Is your dog bored?
Dogs, just like us, can get bored and downright unhappy if they aren’t receiving enough mental and physical stimulation. And the consequences can be messy!
Did you know that many dog breeds are highly intelligent, or have been bred to do a specific job such as hunting, herding, guarding and tracking?
But nature hasn’t caught up with the creature comforts of the modern pooch - without tasks and challenges, your dog can take their pent-up energy and frustration out on your good sofa or flower garden.
Here are some symptoms of a bored doggy:
- Destructive behaviour – such as chewing, digging or scratching
- Hyperactivity when you offer an activity or attention, for example a walk
- Jumping up
- Barking excessively
Note that boredom is a result of low stimulation, and is very different to the full-on experience of separation anxiety. Be sure to chat with your vet about your dog’s behaviour to determine the correct source of the problem, as separation anxiety comes with its own challenges and treatments.
Don’t fear if you worry that your dog is bored - here are some super easy strategies that you can adopt to make their life a lot more interesting and fun.
Exercise and play
Tire your dog out with a big run or walk every day – preferably twice a day if possible. Explore new routes and dog parks so your best mate has new scents and sights to enjoy.
If walking your dog twice a day is too much, have a Pawshake dog walker pop by and help you out - our dog walkers are insured, trustworthy and ready to help!
Teach your dog new tricks
Think about how you feel after a really full-on day of solving problems at work….we’ll bet you’ve never slept so well!
The problem-solving involved in training will not only teach your dog some cool new tricks to show off to visitors – it will make them use their brain and eventually tire them out.
Hang out with mates
Who could be bored with good pals around? Whether you arrange for a friendly pet sitter or dog walker to come by and visit during the day, or organize a doggy date, or even consider adopting a second furry friend (if your home and routine allows for it) – social interaction is more than a cure for boredom: it’s a life necessity.
Mix up the toys
Believe it or not, your dog can actually get bored of the same old toys scattered around the house - the novelty eventually wears off!
Rotate toys throughout the month, Fido will feel like every day is Christmas. You can even make a fun game of hiding favourite toys around the house to 'hunt'.
More fun chewable doggy toys mean less chance your fun chewable shoes will be ruined!
Mix up feeding
Rather than dumping all your dog’s food into their bowl in one go, consider spreading the food about the house for them to find throughout the day - your dog will feel like a real hunter.
Alternatively, there are a number of fun feeder puzzles on the market that allow for a dog to problem-solve for their food.
A Pawshake sitter is never far away if you want someone to drop over and cuddle your dog when you’re at work – plus they can even send you cute pictures of your dog to make the day go quicker!