11 Ways To Keep Pets Happy When You're Not Home

My most significant pet growing up was an Asian Box Turtle, but judging from the reactions of my dog-owner friends when I tried to casually walk out with their new puppies, separation from your furry pets can be a stressful and sad thing. That’s why it’s important to know which products you need for a stay-at-home dog, and how to keep your cat happy while you’re away for the day.

Of course, if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time, it’s not right to leave your pet at home without someone to come in and check on them, feed them, and walk them. Longer vacations might even require a full-time pet sitter, and there are tons of resources when it comes to finding one that’s qualified. For shorter spans, however — like if you’re looking to keep your dog entertained while you’re at work, or you’ve got a wedding and want to make sure your cat eats something without gorging himself on kibble — there are a few great gadgets for your pets to keep them happy, fed, and clean all day while you’re not home. Before you leave your pets home by themselves, check out these awesome solutions for the stay-at-home dog or cat.

1. Keep Cats Occupied And Moving

YOGADOG Magic LED Ball, $14, Amazon

If you’re leaving your cat home alone, provide a little bit of mental stimulation with this YOGADOG LED ball. It rolls around by itself in multiple (random) directions. It’s also got a bright and mesmerizing spinning LED light, and because it’s battery operated, you can change it out right before you leave for a full day of pouncing and stimulation.

2. Keep Pets Calm With Audio Stimulation

Pet Tunes Bluetooth Speaker , $60, Amazon

Some pets (especially dogs) get anxious when they’re left alone all day without noises. The Pet Tunes bluetooth speaker comes pre-loaded with canine-friendly music that plays on repeat until you turn it off. It’s been shown to calm dogs down in less than two minutes, the USB charge lasts for up to ten hours, and it’s super small, unobtrusive, and easy to use.

3. Keep Your Pets Hydrated All Day Long

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, $40, Amazon

The PetSafe Drinkwell pet fountain is one of the highest rated automatic water bowl fillers there is. It comes with a built-in water filter, as well as a waterfall function that entices pets to drink more, and the reservoir holds 168 ounces to ensure that your pet has water all day long.

4. Serve Your Cat Up To Five Fresh Meals

Timed Cat Feeder, $50, Amazon

This timed cat feeder can serve up to five meals at your cat’s normal meal hours. It also comes with twin ice packs to keep even the wet food fresh, and since it’s dishwasher safe and sturdy enough that your cats can’t break in, you can rest easy knowing that they’re getting timed portions throughout the day.

5. Give Your Dogs Somewhere To Relieve Themselves Inside

Sonnyridge Easy Dog Pan Tray, $44, Amazon

Because it’s made with three layers (antimicrobial synthetic grass, a porous tray, and a liquid tray), the Sonnyridge pan tray can be used to train puppies, but it can also be used for dogs that don’t have access to the backyard for a day. It absorbs odors, is made to be super durable, and it’s especially easy to clean when you get home.

6. Serve Two Meals On A Timer

WOpet Bowl Automatic Pet Feeder, $30, Amazon

The WOpet Bowl automatic pet feeder is great for day trips or overnight stays, as it allows for two meals that can be set with manual timers. It’s also got built-in ice packs to keep food fresh and cold, and reviewers say it’s one of the best automatic feeders they’ve owned because it’s durable and easy to keep clean.

7. Motivate Movement With A Treat-Releasing Toy

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy, $12, Amazon

To keep your pets amused and fed all day long, this StarMark interactive dog toy releases treats or food as they play, but because it comes in two sizes for bigger or smaller dogs (and because you can customize the difficulty levels), it’s a definite step up from your typical treat ball. One reviewer has called it, “By far the best toy we've purchased for our dog.”

8. Keep Your Dog Active At Home

iFetch Interactive Ball Thrower for Dogs, $115, Amazon

If you’re looking to get your dog to exercise during the day, look no further than the iFetch interactive ball thrower. Once your dog understands how to feed the included tennis balls into the top, they can play fetch by themselves for hours on end, prompting playtime and exercise simultaneously.

9. Feed Your Fish On A Schedule

Programmable Automatic Fish Feeder, $29, Amazon

This number one best selling programmable automatic fish feeder can be set to any time or schedule to make sure your fish are adequately fed while you’re away. It’s got a built-in ventilation system that keeps the food dry and fresh, and you can set it to dispense more or less food, depending on how many fish you’ve got.

10. Keep Your Cat Clean And Happy

ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box, $130, Amazon

For weeks of no scooping, cleaning, or refilling, ScoopFree's self-cleaning litter box makes sure that your cats are happy and clean while doing their business. It has crystal litter that absorbs moisture and scents, as well as covered traps that lock away any solid waste. Once you’re home again, clean up is quick and hygienic.

11. Stay Connected With Your Pet

Petzi Treat Cam, $170, Amazon

The Petzi treat cam lets you connect with your pets from anywhere. A WifF camera allows you to see exactly what your dog or cat is doing, the high quality audio allows you to talk to them, the snap button lets you take pictures, and the dispenser function lets you release a well-deserved treat whenever you want.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Images: Stock.tookapic/Pexels; Amazon (11)