At Home

10 Must-Haves To Keep Your Dog Safe At Home When You’re Away

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

July 3, 2015

This article is part of our BarkPost Home vertical, The Dogified Home, full of tips, tricks, product suggestions and styling ideas for creative ways to show off your dog love in your home schweet home.

You and your dog are inseparable. But even best buds end up apart occasionally. Whether you’re at the office or just running errands, sometimes Fido will be home alone. Here are some cool items to help keep your dog safe and relaxed while you’re gone.

1. Thundershirt

Thundershirts, named after their famed ability to comfort dogs during thunderstorms, are a fantastic way to soothe a stressed-out dog.


The Thundershirt is designed to wrap tightly around your dog’s chest, creating a physical sensation that is profoundly calming for many dogs (and not just during thunderstorms!). Hugely popular with owners and vets alike, a Thundershirt may make the difference between your dog taking a nap while you’re at work, and chewing through your drywall.

2. Webcam

There’s no subsitute for direct observation. With a webcam you’ll always be able to check in on your pal.

nest camera

The best in breed is the Nest Camera, which gives you HD footage and high-fidelity audio. You can even tell the Nest Camera to notify you of loud noises (like barking or whining), and you can talk directly to your pet using the camera’s internal speaker.

3. Wearable Activity Tracker

The age of doggie wearables is here! Whistle makes two similar dog monitors that attach to a collar and keep track of your dog’s activity.


With either of the company’s wearables, you’re able to use your phone to check on your dog while away from home. Even more exciting, Tagg includes a GPS tracking service, which will map your dog’s movements and report back to you. If you have a four-legged escape artist at home, this is HUGE.


4. Nest Protect

Being away from home doesn’t mean that you have to be in the dark. The Nest Protect is an internet-connected smart smoke alarm that will send updates about your home to your phone. If smoke or carbon monoxide is detected, you’ll know in seconds, even if you’re halfway across the globe.


For almost everyone, this delivers 24/7 peace of mind, and hopefully nothing else. But if the worst happens, you’ll have the information you need to take action fast, and get help for your pup. Bonus: it keeps people safe as well as dogs.

5. Stylish Puppy Gate

Some places need to be off-limits when you’re away, and pet gates are the time-tested way to make that happen.

dog gate

Just because you need to keep your dog off the carpets doesn’t mean you need to ruin the beautiful decor of your home. Pet gates in wrought-iron and cherry can compliment your interior without compromising your dog’s security.

6. Pooch-proof Trashcan

Your presence may be enough to discourage trashcan rummaging, but when you’re away, you need a way to keep your dog from dumpster-diving.

trash can

If you can’t secure your trashcan behind a door (under the sink, or in a closet), the next best option is to have a sturdy, stable, closed trash container. A great contender for dog-proof trashcan is this model from Simplehuman (Sweethome agrees!).

7. Comfortable crate

If you properly crate-trained your dog during its puppyhood, it should think of the crate as its den, its safe space. When the environment around your dog is stressful, a crate can provide your dog with a safe, stress-free zone.

dog crate

If you never replaced your original puppy crate, now is the time to get a comfortable crate appropriate for an adult dog. Crates with thick, comfortable cushions will make it easier for your hound to feel at home.

8. Super-soft Dog Bed

Dogs have a way of finding the softest spot to lay down their heads, but you can give them a better option than your couch cushions.

dog bed

Memory foam dog beds are heaven for older dogs, especially seniors dealing with joint issues. Alternately, dog beds incorporating cedar shavings into the cushion can be a great way to supplement your normal flea & tics preventative measures (Frontline is a godsend during tick season).

9. Pet Steps

If your top dog loves the high ground, you need to make sure they have a safe way to get up and down.

dog steps

Jumping on and off your bed is bad for doggie joints, especially for breeds with heightened risks of hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and other disorders. Teaching your dog to use the stairs could mean the difference between hobbled and healthy golden years.

10. Secure Food Storage

When your dog isn’t thinking about you, it’s thinking about food (or is it the other way around?).

dog food bin

Restricting your dog’s food intake and keeping it at a healthy weight is important, and that means preventing Sparky from breaking into the kibble supply and gorging. A heavy duty plastic bin with a secure lid is the way to go, and there are plenty of options.

Featured image via @jennn1974

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

July 3, 2015

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.