Home Alone

September 23, 2011  

This month we’re focused on jobs and working, so asked our Facebook fans, ‘What do you do with your dogs while you’re at work? Any tips for keeping them happy while you’re gone for the day?’

Kongs filled with peanut butter, dog walkers, toys and hidden treats were all among some of the ways we keep our dogs happy while we’re away. And a fortunate few get to take their best friends to work with them. Don’t you wish you had a web cam to spy on them while you’re gone?
Thanks everyone for sharing.

Photos by Melissa Lipani

I have only had Shiloh girl a little over three months, and the few times we have had to leave her for several hours, I put on the classical music station on TV. But she is happy to have her four feline buddies to play with and keep her company.

~ Debra Lewis Caruso

My fiancé and I work opposite shifts so that someone is home with the dogs at all times.

~ Jaz End-Bsl Gray

My boyfriend and I work opposite shifts so Millie doesn’t have to be alone too much, but if she does have to be alone for the 8 hours I’m at work she either goes to doggie daycare or stays home by herself. She’s really good when she’s home alone, I usually leave her a frozen peanut butter Kong, but if there is a blanket on the couch she usually just cuddles up and sleeps all day! Then she gets a nice long walk when I get home.

~ Laura Latini

My pit (Pixelle) and my min pin (Zipp) get a yummy peanut butter Kong whenever my husband and leave for the day. We pay our neighbors son, who is 13, to come by and let them out and throw a stick in the back yard for 30 minutes.

~ Mandi Hoover Fletcher

They have their own room – it is downstairs at the back of the house, so it is far from any street noise, and they have a full-size futon bed to lounge on, water and toys. It’s like a giant comfortable crate!

~ Aimee Jeannette Clements

I’m lucky I work at my apartment complex as the manager. So I go home at lunch and we go walking. She stays in her crate, when I’m not home. Then my daughter gets home from school at 3 and our dog Nakita helps her with her homework! I think the mid-afternoon walk helps her to rest when we aren’t home.

~ Carol Anderson Lueckfeld

I got mine a playmate. They mostly sleep the day away together! ~ Elise Redmond

One of my dogs goes to doggy daycare twice a week because we’re trying to socialize him. Sometimes he also gets dropped off at a local shelter, so he can participate in a local junior high and high school animal awareness program. My other dog has back issues (weenie dog), so he can’t do doggie day care or anything too strenuous. He has to be kept in a place where he can’t jump during the day (doctor’s orders). Otherwise he sometimes comes to work with me. I have a crate for him at work and a lot of times he just prefers to stay in there and sleep.

~ Veronica Villareal

When my husband and I are out of the house, we leave music on for our pups. It helps them relax and they don’t hear EVERY tiny noise outside.

~ Kelly Knickerbocker Reynolds

Well, fortunately for my girl L.A., my husband and I own a business so she doesn’t spend a minute of the day without one of us. We’re blessed and so is she! Unfortunately, my family has the “pit bull stigma” stuck in their head and won’t accept her at their home for Thanksgiving, so we won’t be going. I wouldn’t leave my child at home, and she’s my kid, so why would I leave her?

~ Lisa Moore

Stewart, our 11-month-old, gets walked daily, sometimes twice a day when I am not working. My husband comes home everyday at lunch to let him out to pee and run around in the fenced in yard. I have had all summer off and since I went back to work after Labor Day, he got into things he has never bothered with before. He chewed up two pair of my flip flips and got up on a high shelf and chewed up a pair of prescription glasses! We put peanut butter in a Kong and give him a cow ear. So far the last few days he has not eaten anything he isn’t supposed to. He is only home alone for the most four hours before someone is here with him.

~ Jamie DeVine Legato

I am lucky to only work part-time and to have a pup who loves her crate. From 8:15 to 12:15 she is crated and appears to sleep the entire time…then it is fun times when I get home. Our previous pit used to lounge around during my time away, she was older and didn’t need the crate anymore.

~ Eileen Enright Gromlowicz

A clean kennel, a bowl of water, a going away treat, and his favorite blanket keeps my bull satisfied.

