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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Smart Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy While You’re at Work All Day

If you leave your favorite pet at home all day while you're working, don't fret—we found the most entertaining ways to keep your best buddy happy while you're bringing home the bones.

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Make snacks feel like fun

When you leave for work every day, your cuddle best friend is definitely missing you (and your attention), and how to fill that time with fun, healthy activities is one of the things your dog wishes you knew. With approximately half of American households counting dogs as family members, according to a recent American Pet Products Association survey (and a total of 84.9 million households in America owning any pets, including cats, fish, and birds), that’s a lot of lost time for affection, treats, and fun. Products like Benebone dog chew toys hide your pup’s favorite healthy treats in a dog-friendly and bone-shaped puzzle to keep him engaged, excited, motivated, and off the best furniture.

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This new recycling hack = hours of chew time

If Fido is prone to chewing everything in sight while you’re away, keep your sofa legs safe with this brilliant HOL-Ee Bottle. All you need to do is pop an old (or new) water bottle into the clever dog chew–friendly design, and watch your BFF go to town chewing, pawing, and deep thinking his way to happiness. According to the ASCPA, excessive chewing can be a sign of dog depression, and offering a healthy chew toy can actually help reduce your pup’s anxiety while you’re at work. These 25 jobs may disappear within the next 25 years. If you have one of them, at least you can spend more time with your dog.

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A quiet escape while you’re away

Cats are known for napping, and giving your precious feline friends a Petmaker Cat Tree 5-Tier Double Decker Condo is the easy way to let them know they’re loved all day. They’ll rest, play, scratch, and purr their way to entertainment thanks to sturdy construction, multiple levels, and four included cat toys. Just don’t make these 12 mistakes and you and your cat will get along purr-fectly.

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Fetch goes beyond your time together

Sure, playing fetch is a great activity for you and your furry BFF to do together, but even when you’re toiling away at your desk and other human duties, your favorite pup can chew, chase, and play with a favorite ball. Opt for a versatile ball like Chuckit! Amphibious Dog Balls so weekend lake trips include a healthy round of fetch, too.

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Brain teasers aren’t just for humans

If you think only humans like brain teasers, think again. According to Scientific American, cat cognition is real, deep, and ever-developing. That means brain games are important, and keeping her mind busy with a Pet Life Kitty-Tease Interactive Cognitive Training Puzzle Cat Toy Tunnel Teaser is something you’ll both purr about.

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A chew toy for your good boy (with fangs)

If all those other chew toys weren’t enough to stand up to your Fido with fangs, a Rocco & Roxie Dog Ball will be just what the dog dentist ordered. They’re nearly indestructible, come in sizes for both large and small dogs, and keep the love of your animal life busy all day while you’re at work.

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This is meow-worthy

Your fanciest feline friends will be infinitely happier when they realize they’re spending the work day in clean, fresh litter, and you’ll be happier knowing you’ll come home to a place that smells nothing like the local zoo. The Litter Genie features antimicrobial properties to keep stink-causing bacteria at bay, and is actually heartily recommended by famed cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

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Little furballs need entertainment, too

According to the American Pet Products Association, millions of American households count guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other furry creatures as their in-home best friends. While bunnies aren’t known for wild games of fetch, they do need something to do while you’re away, which is why a hide-and-seek house they can chew on is ideal for little critters. Learn more about your favorite small critter with these 51 things you didn’t know about what makes your pet tick.

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Flossing made fun

If getting your dog onboard the dental hygiene train is a nearly impossible task, you’re not alone. Healthy chew toys and dental care can keep your pet’s breath fresh, provide hours of entertainment, and keep all the other very chewable things in your home safe when you’re at work. Try this bone-shaped Rope Dog Toy made from cotton.

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This will take the edge off separation anxiety

If you haven’t already heard about the calming effects of CBD oils and supplements, you might be surprised to know that they can benefit pets as well as humans. Therabis Calm and Quiet treats contain real, high-quality hemp-derived CBD to keep pets calm when things get stressful—like your extra-long day at work or when you’re expecting lots of postal deliveries. Here are more ways to calm an anxious dog without medication.

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Polly wants her own chew toy

If Fido is busy with all the fun bones, balls, and other fun chew gear, Polly is going to be super jealous—and she definitely wants more than a cracker. Wood chewing is part of normal, healthy parrot behavior and entertainment, which is why a colorful wooden bird chew toy is the ideal source of entertainment for pet birds in your life.

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Modern technology to the rescue

If you’re constantly fiddling around on your phone, tech-savvy, and demand only the newest and best gifts for the people and pups you love, the GoBone Smart Bone for Dogs is just what you need. It’s an app-enabled smart bone for both dogs and puppies that keeps them busy all day, and you’ll be in control of the GoBone’s cues.

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Remind them of their most natural instincts

Cats are born hunters, which is why hunting-inspired toys are the most natural entertainment options for even the cutest little kittens. Try a PetStages Grass Patch Hunting toy to simulate their favorite hobbies without the mess, fuss, or ferocity of real hunting. These products are great for your pet—but avoid these 16 pet products vets never buy.

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Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Bryce Gruber
Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.