stimulation for your dog, this eliminates any form of anxiety and gauging while gradually rewarding a busy pet.
The meal is gradually released from adjustable holes, a little at a time. The IQZoo Intelligent dog feeder encourages your pet to eat slowly and quietly which prevents swallowing air and bloating, it’s especially ideal for small pets. You can fill it up and drop it for pet just as you’re about to shut the door behind her and watch her play from your pet monitoring camera.
- Promotes healthy eating habits
- Very sturdy and durable
- Can be unscrewed by a big dog
5. Felix & Fido Drinksmart Pet Water Fountain – 💲💲💲
Giving your furry friend treats when you’re away from home is great but what about water? Surely your pet also gets thirsty and would like a drink sometimes, to help you solve this problem is the smart app remote controlled Felix & Fido Drinksmart Pet Water Fountain.
This pet water fountain is designed to hold 2 liters of water so your pet will have plenty to drink while you’re gone for an entire day. This water fountain can be controlled from your smartphone via an app so you can give your pet water during a lunch break from your office. The app lets you know when the machine is running, the amount of water in the bowl and reminds you to refill when the water level gets low and more.
The Drinksmart fountain is truly smart, it turns off automatically when the water in the bowl get really low so that the pump doesn’t burn out. This device is very durable and made from BPA free materials that are safe for you and your pet.
- Easy to set up and use
- Can control remotely via an app
- Can’t control how much water is dispensed
6. Petcube Bites 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser – 💲💲💲💲
If you have a pet that gets super anxious and suffers separation anxiety in your absence, the best thing you can do to ease this pet may be to get a pet treat dispenser with a Wi-Fi camera. And the Petcubes Bite 2 is one of the best you can find out there, it’s great for interacting with your pet if you stay for several hours on weekdays.
Petcubes Bite 2 has a Wi-Fi pet camera that you can connect to your smartphone and watch your dog from your office or anywhere so you’ll know what she’s up to. And if she’s moody and depressed, you can cheer her up by talking to her thanks to the two-way audio feature and an improved speaker bar for clear sound quality. This smart pet cam also lets you give your pet treats through its treat dispenser.
You can toss these treats to different distances and watch your pet run to catch them or you can schedule automatic treat-dispensing from your smartphone. The Petcubes Bite 2 will excite both you and your dog, plus its camera has a motion detector and decent night vision.
- Treat dispenser
- Mobile app for remote control
- Two-way audio
- Pet cam with decent night vision
- The camera has a somewhat narrow viewing angle
- Only compatible 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi connection.
7. Felix & Fido Petbot Interactive App-Controlled Treat Dispensing Robot – 💲💲💲💲
If you have ever wished for a robotic dog sitter to keep your furry friend company on those days when you’re inevitably absent, you’ve just found it. The PetBot from Felix and Fido is an app-controlled treat-dispensing smart mobile robot that can help make your pet less lonely when left home alone.
This smart pet cam is designed to act as the perfect companion for your pet in your absence, from your smartphone you can make it move around your house so your pet won’t feel alone. This robot walks around your house so you can follow your pet as they move from room to room, and it has a camera through which you can see what your pet is doing at any moment. You can record short clips of your pet in action and take adorable photos of your pet. With the two-way audio feature, this pet bot lets you hear and talk to your pet from anywhere.
It also has a treat dispenser which lets you reward your pet for behaving well plus it has an interactive laser pointer which is very exciting for pets when they have to chase the light around. This pet bot is controlled from a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS. With this Wi-Fi enabled robot your pet can have a fun-filled in your absence and leaving them home alone will no longer be unpleasant.
- Interactive laser toy
- Treat dispenser
- Two-way audio communication
- Video recording and photo capture
- No night vision and viewing isn’t so great
- Can’t turn off the laser
- The robot cannot move fast
How to keep your dog entertained while at work
Dogs stay healthy and happy when they are active and a good way to ensure your dog stays entertained while at work is to make your house as conducive as possible for your canine. Chewing on furniture and other forms of destructive behavior is really a way for your pet to release the frustration of being lonely and bored.
If your dog is kept mentally stimulated and physically active, then such destructive behaviors will cease to happen. But how do you do this? It’s actually much easier than you may think, and you have here 4 simple but amazing things to keep your dog busy while at work. If you would like some more ideas, be sure to read our blog post about leaving a dog at home alone.
Get a Wi-Fi dog toy
A Wi-Fi dog toy is a gadget that help you stay connected with your dog when you’re away. It uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and connects to your smartphone via an app. This toy will help you keep track of your dog’s activities and you can get one with a camera so you can see and talk to your dog. This way you won’t have to worry about leaving your dog home alone because you can always communicate with it. Some Wi-Fi dog toys also have pet treat dispenser so you can feed your dog from your workplace or wherever you are.
Leave the TV or Radio on
Hearing the voice of humans has a calming effect on dogs, this is especially true for dogs who are prone to separation anxiety. Your dog can listen to the voices coming from the radio or even better watch fun programs on TV. And yes, dogs enjoy watching television. Leave your TV turned on to dog TV so your pet and watch and feel less lonely or bored.
Leave your dog an ice treat
Ice treats can keep dogs busy for hours while makes it another ideal to keep your dog entertained while at work. And making an ice treat is pretty easy, just place some of your dog’s favorite goodies in a bowl of water or broken ice and freeze them up. It’s much better if the treats are well spaced in the ice. Once you have an ice treat ready, you can give it to your canine just before you leave alone for work. An ice treat is also a good way to keep your dog hydrated during those hot summer days.
Set up a treat hunt
Dogs love to hunt, it’s actually part of their genetic makeup and for that nature gave them an amazing sense of smell to enable them sniffs things out with ease. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. Before you leave for work, prepare a treat hunt by hiding away small pieces of your dog’s favorite treat in strategic places so she can use her sense of smell to sniff them out, one after another.
This is an easy way to keep your dog from being bored when home alone. To make it an exciting hunting experience for your canine, hide these treats in places that won’t be very easy to find out but ensure you do not hide treats in places where your dog will have to tear down to avoid destruction.
Final Thoughts on toys to keep a dog busy while at work
Leaving your pet home alone is a source of distress for both you and your pet, yet it’s inevitable. This means that you have to find ways to make it less unpleasant and one sure way is to get your pet a toy to play with when you’re at work.
A smart pet toy can provide your pet with the physical activity and mental stimulation she needs, and keep her engaged for hours, eliminating any form of loneliness and boredom.
Knowing that your canine (or feline) is active and happy while you’re at work, will also help you relax and concentrate. And when you return from a long day at work, you’ll be greeted by a bubbling dog not a gloomy and unhappy one.