What to Do with a Dog While at Work: 10 Ideas

What to Do with a Dog While at Work all Day

So many working people want dogs, and can give them loving homes. But the reality will often be that work gets in the way, and loving owners need to leave their dogs at home for periods of time. But if you do need to go to work all day, what can you do with your dog?

Here are some ideas and suggestions on what to do with a dog while you are at work, how to make it happy for them, and work for you too.

So, what can you do with your dog while at work?

There are several things you can do to ensure your four-legged buddy isn’t lonely or bored while you’re at work. From taking them to dog daycare to getting a dog walker, hiring a pet sitter, and buying interactive toys — the options are many.

What to do with your dog when you go to work

You should not leave an adult dog alone for more than 6 hours when you go to work. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions to ensure your dog is comfortable without you around and ease your worries when you leave them behind all day.

1. Find a trusted pet sitter for companionship

When you’re at work, your furry friend will, at some point, crave company. With a professional pet sitter around, your dog won’t feel as though they’ve been abandoned. It could be that you just have a neighbor come in twice a day for 15 minutes… you don’t have to use a professional.

Whoever you choose to see your dog whilst you are at work all day, ask them to play with your canine pal, feed them, take them for potty breaks, and give them all the attention they need.

The best part? You’ll come home to a wagging tail because they had good company and lots of fun while you were at work.

Sadly pet sitters don’t come cheap. But it’s worth it if you have a super tight work schedule.

2. Get a professional dog walker

Pet sitter too expensive? Try hiring a certified dog walker — they’re cheaper.

With a dog walker, your furry pal will get their daily dose of exercise and go to potty at the right time. Even though your dog may not spend the whole day with the professional walker, it’s better than no company.

When your furry friend has enough exercise daily, they will spend much of their day snoozing rather than stressing over your absence when you are at work.

3. Consider for a dog daycare

Consider taking your canine pal to a dog daycare while you head to work — especially during days when you’ll be working late.

Rather than spending the entire day at home fighting loneliness, boredom, and everything negative in between, your dog will have lots of fun interacting with his canine mates.

You’ll have peace of mind at work knowing your furry friend is happy and safe in the hands of well-trained behavioral coaches.

4. Keep them occupied with puzzle toys and treat-stuffed toys

Can’t seem to focus on zoom meetings because your bored furry co-worker constantly makes a special appearance? Invest in a few interesting dog puzzle toys (see on Amazon) and treat-stuffed toys.

Your dog will spend will spend a long time pawing, licking, and nibbling the toy to get hold of the “reward” hidden in it.

These mentally stimulating toys will keep your furry friend engaged when you’re away.

Handy Hint: Here’s a selection of the best toys to help mentally stimulate your dog.

5. Hide the good stuff and let your dog seek

Another brilliant way to keep your dog busy when you’re gone for work all day is to hide some toys, a healthy treat, or something as simple as a few pieces of kibble in different spots in the house.

Train them to master a hide-and-seek cue like “find it” so that anytime they hear it, they bolt into action, ready to find the hidden treasure.

This hide-and-seek game can also be your exit plan as you leave the house for work.

6. Don’t switch off the TV or radio

Well, your dog won’t Netflix and chill until you return. But the visuals and background noises will entertain them for some time and make them feel like they have company.

Since our furry friends enjoy seeing other animals on screen, you can leave a show like Animal Planet running.

TV aside, one study found that dogs find classical tunes quite soothing. So, stick to this genre if you want to play music that will keep your dog calm when you’re away.

7. Make your dog feel comfortable in their space

Another thing you can do with your dog when you are at work all day is to ensure they are comfortable. If you let your furry pal stay in the living room when you go to work, let their crate stays here.

Their favorite toys and blanket should also be inside the crate. That way, they will enjoy spending time or snuggling in their safe space while you’re away.

If they often pee indoors, make sure they can easily access their potty area. Remember to always leave the crate door open. Don’t lock your dog up.

8. Give them a chance to sit by the window

Instead of closing all your blinds and curtains, allow your furry pal to enjoy some live entertainment from nature.

You don’t have to open all curtains in the house, especially curtains on windows with the busiest view. This may lead to unnecessary barking.

Rather, choose a window spot that doesn’t show so much going on outside, and keep the curtains open (not the window).

Place a chair next to this window so your dog can comfortably sit and get carried away by the birds flying outside. It’s better than staying idle and getting anxious over your whereabouts.

9. Make a stopover during the day

If you can spare a couple of minutes during your lunch break at work to check in on your canine buddy, that would be great!

You’ll bond with them, sort out their potty needs, change their water, and confirm everything’s okay before returning to work.

10. Invest in an automatic dog feeder

Despite you being at work, your canine pal still has to eat at the same time each day.

An automatic feeder will help you stick to this feeding routine. This feeder will dispense your dog’s pre-portioned meal at the scheduled feeding time.

Some automatic feeders even come with a camera or voice recorder. You can leave mealtime messages for your four-legged friend or engage them as they eat.

More on dogs being home when you go to work

Puppies are most delicate when it comes to potty matters meaning you can’t leave them at home long when you go to work. They can only hold their urine for the same number of hours as their age.

For instance, if your little canine pal is four months old, they can’t go more than four hours without a toilet break.

As for adult dogs, six hours is the maximum.

Letting your furry pal hold in pee for too long puts them at risk of bladder problems. And if they can’t hold it any longer, you can already guess whether they’ll pee or poop from — in the house.

FAQs on what to do with dogs while at work

What do I do with my dog while I’m at work?

You have several options: take your furry friend to dog daycare, hire a professional pet sitter or dog walker, get them enough interactive toys, play soothing music, or leave the Tv on.

Can you leave a dog alone for 8 hours?

As discussed earlier, experts don’t recommend leaving a dog alone for that long.

Is it okay to leave my dog at home while I work?

Yes, it’s okay as long as you’ve made the necessary preparations to ensure your furry friend is entertained and has company.

Is it okay to cage my dog while at work?

Confining your dog without leaving the crate open isn’t okay since they’ll easily get lonely and stressed. They should be able to move in and out as they like.


You’ve got a precious furry friend whom you wish you could spend all your time with, but your busy work life can’t allow it. Trying to figure out how to keep your dog happy and well taken care of when duty calls?

While we love taking our four-legged companions everywhere, this isn’t always possible when work is involved.

Like every other dog parent with work commitments, you’d want your dog to be perfectly okay when you leave them behind. Well, this can only happen if you make the necessary arrangements to ensure your furry pal is well taken care of in your absence.

You see, experts don’t recommend leaving your dog alone for several hours a day. Our furry companions are social creatures and can get distressed if left alone for a lengthy period.

Stressed dogs tend to be quite destructive. You wouldn’t want to return home to a hot mess after a hectic day at work.

Also, letting them stay alone the entire day isn’t a good idea for potty reasons — particularly if your dog does their toilet business outdoors.

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Dog at door photo from https://unsplash.com/photos/jWbpQ9V7Wlo

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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