How To Keep Your Dog Occupied – 5 Best Ideas

Keeping Your Dog Occupied 

Dogs can have a low boredom threshold when left alone, some can suffer with boredom or it may escalate to “separation anxiety”,  the result can often end with you being greeted on return to the home with an unholy mess. Dolly as mentioned in previous posts could suffer with boredom,  my new job was keeping me away for longer.  How did I keep my dog occupied when away from home?  I found the answer with food.

Let’s Talk About Boredom


I recently wrote a post which dealt specifically with Separation Anxiety in Dogs and how you might find a solution with some fairly worthwhile  training methods. But what if, like Dolly your dog is just bored. Bored dogs make their own fun, this could be destroying and chewing objects, digging and even escaping. The latter was a Dolly favourite when she was a teen puppy, we had no idea that a little dog could scale a fence, or dig under the shed, but she did. Never underestimate your dog, they will often surprise you and can be very tenacious. It is this tenacity that you can harness and help solve the boredom issue.

Looking at Boredom Busters  they would have to include keeping your dog mentally and physically active. No matter how busy you or your family you will need to schedule training and play, into your dogs day. This will reap huge reward in a very short space of time.

Bored Labrador
Bored Labrador

However you still have to leave the dog alone for concentrated periods of time and he is lively. With much research I would like to share How can food help your Dog deal with boredom.

I have written a post about the benefits of Pet Cameras which allow interaction and communication with your dog. This has given me huge peace of mind.


Why Does This Benefit My Dog

Your dog will notice you getting ready for work or  ready to depart from the house, the routine is the same, have you noticed  he starts to become anxious or excited at this point?

What if you introduced a new little regime which is enjoyable, keeps his mind busy and is all about food. The latter is usually the biggest incentive for a dog. We tend to find the more curious your dog the more likely he will have a low boredom threshold and this new habit will keep him engrossed and calm for some considerable time.

You will see the benefits of this new regime very quickly, probably by the third time of using, this will first be apparent when he does not become so anxious on your departure. He may actually start to look forward to you leaving. Thus letting the new food game commence.

I have looked at the 5 most popular and longest lasting Dog Treats and listed below. There are many suppliers but for this post I have looked at Amazon as they provide a very quick turnaround whilst giving real value.

How Does It Work

I needed a way to keep Dolly busy; work was sapping me of both time and energy, it meant  leaving Dolly for such long periods and is never ideal. Dolly is also quite elderly and prone to weight gain and therefore I had to be mindful of what I was adding or introducing into her now sedentary life.

Treats that require  the Dog to continually lick or chew offer great distractions and are something that dogs are genetically programmed to do, if your dog is prone to boredom or separation anxiety then these ideas will hopefully be a life saver.

I have scoured the internet done some fairly robust research (with Dolly) together with reading comments and review sites and these distractions listed below will ensure your dog has a new excitement when you leave the house

1 * Beef Trachea

Until recently I had not heard of Beef Trachea. If I explain what it is you may be slightly put off, however dogs love it especially as it is hollow and you can fill with things like peanut butter (for dogs) it will keep them amused for a very long time and unlike denture sticks they will not have the urge to bury. This gets many excellent owner reviews in fact over 98% were 4* and above.  The ones I have featured are quite big and would suggest sizing down if you have Terrier or smaller.

They are puppy safe and do not have anything which may effect their mouth, teeth or tummy…no more furniture chewing for your puppy when Beef Trachea are involved

Beef trachea is quite literally part of the windpipe of (usually) a Bull.

