9 ways to take care of your dog when you’re busy

For those who have work to do from home, or for those who have long to-do task lists that extend for miles and miles, keeping a dog or puppy occupied and well-taken care of can be the last thing on your mind. Of course, you don't want to ignore your pooch completely, but when you need time to yourself to get things done, it helps to plan care for your dog in advance. For example, try one of these top 9 ways to take care of your dog while you're busy.

1. Provide Calm Time

When you have a pooch that's particularly full of energy, you can always give her calming time by setting up a dog crate with a cozy, calming environment inside. Make sure to get the right type of kennel that got all the features that are actually important to you.

Also, be sure to fill the crate with comfy blankets and pillows for her to sleep on, and if you're sure she's not going to be taking a nap while you're busy, try adding toys and a few small treats to the crate for her to enjoy. This option is especially helpful for those who are busy on calls or online meetings where barking in the background could be a distraction.

2. Set Up a Window Viewing Area

Dogs love to gaze out of windows and doors during all times of the year, so you can fill a pup's extra time with outdoor viewing. Try to set up a cozy, inviting seat or bed for your pet in a spot that's right next to a clear windowpane, perhaps with a sofa cushion or soft blanket, and let her know that she can rest there, so she'll hop in and see what's out in the world for a while!

3. Create a Treasure Hunt

When you need to keep a dog occupied around her mealtime, consider setting up a treasure or scavenger hunt for her. You can hide pieces of dry dog food, kibble, and treats around a room, leaving them in places that are hidden, but still accessible. This will give her time to explore the room in a playful way while still providing her dinner!

4. Make Fun with Peanut Butter

It's also no secret that pooches young and old love peanut butter, and treat time can be extended for up to an hour just by giving your pup this creamy substance in a unique way. Some dogs particularly enjoy licking this treat off of lick mats, silicone mats covered with fun textures for their tongues, while others enjoy eating it out of the inside of a hollow treat-filling toy. If you don't have these items on hand, you can always smear some peanut butter all over your dog's favorite rubber or plastic toy, and some dogs even like to lick it off of empty, crinkly water bottles.

5. Create an Ice Toy

A unique way to fill playtime includes making a cool ice toy for your puppy to enjoy. To make an ice toy, you can use any extra container you have laying around, filling it with water and a couple of treats, bones, or regular dog balls or toys, and then place it in the freezer a few good hours before your busy hour hits. When you pop the ice toy out of the mold, your dog will think it's a brand new toy straight from the pet shop, and go crazy chewing and licking it until she gets the goodies inside out!

6. Host a Pup Playdate

If you happen to have friends or neighbors that have busy hours at the same time that you do, you can invite their pups over to play with yours while you both get your busy work done. Make sure to supervise your furry friends, especially during the first playdate or two, to ensure that the two or few dogs play well together. Remember, dogs are just like kids, and they don't always want to share their toys!

7. Start Up TV Time

Some dogs really like to watch TV! And, when you're busy, you can use this to your advantage by turning the television on to a dog-friendly program to keep her occupied for a while. Dogs particularly like shows that involve images and sounds of other dogs as well as any and all animals.

8. Give a Brand New Toy

All pooches get excited when they get their teeth on a new toy, so one sure way to keep yours busy when you are is by giving her one. Different dogs like different types of toys, but you should be able to figure out what you like best with time and trials. And, if you don't have time or the means to buy a brand new toy, you can try digging out an old one from the bottom of your pup's toy pile. Sometimes, dogs can even be tricked into thinking an old toy is new just by having it hidden away from them for a while!

9. Design a Puppy Playground

When young pups just don't let up on chewing on the furniture and your new shoes, it helps tremendously to give them a special space just for them to go wild. Consider turning a closet or entire room into a playground for your pup, clearing the area of anything you don't want to be ruined by her teeth, and filling it with things you would otherwise throw away. Add piles of old shoes and clothes or things like cardboard and plastic boxes and containers mixed in with a bunch of toys and/or hidden treats—just make sure to keep any small choking hazards out. Let your pup roam free in this space whenever you need a minute to yourself and when she needs a minute to get out her energy!

When you're busy, it can be difficult to keep up with your dog, no matter how young or old she may be. However, it's not impossible to do, so long as you give her a way to be as busy as you are.