Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.

As working from the office becomes the norm, there have been further adjustments to the way we live with our families and especially with our pets.

If you own a dog, they’ve probably noticed you’re spending less time with them during the day – and will definitely require a bit more attention when you get home!

Here are signs that show your dog may be under-stimulated:

  • Tail chasing– If your dog is chasing its tail, they may be trying to expel energy.
  • Vocal– If your dog is whining, they may want your attention and if they’re barking excessively then they may be bored.
  • Following you– If your dog follows you everywhere then they may be eager to play.
  • Tearing up household items– If your dog is tearing up everything in sight and has become destructive then they may be unstimulated or bored.

When you return to the office, we’ve got some tips on how to keep them entertained for hours at home while you’re at work.

Enrichment toys

Multi-functional, interactive toys are an important and stimulating way for dogs to entertain themselves while you’re at work.

Compared to your classic bone or tug of war rope, an interactive enrichment toy combines a treat dispensary, alongside a chewy texture and bouncy feel, designed for hours of playtime and mental enrichment.

Not only do they help to settle and keep your puppy relaxed but they can also lessen their anxiety (if they’re in a new place), keep them out of trouble (if they’re bored) and stimulate them mentally and physically.

Did you know? – allowing a dog to play by themselves is an important skill that empowers them to develop a sense of independence!

Foraging toys

Foraging toys are great for dogs who are naturally curious and need to actively work for their food. They’re created with strong, chewable rubber, and all you need to do is put some treats inside the toy, and your dog can play with it until they tire themselves out.

A great foraging toy is the Kong. This toy was made with treat dispensing in mind and can be stuffed lightly or more tightly with dog treats and sealed with peanut butter so that all the delicious ingredients don’t fall out.

For food-driven dogs, foraging toys are the perfect way to focus their attention on a specific activity, keep them entertained and stop them from scoffing their food straight out of a bowl.

Puzzles

With interactive puzzles your dog can experience different textures, practice problem solving, and keep themselves busy, meaning they have less time to get up to mischief!

A food-dispensing puzzle like a Snuffle mat can help to keep your dog occupied. It consists of a large mat, with layers of fabric where you can hide your dog’s favourite treats or mealtime kibble. This fun and interactive feeding mat will help to keep your pet entertained while preventing them from eating too quickly.

Interactive puzzles are a great way to keep your dog entertained while you’re at work. They allow your dog to participate in a new and engaging activity that should keep them out of trouble.

Frozen treats

Frozen treats are a great way to prevent boredom for your pup, particularly during summer. While they do take longer to break down, frozen treats will keep your dog occupied for longer. Always make sure that the frozen treats are large, and preferably in an ice cream tub, to avoid any choking hazards.

In Summer you can use a frozen or cold Lickimat to keep your dog cool. Spread your dog’s favourite food or treat onto the Lickimat and leave it for them to lick it off. Repetitive licking can have a calming effect on dogs that suffer from anxiety and keep them busy for extended periods of time.

Frozen treats can also help numb gums, alleviate discomfort in the mouth (if your pup is teething), and alleviate your pup’s need to chew other things, like your shoes!

Homemade treats

When it comes to homemade treats they should be fed to your dog in moderation and only make up about 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. That way your dog should still be receiving all the nutritional value from regular dog food as well as some treats to keep their diet balanced overall.

Here are some examples:

  • Dehydrated chicken breast is a popular one that dogs love! This treat can be made in a specific dehydrator or even in the oven.
  • Dog safe peanut butter biscuits are also a favourite but should be fed sparingly as they’re quite high energy.
  • Sometimes even just a simple treat like a carrot can keep some dogs happy and chewing for a while.

After work

What you do after work can also positively impact your pet’s behaviour and help keep them entertained for even longer. But make sure to give them some time to settle down first and then play with them or go for a walk once they’re calm.

It may seem like a no brainer – but taking your dog on a long walk can offer a variety of benefits including:

  • Improving mental health– dogs get stimulation outdoors with new smells, experiences, and nature exploration. Make sure that your dog has plenty of time to sniff too!
  • Quality time– you are the centre of your dog’s world! Spending quality time is constructive for both you and your dog's mental and physical health.
  • Less destruction– walking longer routes and taking different paths can help your dog to exert energy and reduce the likelihood of them chewing through household objects.

By walking your dog you’re helping to improve your pet’s physical fitness, all while getting much-needed entertainment and stimulation for their mind outside the home. This is especially important if you are going to be feeding your dog treats and other food throughout the day.

Dog Insurance Solved™ with Budget Direct

Now that you’re back at work, your dog can get back to being as mischievous as it ever was, which may lead to getting into a spot of bother every now and then.

If your dog becomes sick or accidentally injured, and you take them to the vet, Budget Direct’s Pet Insurance could reimburse up to 80% of your eligible vet expenses for covered conditions (sub-limits, waiting periods, exclusions and an excess apply).

Get a quote online and receive 15%^ off on your first year’s premium for a new policy purchased online!