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Summer is coming to an end. Break is over and the time for our kids to return to school is here. Hopefully you had the chance to give your pet some extra love and attention during the summer months. For many dog owners, this means that you might be leaving your dog alone more than they have been during the summer. Under the right conditions with the right toys and a properly set up play area, you can create the perfect daily stay-cation for your four-legged friend. Here’s how.

Stock Up on Essentials

When leaving your dog alone they must have an adequate supply of food and water for the day. Depending on your dog’s play preferences, this includes toys … and lots of them. We recommend at least 8-10 different toys and chew toys for your dog, including puzzle toys that hide food inside of them, requiring more attention from your dog. If your dog gets hungry, thirsty or bored throughout the day while you are away, he’s more likely to feel uncomfortable, whine or misbehave.

Make a Home Within Your Home

No matter the size of your home or apartment, letting your dog run wild through the house isn’t the smartest of ideas. Close doors to bedrooms and areas that they might find themselves getting into and making a mess. Dogs enjoy having their own comfort zone. A comfort zone should include a bed, perhaps a crate, in a part of the room that they know as their own at all times, even when you’re home with them. This sense of comfort makes being home during the workday much more enjoyable.

Move Those Muscles

Try to work in work out time with your dog before leaving your dog alone. Whether it’s a morning jog or walk or playing around the house for some time before heading out for the day, try to do something. This will help your dog spend at least some of their time while you’re away sleeping … and who doesn’t love sleep? Dogs definitely do.

Keep in mind that dogs should never be left alone for long hours unattended. After some training and time spent alone, they should be able to withstand the majority of the workday. However, it takes time for dogs to accustom to their surroundings, so be patient when introducing a new dog to their alone time.