Doggie Boredom: How to recognise it and how to help
With the buzz of Christmas and New Year now a distant memory, this may leave your dog feeling a little lost and possibly showing signs of boredom. Can you blame them? There’s no longer a flurry of visitors from the festive season or guests providing constant attention. So, could your dog be bored?
Is My Dog Bored?
A bored dog can turn your home into their very own playground creating a mess wherever they can. You may come home to find your bin overturned and the contents spread throughout the house. Your dog may knock over lamps or other freestanding items, chew cushions or shoes and generally cause all-round mayhem.
Several things can cause a dog to bark such as the postman, people walking past the house or car doors closing, however, boredom is also a common culprit.
Some dogs get bored quickly when left on their own and may try their luck as an escape artist, to go on their very own adventure.
You may also find your dog clawing at closed doors or furniture as a way of expressing their boredom.
If you have seen some of these signs, you may have a bored dog on your hands. So here are some ideas for nipping boredom in the bud and helping your pooch stay out of trouble .
How can I help?
It’s essential that dogs get enough exercise. This can include daily walks, games such as fetch, a run around in the park or a playdate with their furiends. It's good to try and mix up their walks, for example, trying out different parks, woods or routes to ensure they have new places to explore. You can also change up the toys you take on their walks to ensure a different type of game when they are out and about.
2. Dog Classes
There are plenty of dog classes out there, so why not research what’s available in your local area? If you have a chat with a trainer, they should be able to tell you what classes are best suited to your dog based on age and breed. You could try agility training, jump classes, obedience training or even classes for scent identification. Your dog could be weaving poles, running through tunnels and overcoming all types of obstacles. Who knows, you could be signing your pooch up to next years Britain’s Got Talent.
3. Food Puzzles
Changing your dogs feeding routine can mean that it becomes more of a task than a 'given'. There are lots of puzzle type feeders available to buy, including interactive bowls, sticks and balls. These puzzles can keep them occupied whilst they try to find out which compartment the food is in or work out how to get the food out. These may not work for all dogs as some may figure them out quickly and therefore lose interest.
Having a dog that socialises and is able to interact with others is a great way to curb boredom. If they are able to interact with both humans and other dogs, there is less chance for them to be isolated. Ensuring your dog is sociable will help when arranging play dates and will also make your dog walks more enjoyable. You may find yourself spending longer in the park, meeting up with other walkers, instead of avoiding such situations.
5. Dog Toys
Dog toys are also a great way to keep your dog out of trouble caused by boredom. Try food-stuffed toys such as the well loved Kong’s. They are a great way to keep your dog entertained when you leave the house. You can fill them with your dogs favourite foods or treats including peanut butter, cream cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, bananas or plain yoghurt. Try putting out a variety of toys and see what your dog engages with the most. It's also a good idea to rotate their toys to keep them interested.
6. TV and Radio
Turns out the TV isn't just for us. You may decide to turn your TV or radio on when you go out to keep your dog company. Although your dog won't be glued to the screen, the sounds and noises made by the TV may help them feel more at home and comfortable when on their own. Leaving the TV on could also help mask some outdoor noises and prevent barking.
Does your dog get bored? Do you have any top tips on keeping them entertained and out of mischief? Share them with us... firstname.lastname@example.org