  • 500g Beef Air Pipe Trachea 5-6 Inch (Approx 10/12 Pipes)
  • A 100% natural air dried Dog Treat from Beef. Our Trachea has no preservatives or chemicals, and a natural flavour Dog’s simply love!
  • Tasty chew is high in both Chondroitin and Glucosamine for dogs of all ages and sizes!
  • An excellent form of Dental Hygiene, Trachea also satisfy your Dog’s natural instinct to Gnaw & Chew.
  • Like with all of our Natural Treat. These are Responsibly sourced in Turkey and come with Veterinary Certification
Beef Trachea
Beef Trachea for Dogs

Click Here For Beef Trachea

Click Here For Trachea Filler

2 * Frozen Treats

Frozen treats are a particular favourite during the summer months. Granted they don’t last as long as licking/chewing  treats but on a hot day and as a treat (perhaps if they have been good during your absence) then these make great rewards. They can last anywhere between 5-15 minutes, depending on the size of your dog

For this particular frozen treat I have chosen the Frozzy Frozen Yogurts. You will find these are very popular and sell out very quickly during the summer months. My suggestion is to buy them and freeze in bulk. Amazon sell in a pack of 8. Whilst not the cheapest treat on the market they will offer you and your pet a lot of fun

  • Lickable Frozen Dog Yogurt straight from the tub
  • Lactose Free
  • Highly Palatable
  • Low Calorie
  • Suitable for all dogs and puppies
Frozen Treat For Dogs
Frozzy’s Frozen Yogurt

Click Here for Frozzy’s Yogurts sold on Amazon

3 * Lick Mats – Good Choice

Of all the products we reviewed (Dolly and myself) this was easily the one which gave Dolly the most fun. In addition if you are on a budget then this will be the answer to your prayers. It lasts for a long time and you can keep the interest by changing the filler

  • spoil them with a lickimat, ideal for cat, puppies, small and medium dogs
  • Keep your pet entertained with tasty treats
  • Spread you pet’s favourite healthy soft treat over mat surface which will sooth and calm your pet through licking. Keep your pet entertained with tasty treats. Enjoy small treats without overfeeding
  • Stimulates saliva to aid digestive health. Perfect for runny treats like yoghurt or gravy.
  • You may receive either Green or orange Mat
Lick Mat For Dogs
Lick Mat for Dogs

Click Here For Lick Mat

Click Here For Lick Mat Filler


4 * Food Dispensing Toys

These types of toys really get the dog working for its supper, however some of the toys may defeat the smaller dog quite simply because they don’t have the capacity or lick length to reach to the top. Be mindful of the size of the toy compared to the tongue length of your dog.

The preferred choice by many dog owners and by inference the dogs as well is Kong. The make has been around a long time and has proved it’s worth on the market. It lasts longer than many of of its competitors and is worth paying the extra. The Kong Wobbler is the customer choice and it retains its 5* status over all other Kong products.

  • Dispenses rewards as it wobbles, spins and rolls
  • Prevents rapid eating
  • Top screws off for easy filling
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made in the USA of food grade, high-strength polymer; available in two sizes: S and L

Kong Wobbler comes in sizes click below on your preferred size

Kong Wobbler
Kong Wobbler






5 * Not Just Denture Sticks

I have long had a problem with the usual denture sticks, apart from my dog trying to bury them and retrieving them months later and bringing a sticky soggy mess into the lounge, my dog actually doesn’t really know what to do with them.

However I had to find some alternative way of Dog Dental Hygiene as brushing her teeth appears to cause her great anxiety. The mere mention of “Dolly shall we clean your teeth” is very much along the lines of “Dolly time for your Bath” the outcome is the same, game of hide and or run. Then lots of head turning and kicking. This was until I discovered the Dog Toothbrush Stick Chew. Available in different sizes to suit breed size

* Safe Material

* Easy to Use

* 360 Degree Round Cleaning

* Add Filler or Small Treats

Dog Toothbrush Toy
Toothbrush Toy For Dog

Click Here For The Dog Toothbrush Stick Chew

Final Thoughts 

Sometimes we have to leave our dogs on their own. Whilst we would prefer not to do so there is the inevitable time when you will. Hopefully one or more of the above ideas will give both you and your dog some fun.

I can also recommend Pet Cameras and have written product reviews, this will enable you to see if your boredom busting toys are doing what they are supposed to and which is the favourite.

