How to Keep Your Puppy Safe & Happy While You’re at Work

crate training play pen puppy crate puppy proofing

Getting a new puppy is a huge joy and a big responsibility. Before you bring your first furry friend home, it’s a good idea to plan how you’ll keep your puppy safe and content when you’re gone for work.  In this article, Petland Florida lays out great ideas and inexpensive ways to keep your puppy […]

Getting a new puppy is a huge joy and a big responsibility. Before you bring your first furry friend home, it’s a good idea to plan how you’ll keep your puppy safe and content when you’re gone for work. 

In this article, Petland Florida lays out great ideas and inexpensive ways to keep your puppy entertained and safe while you’re away for 8 – 10 hours a day at work. 


The first rule of thumb when leaving your puppy home alone is that he shouldn’t have access to the entire place. Particular rooms, such as the bathrooms, can be a source of temptation and danger for puppies. Best case scenario, they only get into the trash. Worst case scenario, they somehow get into the cabinet beneath the sink where all the cleaning supplies are located. 

Your puppy will actually feel safer and happier if you restrict his access, leaving him only one large room to be in. If your puppy is very young, then leaving him in a puppy pen with everything he needs, like soft bedding, water, and a good puppy puzzle is a great option. Some new puppy parents opt to keep their puppies in their crates, which is another way to go, as long as their crates are spacious and provide everything the puppy will need for the next 10 hours.

Use your best judgment. The point of creating a safe space is to ensure that nothing dangerous is kept where your puppy will be while you’re at work. 


Puppies discover the world at large and new things in their environments by sniffing, licking, tasting, and at times trying to eat them. They’re a lot like babies in this sense, as babies try to put everything in their mouths. For this reason, you’ll have to puppy proof your home, or at least the room(s) your puppy will have access to while you’re away at work. 

If your puppy will have access to any rooms that contain trash bins, we recommend that you buy trash bin locks or buy bins with lids that clamp shut. Also, keep all of the bathroom doors closed while you’re gone. If you choose to keep your bathrooms open, due to needing your puppy to relieve himself on pee pads in the bathroom, then be sure to use toilet lid locks.  


Puppies spend most of their days sleeping and napping. In fact, if your puppy is younger than 4 months, chances are he’s going to sleep on and off the entire time you’re gone at work. But even if your puppy is 8 months old to a year, he’ll still appreciate a cozy bed where he can relax. 

Make sure your puppy has a cozy bed before you leave for the day. His bed should be soft to lie on, with plenty of blankets and pillows. If he’s still in his crate, you can set a puppy bed inside with an old sweatshirt and your puppy’s favorite stuffed animal. By providing your puppy with a relaxing place to rest, he’ll be less likely to sleep where he isn’t supposed to. 


When you’re gone, your puppy needs access to fresh water at all times, so leave out a clear, room temperature bowl of water for him. If you feel like being fancy, you can invest in a fresh water fountain for pets. Depending on the weather, your puppy may need to drink quite a bit of water to stay hydrated. Be sure there’s plenty of water, and also enough pee pads, because we all know what happens to puppies that drink a lot of water.  

If you really want to know that your puppy is safe and happy while you’re gone, we recommend that you invest in a doggy camera. These cameras record a live feed of footage that you can watch in real-time on your smartphone or computer. 

Many doggy cameras come with treat dispensers, which is a great way to get your puppy’s attention so that he comes in front of the camera. These cameras will “shoot” a dog treat, which your puppy will go after, drawing him out into the camera’s field of vision. Though some cameras, like the Furby, are expensive, they are well worth the investment, in our opinion. 


A great way to keep your puppy entertained while you’re away for the day is to leave him with a puppy puzzle or dog toy, like the Kong. Dog puzzles are essentially a rubbery treat dispenser. Your puppy will smell the doggy treat within the toy, and have to figure out how to get the treat out. These kinds of puzzles and games come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. But all of them will be fun for your puppy and keep him engaged for up to a half hour. 

It’s also a good reason to leave your puppy with a few toys, like a bouncy ball he can play with, as well as his favorite stuffed animals. 


One of the most effective ways to ensure that your puppy will want to rest and nap once you leave for work is to tire him out before you go. Take your puppy out for a walk, and if possible, play a game of fetch or another game that will require your puppy to sprint. If you can encourage your puppy to expel most of his energy before you leave for the day, you can greatly reduce any chance of your puppy becoming destructive while you’re at work. 


One of the best ways to ensure your puppy’s safety and happiness while you’re away at work is to hire a local dog walker to stop in on your dog mid-day. Depending on the dog walker and / or the dog walking service you use, a dog walker can spend between 15 minutes to a full hour with your puppy, and this time can be a combination of outdoor exercise and indoor play and pats. 

It’s understandable that not everyone can afford a dog walker. And so, a family member or friend is the next best option. If you have a reliable, trustworthy friend who’s available during the daytime, ask them if they would be willing to stop in on your puppy to make sure he’s okay and to spend a little time. 

Are you ready for a new puppy? Petland Florida has new arrivals that will melt your heart! Stop by our Miami locations and talk with our knowledgeable pet counselors about the best dog breed to match your lifestyle.