How to Help Your Pet Learn to be Alone: an article by Troy Animal Hospital

Summer is coming to an end and vacations are over, kids are heading back to school and adults to work. What does this mean for your pets? That they now have a lot more alone time on their paws.

Bored pets can mean destructive pets. No one wants to come home from a long day at work to find trash scattered all over or your couch destroyed. There are things you can do to help your pet out though.


  • A tired dog is a good dog. If you have or can make a little extra time in the morning, take your dog for a walk or run before leaving for the day. If you can’t go for a walk, perhaps a game of fetch outside or in the house if the weather is bad.

  • There’s no reason a dog has to be fed out of a food bowl. Consider putting your dog’s breakfast in a stuffable type of toy, such as a Kong, Buster Cube or Tug-a-Jug. Give the dog the toy right before you leave.

  • Have a short training session in the morning before you go.

  • Leave a radio or TV on for your dog as background noise.

  • Leave your dog some type of chew toy, such as a rawhide bone, to keep him occupied. Be sure that it’s something your dog has had before when you’re there, so that you know it’s safe for him.

  • If you’re gone for long hours, consider having a friend or hiring a dog walker, to give your dog an afternoon stroll or play session.


  • Have a play session before you leave in the morning. Laser pointers and fishing pole type toys are good ways to get most cats to exercise.

  • Leave a toy/toys stuffed or rolled in catnap around the house for your cat to find.

  • Consider adding vertical space for your cat, either through different types of cat trees or even clearing spots on upper bookshelves for your cats. Cats like to be up high. Place treats on these areas for your  cat to find.

  • If possible, set up a bird feeder outside a window where you cat can sit and watch.

  • Cats can also have their meals provided in different types of puzzle balls.

  • Some cats may also appreciate a radio or TV for background noise.

 The transition from having their people home all day to being alone can be a tough one for many pets. With planning and a little extra morning attention though, you can help your pet’s time alone be less stressful for them and you.

 Here at Troy Animal Hospital we work hard to provide the highest quality veterinary care for your beloved pets. You can reach us at


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