About 35% percent of Canadian households own a dog. It’s no wonder since they make great companions. What’s more, your puppy can cheer up during challenging times and boost your mental wellbeing. While you may be a responsible pet owner, you often have to leave your dog alone as you go to work or run errands. This can make your puppy bored.
Since your dog is a social creature, it needs mental and physical stimulation to avoid behavioral issues that result from dullness. They can come up with destructive ways to pass up their time like inappropriate chewing and excessive barking. Besides, dog boredom can also cause your pup’s brain to shrink.
Luckily, below is a guide to help you understand dog boredom and ways to keep your dog entertained and out of trouble.
Signs Your Dog is Bored
When your dog gets bored, their choices to amuse themselves aren’t always pleasant. Here are five typical signs your dog is bored.
1. Excessive Barking
Barking is normal among dogs. Your puppy can bark at a bird, the mailman, or even neighbors. But when the barking becomes a nuisance, chances are they’re bored and looking for ways to entertain themselves.
2. Destructive Chewing
It doesn’t matter if you bought your dog toys. When they get bored, they can put their teeth on anything within their reach, including your favorite rug, sofa, and more. While this can happen at any age, it’s more common when your pup is losing their teeth or their back molars are coming in.
Your pet-friendly backyard may be a paradise for your dog. After a while the enclosed space becomes boring and they can try escaping. If you notice your dog digging under fences, scratching at the door, or leaping over gates, they’re bored and need stimulation.
4. Extreme Attention Seeking
Your dog will always want to catch your attention. They can try sitting in your lap or following you around the house to get it. This is normal behavior until they take it to the extreme. Hyper greetings, extra licking, and continuous pawing are the signs of dog boredom you should look out for.
5. Sleeping All the Time
As a pet owner, you may envy your pet lying around the house snoring and yawning with abandon. While it isn’t bad for your dog to take a nap, it’s a cause of concern if the naps become more than necessary. It may be a sign of boredom or a health issue.
Effective Ways to Relieve Dog Boredom
Is your dog bored? You can try to keep them busy and entertained by ensuring they take part in the following activities:
Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercises
Taking your dog for a run or walk is an effective way of relieving boredom. This outing offers your puppy great exercise, keeping it from becoming stressed, agitated, and restless. What’s more, dog walking can be a bonding session for you and your pup.
To make the activity more enjoyable for your dog, you can let them lead the way or take the leash off. You can take your dog around the block, down the street, or longer each day. If you don’t have time, you can hire a dog walker.
Enroll for Dog Training
Dog training isn’t just for teaching your dog obedience. It can provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation. Signing for dog training can be fun for dogs. From rally and agility classes to trick classes, you can enroll in a class that matches your dog’s interests and abilities.
Look for dog instructors who use marker training such as a clicker. It allows your dog to participate in the process, encouraging them to take initiative rather than wait for instructions. This can be stimulating for them.
Make Mealtime Exciting
Turning mealtime into a game can get rid of your dog’s boredom. Rather than simply putting pet food on the ground, you can come up with mealtime games that allow them to work for their food. You can hide their food in different places and make them look for it.
You can also place the food in a slow feeder bowl or a food-releasing puzzle toy. Mealtime can become a mentally stimulating challenge that goes on for several minutes.
Exposing your dog to new people, places, or pets can help combat dog boredom. During dog walking, you should try being open so that your dog can interact with neighbors and other pet companions.
You can also organize puppy play dates with other dogs. Just ensure the other dog is a suitable play partner for your furry friend and they’re up to date on their vaccinations.
Taking your dog to a reputable doggie daycare facility can also be a great place for your dog to interact and play with other pups.
Get Your Dog a Job
From herding to guarding, most companion dog breeds have a working heritage. It allows them to have a purpose and keep active. Depending on your dog’s interest, you can help them become a therapy dog, rescue dog, acting dog, or more.
Apart from fighting dog boredom, a job for your pup can boost their confidence and get rid of the pent-up energy.
Sign Up for Dog Sports
Dog sports are a great way to keep your pup busy. While they can be tiring for the pet parent, they’re more enriching for your furry friend. From water to racing sports, there are different categories of sports your dog can participate in and enjoy the experience. Regardless of a pet’s size, age, or energy level, you should consider choosing a sport that allows you and your pet to bond.
If you are unable to join dog sports in your area, you can create DIY versions of different dog sports at home. Be watchful after each sport event, keeping an eye on their paws for any injury.
A Healthy and Active Dog is a Happy Dog!
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