• Do you regularly find yourself wondering what your dog is destroying while you’re at work? Or do you feel guilty about leaving your dog home alone for 8+ hours a day?

    Read on for some ideas on how to keep your pup happy and enriched even while you still have to work a 9-5.

    Food Puzzles- Use food as enrichment

    Does your dog scarf their food down in the blink of an eye? Try feeding it to them in a food puzzle or Kong instead. Not only will it get them mentally stimulated with problem solving but it will make the food last longer.

    Stuffing kongs doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve seen some extravagant recipes for filling them which is great if you have a ridiculous amount of time on your hands (and if you’re reading this, you probably don’t).

    The most basic thing you can do which most dogs won’t refuse is to just mix their regular food (if they’re eating kibble) with a little bit of canned dog food, mix it all together and stuff it in the kong. If your dog is new to kongs, try getting a large or even extra large sized kong so it’s easier for them to get to the bottom.


    When you are home, walks are an excellent way to keep your dog physically fit and mentally enriched. One thing I always recommend is to occasionally have leisurely walks where you just let your dog smell. I’ll take my dog to a brand new neighbourhood or on a brand new trail just to allow her the chance to soak in every new smell. Sure, we don’t get as far as we normally would but the goal of the walk is to let her tap into her sense of smell, not burn off calories.

    Hire a Dog Walker

    If you’re gone for several hours a day, hiring a professional dog walker can break up the day for your dog and also prevent accidents in the house.


    Even if your dog knows the basics of sit or down, training with your dog is an excellent way to bond and also keep them mentally stimulated. Consider taking an obedience class if you’ve never been or maybe even something completely out of your comfort zone like Rally Obedience, Agility or Scent Work. The idea is to keep your dog mentally challenged and give you a chance to do something brand new with them.

    Too busy for classes? Look into the option of Day Training for your dog. With a day training program, a trainer teaches your dog the elements of the class and then transfers those new skills over to you. It’s a great option for people with hectic schedules.


    Try rotating toys so your dog doesn’t get bored with them. Some dogs love to chew so having durable toys that they can sink their teeth into can provide some entertainment for them. Often times, toys that are readily available to them (always on the floor) lose their novelty and excitement. I prefer to keep toys put away and rotate through them so my dogs don’t get bored.

    Treat Dispensers

    As much as I love kongs, usually dogs finish them pretty quickly and then what? Have you heard of treat tossing pet cameras? There are several on the market that you can control from your phone even while at work. You can see what your dog is up to, get notifications if your dog is barking and you can give them treats using the app on your phone.