Home Alone: Toys to Keep Dogs Entertained

Giving toys to keep dogs entertained is a way to deal with separation anxiety. Dogs get lonely like we do. Leaving them alone in the house is inevitable. Fur parents need to work and do other activities. Some of us feel bad leaving the dog alone. After all, dogs form extreme attached with pet owners. Toys to keep dogs entertained becomes necessary. They distract our furbabies. The right ones will provide hours of fun until you get back. 

Leaving the dog alone

Pet owners worry about their beloved dogs when left alone. The hardest part is the beginning. This is where separation anxiety takes place. Expect your dog to look and pine for you. However, there are ways to keep the dog entertained. If you worry too much, then there are helpful devices. Check out this article for three best dog cameras with treat dispensers: 3 Best Dog Camera with Treat Dispenser

A dog camera is a way to keep dogs “company” while they are alone. Some dog cameras feature real-time viewing and monitoring. Others have treat dispensers. The device could alert you remotely at the slightest bark of dispair. 

It is okay to leave the dog alone in the house. However, you – the pet owner – should be responsible for everything in between. What are basic things to prepare?


If you are at the office the whole day, then food should be ready. Your dog could get hungry during lunch or the afternoon. It is necessary to prepare a sufficient yet appropriate amount to food and treats. You can also place them in a food or treat dispenser.  


This is also necessary. Food and water are essential. It is also important to consistently change the water in the bowl. This prevents bacterial build-up.


You need to secure the vicinity. Installing security cameras is a good option. Some dog monitoring devices connect to security cameras. During night time, these devices could turn the security cameras on. Ensuring that the doors are locked is also a necessity. 


Preparing a box of toys is helpful. The dog can access this box whenever he feels lonely. It could be a bit sad to watch your furbaby play alone via dog camera. However, everyone learns to play alone. Playing alone benefits dogs. It boosts their independence. This also teaches them to be more alert in their environment. Scheduling the television to turn on during particular hours help. This provides an alternative entertainment for dogs. 

Emergency plan

The best way to secure dogs when alone is an emergency plan. Accidents such as fires, sudden storms, and a black-out can happen. This is where reality strikes. Someone should substitute you in the meantime. This pertains to an actual person. It could be your neighbor, relative, or friend who lives nearby. You can contact them whenever accidents happen. This places an extra safety pin. 

Do dogs get lonely?

A straightforward answer: yes. Dogs get lonely. They are people-centered. Dogs love their pet owners. Pining for you is a natural instinct when they are alone. Actually, dogs also get lonely without sufficient attention. They are highly interactive. Sometimes, they would do what it takes to get your full and unfiltered attention. 

What are the ‘lonely’ signs?

Lack of interest

Your playful dog is laying down the whole day. He used to be bouncy and energetic. And this happens while you are in the middle of a busy week. This could be a sign of loneliness. Furthermore, it can also be an indication of an underlying medical condition. When the energy suddenly goes down, be sure to check your dog. 

Loss of appetite: A half-finished food was left in the bowl. But your dog always finishes his meal. Loss of appetite is a sign of loneliness. 

Aggressive behavior

Pulling, tearing, and excessive barking are ways to get the pet owner’s attention. This includes scratching on the sofa or pulling your clothes. Cries for attention also accompany these behaviors. 

Facial expression

The dog’s facial expression also indicates emotions. Emotions through facial expression is not an exclusive human feat. Animals are capable of this, including dogs. The so-called “puppy eyes” are real. You know your dog well enough. His expression will reveal emotions that he feels. 

Being alone is a source of loneliness. Dogs need some extra forms of distraction at this point. Moreover, loneliness leads to depression when unaddressed. Depression in  animals has more severe effects on appetite and behavior.

Separation anxiety

Dogs also experience separation anxiety (Read more: How to Get Rid of Separation Anxiety in Dogs). 

Being alone all of a sudden causes this. Separation anxiety can disappear after a while. But dogs need to get used to this. Also, they need “signs” in the house of your continuous presence. These “signs” could be an interactive dog camera. There are plenty of dog cameras today that allow 2-way audio. Dogs and pet owners interact this way. Another method to reduce separation anxiety is toys. Toys to keep dogs entertained provides hours of distraction. 

Photo credit: Jamie Street, Upsplash

Selecting the right toy

Is there a perfect toy for your dog? Your dog could like one toy more than others. For instance, he could favor plush toys more than chewers. This depends on the temperament and playfulness. The ideal toy does not exist. However, my favorite toys do. Your dog is bound to find a companion among the pile of toys. 