~ Kt Croyle

My two pit girls kennel right next to each other while we’re gone. They’re a good source of comfort for each other. They each get a treat for going in their cages (they’ll open the doors themselves), they lay down and I would imagine that they just sleep. I’m lucky enough to live close to work and have an hour lunch, so they get a mid-day reprieve and about 30 minutes of playtime before mom’s got to go back to work. My husband is off three hours later, so it works out really well. And some days, I just take them in with me to work, if I have a light day of office duties. I’m lucky enough to have a very dog-friendly workplace.

~ Sheri Davis

When we’re not home, the dogs stay in the house. The youngest is still crated and the other two pretty much sleep where ever they want to.

~ Donna Shaw Wallace

Being a law student is basically a full-time job and my boyfriend works full-time. Between my classes I stop home to either just lounge on the couch and study with Vlad or go for a short walk. We always leave the TV on for him. Soon enough we’re all back together again and Vlad is well rested for an evening of playing.

~ Jen Woleslagle

As far as treats, they’ll either get stuffed Kongs (we like to put in some of the Honest Kitchen mixture) or marrow bones.

~ Jersey Shore Dogs, LLC – Positive, Reward-Based Dog Training

My boy gets to go with me to work, I have no idea what I would do if he had to be home alone for 8 hours!

~ Kat Donald

My older adult dogs are free to roam the house and my younger dog is crated and given Kongs and bully sticks to keep him busy. My bull terrier is shut in the bed room because he likes to pick on the bigger dogs.

~ Chelsea Molitor

A great doggie day care with plenty of socialization/play/exercise! ~ Sandra Cooper

My dog goes into his kennel with a bone, a couple treats, and listens to classical music.

~ Bonnie Carter

My husband is on full time disability, so he’s home with our 5-year-old beagle and nearly 1-year-old pit bull to let them out and take them for walks. When we both go away, the pit bull goes into his crate with a Nylabone. We can let the beagle have the run of the house as he doesn’t really get into anything anymore.

~ Cindy Wittich

I have five pits and three cats, and I work full-time. My one girl is a therapy dog, so sometimes she comes with me to work. But most days, everyone has their own private bedroom and/or extra large crate (they are all chewers, even though they range in age from 5-11!) and are alone with the TV on until the sitter comes to play with them and let them out. Then we all go for walks when I come home. I wish I didn’t have to work so I could just be with them all the time, but as a teacher, I do have lots of days off to be with them.

~ Tami DErrico

When it was just Sasha, we allowed her free reign of the house. Since adopting Krusher we crate both of them.

~ Kelli Parker

Both our pits are crate trained. Nine-month-old Oakley loves it. Ten-year-old Sissy just learned what a crate was when we got the pup, and she too is now crate trained. They are both in their kennels for up to 10 hours. We have neighbor girls come by during the day to let them out for 30 minutes or so. They both get an hour walk outdoors, along with playtime with friends. If it’s to hot in AZ for a walk, they walk on the treadmill, and love it.

~ Nicole Kuszynski

They get the run of the kitchen. Usually they stay in the open crate (our two dogs). Our foster dog stays in her crate.

~ Elizabeth Whitson Flynn

I am one of the very fortunate few who gets to bring my dogs to work with me (one at a time). I work at a pet supply/grooming/training business. The ones who stay home are sometimes crated, sometimes loose and have chews/Kongs to amuse themselves.

~ Tara Sue Dickerson

Finn, our beagle mix, can have the run of the house. Judging from the pile of white fur on the couch when we get home, he just sleeps all day. Rosie, our lab/pit mix, can’t be in the house unsupervised if we want to come home to intact furniture. We have a huge 10×5 kennel in the basement with a Kurunda bed and lots of toys. She can play and move around quite freely but is contained while we are at work.

~ Erin Trone Hanson

Luckily, my sister works mostly from home, so they are rarely alone. Foster dogs keep Cinnamon happy; she gets to be the mommy and she loves it. The pet sitter who comes to walk them (Auntie Cara) is the highlight of the day!

