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Adopt a Pet Mid-Pandemic? Here's How to Deal When We Go Back to Work

Nervous about leaving your pup home alone? Get help from futuristic feeders, treat-tossing cams, and more pet-friendly tech.
Ian Burke
Brooklyn, US
pet products

Well, well, well, your father’s voice rattles through the caverns of your empty noggin. I told you getting a dog was going to be a lot of work. Now I’m the one who’s gonna be stuck taking care of it. 

Which usually works out, since dads everywhere end up loving the dog they  oh-so-passionately argued against getting. The only problem? You don’t live with your dad anymore, you were working from home during quar, and now that you’ll be heading back into the office at some capacity (if you haven’t already), you need someone—or rather, some way—to take care of your pup when you’re not home.


Cat Furniture Actually Looks Cool Now

“If you brought home a puppy in the past year to take advantage of extra time at home, you’re not alone,” Robin Donovan recently reported for VICE. “Last year, eager adopters even emptied out shelters in high-demand states. But actually getting through your dog’s initial adjustment is only the beginning of learning to live together… As vaccines roll out in the U.S., many more people will be spending time away from home, and it’s normal for dogs in these situations to start exhibiting some bothersome new behaviors—so don’t panic if you need to consult a vet or behaviorist.” Donovan suggests crate training, leaving behind puzzles and toys for your pet to play with, and taking puppy training classes as good starting points to help ease the transition of working from the office. 

And while the blessed future we live in these days didn’t give us the flying cars we were once promised, it did give us a slew of items designed for this very scenario. Do yourself (and your pet) a favor and spoil them with these convenient, pet-focused products.

Eyes on the prize

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It’s not weird to spy on your pet! Plus, what else are you going to do at the office? Work? Hell naw. This affordable pet camera connects directly to your mobile device so you can check up on your pet from anywhere. It rotates horizontally and vertically, has literal NIGHT VISION, and features two-way audio so you can tell your pet what a good wittle angel they are.


Wyze Pan Pet Camera, $37.97 at Chewy

R2D2 is looking awful these days

Petcube Play 2

The description of this two-way audio-enable pet camera says it all. “Play with your furkid” (FURKID!) “with a built-in pet safe laser toy, controlled from your phone, or set to autoplay mode to entertain your pet while you’re gone.”

Petcube Play 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera with Laser Toy & Alexa Built-In, $179 at Amazon 

Not to be confused with “Furries”


This futuristic feeder features a camera, two-way audio, “Dog Selfie Alert,” and an app that sends push notifications to your smartphone when the unit detects barking. Oh, and you can literally toss treats to your pup from the office with the built in treat-tosser. 

Furbo Dog Camera: Treat Tossing, Full HD Wifi Pet Camera and 2-Way Audio, $169 at Amazon 

Arf you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs? 


Besides having a great name, this automatic dry food dispenser is perfect for the pet who gets hungry during the day. It also allows you to control portion sizes and set up to four meal times in one day. 

Arf Pets Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder, White, 16-cup, $99.99 $79.99 at Chewy


It happens to the best of us

Frisco Indoor Grass Potty

Going to the bathroom on artificial turf, we mean. (Don’t lie.) For the pet that’s still getting used to going outside, this indoor grass situation is a great alternative to having to scoop/mop any… messes. It also features a faux grass mat and a plastic insert that allows liquid to drain into the included tray for easy cleanup. 

Frisco Indoor Grass Potty, $32.64 at Chewy

Not a salad


This green sea anemone facsimile allows your pet to find snacks or small toys hidden in its leafy tentacles. It also helps to train your pet’s sense of smell and get their energy out, and keeps them occupied while you’re out of the house.

AWOOF Pet Snuffle Mat for Dogs and Cats, $16.59 at Amazon

Will not cause allergies 


… But your pet might. (Thank god for Zyrtec, amirite?) Instead of leaving a bowl of water that ends up looking like a slimy mess at the end of the day, this fountain has a triple-action filter which removes magnesium, calcium, odors and debris. The fun, bubbling design also encourages your pal to drink more water. Maybe you should get one for yourself.

Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain, 100-oz, $34.99 $25.99 at Chewy


Your pet just joined r/HydroHomies

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Your pup can finally be one of the bros at the gym who walks around with a gallon of water on his way to the curl machine! Nah, we kid—we know your pet is more into deadlifts and functional strength. This one-gallon pet fountain is a good choice for larger (dare we say, huskier?) pets. 

PetSafe® Drinkwell® Pet Fountain, $69.99 $44.95 at PetSmart

And on the seventh day, dog rested

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… On this cute lil’ dog bed, aptly named “Cuddler.” Which, we believe, is for when you jump into it and cuddle the living shit out of your dog when you get home from the office. If that’s not your style, your pet will definitely enjoy some snoozles on this bad boy while you’re at work. 

KONG® Cuddler Dog Bed, $44.99 $19.97 at PetSmart

For dogs, cats, and drunk humans  

dog door

We know, we know—you haven’t gotten stuck in a dog door since college. Big deal. Your pet will thank you for easy access to the great outdoors (aka your backyard) with this insertable dog door. 

PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door, $135.92 at Amazon 

Who’s a good internet shopper? It’s you! [Belly rub.] 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.