A great toy is a strong one. In other words, it is durable. Standing the test of time makes a great toy. A good toy accommodates the dog’s playfulness. It helps to check for water resistance and shock resistance. These two criteria ensure durability. 

Sounds and features

Entertaining toys are stimulating. Visual and auditory stimulation enhances the dog’s abilities. Plenty of toys are brightly colored. Some also feature squeaking when pressure is applied.


Some toys to keep dogs entertained are brain teasers. For example, there are toys that improve hunting skills. Cartoon plushies and rubber ducks are examples. They mimic actual animals for hunting. It helps condition the dog. Treat dispensers, meanwhile, enhance coordination. They are mostly button-operated. Pressing specific buttons dispense treats. Dogs find their way around this. It provides them hours of fun and challenges.


Ensuring the dog’s safety is paramount. Toys should not contain harmful chemicals, materials, and substances. They should be 100% animal-friendly. Pet owners should check what the toys are made of. This is important for teethers and chewers.  


How much are you willing to spend? Dog toys are usually cheap and accessible. However, the more sophisticated, the higher the price. Being meticulous on dog toys is not bad. Aside from the price, features and safety measures are also checked. 

Dog toys

Dog toys vary nowadays. Some common themes are:

Brain teasers

An example is button-operated treat dispensers. Dogs need to press a button to dispense the treat. This challenges dogs. It is good for mental stimulation.

Plushies and squeakers

These toys are classic. They are thrown and chased. Dogs flush away boredom using plushies and squeakers. Plushies and squeakers have been innovated. Some are now battery operated. They create movement, catching the dog’s attention. This enhances cognitive ability. 


Another classic are balls. Balls are used for fetching and caching. They provide fun afternoons. A nice game of catch and fetch enhances pet owner-pet relationship. Also, balls enable great physical activity.

Chewing toys

The best chewing toys today maintain healthy gums and teeth. They improve the dog’s oral health. Some chewing toys feature a cleaning ability. The bums and texture massage gums. Meanwhile, they also help clean the teeth. Chewing toys suit teething puppies the most. However, they also suit adult dogs. Some chewing toys have meat flavors. This feature allures dogs even more.

Leaving a basket of toys to keep dogs entertained helps relieve loneliness and separation anxiety. Before leaving the house, make sure that the toy box is ready.

Alternative methods

There are alternatives of toys to keep dogs entertained. These 3 options suit dogs that are not into toys.

Television shows

Sights and sounds on the television keep the dog entertained. They are visually stimulating. Dogs also love listening to different sounds. Turning the television on before leaving helps to keep the dog engaged. You might want to pick a channel featuring animals. There are also animal videos available on the Internet. Watching other animals on television makes dogs feel accompanied.

Open the window

This gives some light to shine inside. It brightens the mood. Your dog would feel delighted. Seeing the outside world is a sustainable form of entertainment. Your dog could watch the neighborhood for hours. It also familiarizes him with the neighborhood. Your dog could even see you when arriving.

A daycare

Pet daycare centers are increasing. They provide support while pet owners are away. There are other animals and people in a daycare. This helps relieve loneliness. However, you should do a test run first. The daycare is a new environment. Your dog needs to adjust as well. Having other dogs and people around does not guarantee his joy. Strangers are still strangers. “Fitting in” could be challenging. New environments create stress and anxiety. It helps to give a one-week observation period. You would know if the set-up would work. 

Spending time with the dog

After returning from you personal adventure, make time for your dog. It reassures your sure return each time. Spending time together keeps anxiety, loneliness, and depression at bay. This is beneficial for the both of you. 

The Bottomline

Your personal schedules are inevitable. There will be a time when your dog would be home alone. When this happens, you need to provide the necessary adjustments. Food and water should be at the ready. Leaving the dog alone requires an emergency plan as well.  Toys to keep dogs entertained, meanwhile, provide the necessary distraction. Choosing the right toy depends on budget, features, durability, usefulness, and safety, among others. There are plenty of toys in the market that are stimulating. Television shows, a clear window view, and a dog daycare are other alternatives to toys. Ensuring that dogs are entertained home alone is important. This may seem like a minor issue. Unfortunately, it is not. Like you, dogs also experience loneliness. They are also prone to anxiety and depression.