I would love to hear your comments on what you do for your dog or puppy and if you have any thoughts or ideas. Please add to the comment box below. You may not realise but lots of people get value reading your story

Thank you for reading until the end of my blog post

Until later

Cordelia & Dolly

As an affiliate I can sometimes receive a small commission (very smal) but you do not pay any extra

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10 Replies to “How To Keep Your Dog Occupied – 5 Best Ideas”

  1. I prefer a lick mat for my dog, it’s something that keeps him occupied for the hours I’m away at work. 

    Then, when I get home, it’s time for a nice long walk, combined with some running. That keeps him active and he comes back home completely exhausted – just goes to drink a bit of water and then goes to lie down. 🙂

  2. What an interesting and informative post!  We have a neurotic pit mix who I worry about when we leave.  I like the suggestion of creating a departure routine that would calm the situation upon leaving.  I know for my horses that treats during training have cultivated a positive working relationship that has benefited me greatly.  I am drawn to the beef trachea and food dispensing toys as best tools for our dog to help create a departure routine.  

    1. Stacy, what a wonderfully articulate and interesting response. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post. I know this will resonate with many readers.

      I am really intrigued that your Horses have a routine and food is used by way of persuasion just like the methods we use when training our dogs. Why am I surprised? I shouldn’t be should I? 

      I hope that you are able to implement  the “leaving regime” hopefully you will very quickly notice the change for your “neurotic” pets 👍 Please do let me know how it pans out by coming back to my blog

      Once again thank you for commenting on my post.

  3. Pets always love to stay with his/her owner. I love pets very much. Though I have cat I think this article is useful for all pets. I have noticed that when I start to get ready to go outside my cat will come to me and once even entered into the lift to go with me. She will often follow me for quite a long way,  it’s very painful for me when I have to leave her. This article helps me to engage her and busy her at home. 

    I love my cat very much. Now she has two kids. She plays with them. I spent quality time with them so that they can understand I love them a lot.     

    1. Aysha, thank you for your comments on my post. I can see just how much your cat means to you and you are absolutely correct in observing that the Boredom Buster ideas work just as well for our pet cats. Perhaps not quite the same products but never the less the premise is the same. 

      I am hoping that other cat owners may also see your comment and see how it too will work for them. 

      Good luck with you and your cats.. 👍

  4. Wow another great article from you, I always learn more from your posts, I remember the previously about the anxiety, and now I have learnt more about how to keep a dog occupied, personally I have a small dog as a pet, I know about the lick mat but I did not know about the beef trachea.i think it might work very well the dog will to crush them and will remain bush for long hours,  j will also try the dog toothbrush chew, thank you for sharing such an amazing article, feel appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Joy, thank you so much for commenting (again..😁) on my post. Not only do I like to hear what you have to say but so do other readers. 

      My dog is small like yours and many of the licking toys are just too big. The Beef Trachea and the Lick Mats are Dolly’s preferred choice. The denture chew is also a godsend. 

      I am hoping you will be around for the next blog post 👍

  5. I have been searching on and off for a while now for some quality suggestions in regard to long lasting treats. You’d think it was easy enough to buy a big old bone or a hard plastic one and leave pooch to his or her own devices. How wrong was I. You see I hadn’t banked on the ‘jaws of death’ type of power my two mutts have. One fully fledged Husky and one half husky and half Staffoirdshire Bull Terrier (Not sure whose clever idea that was)

    Apart from the natural trait of quite happily eating anything that vaguely resembles food, they also have an incredible digestive system, believe me, I’ve seen the results first hand and it’s not pretty. 

    You would imagine that their natural demeanour would be one of manicness and they have their moments but generally speaking they are more like a pair of old cats, even in the Summer when they have free run of the outside, they prefer to come inside and lie down in the most unusual positions, I am sure Neo is double-jointed.

    We have days when they will be left on their own for an afternoon and it would be nice for them to have something they could occupy themselves with. Availability through Amazon will make life much easier than trawling the local pet shops. I’m not sure if I like the idea of a camera though, what I can’t see can’t hurt me I think. As long as I keep the sponges out of reach we’re good.

    1. Now that is what I call a quality comment, thank you so much TwAck, for taking the time to respond and for sharing the details about your dogs, your double jointed dogs or was it cats 🤗

      I am also pleased you found some useful items on the site, I agree it is much easier online especially via Amazon, I sometimes what we did before Amazon. 

      Once again thank you and look forward to you coming back to my website. 


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