Is your dog bored? Probably you won’t be able to notice it. Has it ever crossed your mind what your dog feels staying at home doing nothing while you’re at work? Many of us would say yes but have we ever thought of something that will keep our poor dogs entertained?
Just like us, pets get bored when not given enough attention or things to keep them busy throughout the day. Basically, our dog’s main source of entertainment is us. They have limited ways in keeping themselves busy without outside stimulus.
Signs of boredom in dogs include excessive barking, digging, and chewing. Displaying such destructive behavior can be caused by boredom. Dogs like humans also have individual ways of displaying boredom.
Oftentimes, dog owners are mistakenly convinced that destructive dog behavior while they are away is caused by separation anxiety in pets. However, dogs are possibly just bored to death and do not have any way of expressing themselves.
Signs that your dog is bored
Boredom if left ignored can lead to stress and anxiety. However, deciphering our pet’s emotions can be difficult and can only be done with careful observation. If you suspect that your dog is not acting his normal self, below are signs which can indicate boredom.
#1 Tail Chasing
This can happen very frequently especially for active dogs. But this could also be a sign of boredom for dogs with nowhere to spend their energies on.
A dog refusing to move or just looking depressed is another sign of a bored dog. The lack of any interesting activity or outside stimuli can make your dog feel sluggish or just bored.
#3 Aggressive Behavior
With so much energy and no way of channeling this in a healthy manner, bored dogs might display destructive behavior.
With no way to verbally communicate their feelings, dogs may resort to whining to show boredom. Whining while following you around the house can be a signal that he wants to play or spend some time with you.
Constantly running about, chewing furniture, digging in the yard or just barking for no reason, dogs with too much energy and nothing to do can be a signal of boredom.
What to do about It?
In most cases, dog boredom can be minimized by just making time for them every day. Being with our dogs 24/7 is simply impossible, but we can at least make a schedule and spend a little time with our buddies each day. Playing or walking them before heading to work helps burn those extra energy.
Aside from the typical walk in the park, other boredom buster activities are available to keep your dog busy. Below is a list of other enriching activities that you can do:
#1 Give Them Interesting Toys
Dog trainers suggest dog owners give their pets toys for entertainment but also stimulate them mentally. Food dispensing toys which can be stuffed with treats is a good example of toys that can excite your dogs. It is important that the toys be appealing and hold their interest for long periods of time. One tip is to give toys on a rotational basis. You can do this every other day or every after few days to maintain their excitement.
#2 Enroll Them in a Dog Training Program
Taking your dog to a training class is a good idea for maintaining their physical and mental health. For dogs that tend to be more active after a certain activity, a training class may be a good choice. A few hours of training sessions a day is both physically and mentally draining than playing fetch.
Spending some of your personal time for dog training is also a good way to strengthen bonds with your dog. Obedience training and other positive reinforcement can help strengthen their fortitude while your away.
#3 Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to keep your dog entertained is to regularly take them out to exercise. Taking your dog out to run or play fetch early in the morning before going to work can tire them out leaving them to just sleep while you are away.
#4 Doggie Day Care
Considering a doggie day care is a good option for dog owners who have no one to leave their dogs with while they are out for long periods of time. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety which causes them to chew on furniture or other things just to get attention. Leaving your pet to a doggie day care allows them to get a lot of attention while playing with other dogs.
#5 Pet Walkers
If you are too busy and just don’t have time to take your dog out, you can always consider hiring a pet walker to reduce your dog’s boredom level.
A happy dog is a mentally and physically healthy dog. No matter what option you take to keep your dog from the blues, the most important thing to remember is to make time for them. Dogs need our attention and we must also understand that we are their most important source of happiness.
Ronald Uy is a researcher and regular contributor for pet insurance at ConsumersAdvocate.org. When not writing, he’s busy planning his next adventure or heading out to the beach with Lucy, a 5-year-old beagle.