~ Katherine Smith

My own two have the run of the house. Echo and Puck are very good boys and spend a lot of time sleeping. When my part-time foster, Rio, is with me, he is in the crate. Luckily, I only work a few half-days a week. My husband is a forester and sometimes they get to go to work with him. The boys all have plenty to do so naptime is always welcome. I’m home sick today with all three and all they’ve done, aside from a couple short play sessions, is sleep. Thankfully!!

~ Crissy Wilson Tadlock

My dog has the run of the house! When I get home it looks like I have a toddler!! There are toys all over the place, so I guess she entertains herself!

~ Arlene Applebaum

I work from home, so it’s lot of sleeping and quiet bone-chewing. When we leave on the weekends our APBT is crated and the boxer and beagle are gated upstairs.

~ Sarah Richards

Butch is crated during the day, lying on a big, fluffy blanket, a rawhide clamped in his jaw. He loves the chew flip so much, he races to the crate and the door is often closed behind him (I finally figured out that he would paw the door open, and it would swing shut behind him).

~ Susan Fariss

I like to flop right in front of the door and sigh dramatically. ~ HRNK if You Love Moose

Little guy sleeps in our bed in the morning, then the family room for lunch, and spends his afternoons in our guest room. He is a sundial. I used to feel bad leaving him alone until I set up a webcam and found out all he does is sleep all day, then I was a little bit jealous.

~ Aileen Mary Cronin

Our dogs are crated during the day while we’re at work and do very well with it. They each get a Kong with treats (usually apples and/ or carrots) and peanut butter as well as a Nylabone. I’d be OK with leaving them out if they didn’t continue to try and pull stuffing out of the hole they’ve put in the couch or raid our trash. But, Porter’s 18 months and Arcadia just turned a year old so we’ve still got some puppy tendencies to work on!

~ Amy Rever-Oberle

Lucy usually takes over the master bedroom while sister Tisa takes over the living room. I work about 1/2 mile away, so I run home throughout the day and let them out. Lucy is happiest when she has a bone in her mouth and Tisa is comforted by the shirt I sleep in, or the socks I wear, or the last shirt I had on. My kids work different hours than I do, so someone is usually home at different times of the day.

~ Renee Gainey

When my four were younger they all went into crates with the radio on loud, each got an XL Kong with frozen goodies or a marrow bone. I also tied ropes, toys and things on the sides of the crate for them to work on getting loose all day. As they got older they needed less toys and more pillows for power naps. Now it’s a treat and crate for younger two (8 years old) and private rooms with big soft beds for the older two (10 years old) with the radio or TV on.

~ Elaine Swarts

I walk them early in the morning before I go off to work and I give them some off leash time and I make sure they are tired. When I leave, they have the yard and garage to themselves. In the garage, I leave water, beds, light and the radio on for them. They are used this routine and don’t mind being on their on for 8-9 hours a day.

~ Claudia Villena

Sam and Maddie guard the house while I’m at work and greet me as soon as I walk in the door. Nothing will do but to give them dinner right then and there! But they deserve it, after all, that couch gave them a lot of trouble trying to get up and wander away all day long!

~ Ron Fox

My dogs are great while I’m away. They have a doggie door and just chill out outside or inside. They never chew up anything or are destructive. Part of that is their age I’m sure – they are 6 and 8, but we’ve never had any issues. But we adopted them at 2 and 3 and lived upstairs in an 800 square foot condo. Even there they never had accidents or were destructive.

~ Micaela Myers

We are lucky enough to always have somebody home with our Rowdy aka “Boi”. I take classes at night so my 19-month-old is left alone with Daddy and since this is usually an out of control situation, Rowdy has dubbed himself the official Toddler wrangler! And he takes this position very seriously he is always right by Donovan’s side, making sure he’s not getting into any trouble (also collecting crumbs and juice spills) he also lets Daddy know when Donovan has a dirty pamper by strategically removing it from his bottom and bringing it to Daddy to be thrown away. He is also a makeshift “horsie” and dodge ball target. And for naps he is a wonderful toddler pillow and every night he is his Donovan’s favorite blanket warmer. I have a feeling Donovan’s life just wouldn’t be as bright without his “rrorororo Rowdy.”

~ Krista Bayerlein

I have an outdoor kennel for my Mia girl. It has a big open area for her to be outside and part of it is under a covered top so she can get out from the weather. Also has a dog house in it, under the covered part for her to cozy up and take naps! She is crate trained as well, so if I know I am only going to be gone for a short period of time she will go in her crate. I have toys in her kennel for her. When I get home I give her lots of loving and exercise! That seems to do the trick to keeping her happy!!

~ Jill Ashley

I get up at 3:45 am so I can take Isabelle to the park to run every morning. I feed her and put her back to bed with all her toys. I pay my neighbor Michele (who is a stay home mom) to take her for a walk in the afternoon, then she often lets Isabelle hang out with her three sons. When I get home I take her to run again…She is such a good girl!

~ Christine AndIsabellebluenose Blotzer

My pittie and Jack stay home together and mostly sleep. They have a doggie door so they can go in and out as they please. Often I will buy some “bye bye” toys that they get while we are away. When I get home I put the toys away so that the next time I pull them out they are excited all over again.

~ Kimberly Dovel

My office is home based…R&R are our office helpers. ~ Christine Winter

My parents are still having hard times wif da job searches like lots of udder parents, but when mommy used to work at da vet place she liked to take us to Grammy’s house to play wif our udder furiends! Grammys are wonderfur!

~ Feather the Pitty Princess

We’re lucky that my husband and I work opposite shifts, but if he’s out of town or something, I made a room just for them to be in! I call it the dog room and really the only thing in there is their beds a few toys. Then I give them both a Kong with peanut butter in it and they’re happy little pups.

~ Karen Hume

My Penny gets a 30 minute walk in the morning, a couple of hours alone out of her cage in the apartment (with treats hidden so she can track them down), and then around lunch joins me at work for the rest of the day and a walk after the work day is done. Adopting a pitty puppy soon, so his day will be much the same, except he’ll be with me while I house train him. I’m super lucky to be able to bring my dogs to work.

~ Steven Hubbard

My three pit bulls have free range of house with the exception of bedrooms and have a dog door for the fenced backyard. At night I put kibble in their Kongs (the black ones) and either put peanut butter or unflavored Greek yogurt on top to seal it and freeze over night. They can’t wait for me to leave in the a.m. so they get their treats. I don’t do it everyday, but fairly often. I’ve been very blessed with non-destructive, lazy dogs that I’m sure sleep all day while I’m working.

~ Laurel Hoskinson

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4 Responses to “Home Alone”
  1. micaelamyers says:

    I should have added that my dogs are probably so well behaved while we’re at work because we always walk them before and after work, which is essential!

  2. mac_naughton says:

    I love it! I leave my pup with two filled kongs, which has dramatically decreased the destruction of shoes and other objects. She comes in from her morning play session and goes off in search of the kongs…could care less I am going to work! This morning I happen to catch her rolling one with her nose for the food to fall out, looks like i need to invest in a smart toy! The foster is crate trained, and content to snooze all day.

  3. buddieandreilly says:

    I have 3 dogs, one is a pit. I let them run in the yard before work. When I put on my uniform they go into their crates and wait to be shut in. They rest during the day, and when I get home it’s time to eat, run in the yard and do doggy business and then go for a walk If it’s rainy, I have them wait in the kitchen while I hide treats around the house. When I say “find” the run all over finding their treats.

    Knowing they spend so much time crated during the day (luckily I only work part-time) I like to keep them active at other times. They still spend a lot of time making my house look like a doggy flophouse.

  4. Repoleon says:

    My two have the run of the house, except the bedrooms. I have child safety locks on all the cabinets and the refrigerator because they can open all the doors, and i keep the trash in the cabinet under the sink. They are fine unless we don’t come home before dark, then one of them gets worried and anxious and paces and will sometimes chew up a pencil or book or something. Her previous owner died and she had seperation anxiety when we first got her. Now she is better, but a regular schedule is essential for her to be calm. She’s a worrier. She is fine with being crated, but strangely, the other dog is a nervous wreck if she is crated and he himself is seriously phobic about being crated. They are a strange pair! We just work around each of their issues.