Yes, like humans, dogs too can get bored. Bred for centuries to work alongside their human masters, dogs are wired to stay busy, and without a daily timetable of activities to keep them engaged, they often display signs of boredom, such as excessive chewing, digging, barking etc.
They have a high reserve of energy to expend, and if your pet has started acting up and doing destructive things around the house, it is worthwhile to consider if the animal is feeling deprived of sufficient exercise and sensory stimulation.
In this article, we discuss various signs of canine boredom, and how you can deal with the situation with a few creative solutions:
Many dogs resort to destructive activities when their humans are not at home. Some of that behavior can be ascribed to separation anxiety, but when your pet is chewing slippers, gnawing at things and barking without any apparent cause when you are present in the house, the problem could just be a matter of pent-up energy.
There are many reasons why dogs like to chase their tails. Often times, it is right after meals when they’re feeling particularly happy. Some dogs chase their tails when they’re angry. But if the problem has become chronic, and a visit to the vet reveals no underlying health issues, then it could be a matter of boredom.
Dogs love their families, and nothing is more special to them than being able to spend time with their own people. But again, if constant displays of temperament have become your pet’s way to grab and hold your attention, then the animal is probably looking for mental stimulation.
If your pet has lost his previous good spirits and seems to be spending more time sleeping or being lazy, then this could be a symptom of a health condition. However, if that is not the case, then the animal could be going through some sort of depressive episode and needs cheering up!
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RELIEVE DOG BOREDOM
# 1: More Exercise
Take your pet for a walk, at least twice a day. Not just the exercise, but the amazing sights and smells that can be found outdoors will keep your pet feeling more energized for the rest of the day.
# 2: Different Routes
To keep the walk interesting, consider changing up your usual route.
# 3: Dog Walker
If your work schedule does not leave much time to take your pet for a walk, hire a dog walker. The change in behavior from getting regular walks will prove very rewarding in the long run.
# 4: Surprise Outings
If you’re going to the grocery store or picking up your laundry or doing some other chores, consider using these occasions as an excuse to surprise your dog with a car ride.
# 5: Play Dates
If you have friends and relatives who don’t mind your dog visiting them, include your pet when you go to meet them. Even better, if they have dogs of their own and they all seem to get along well.
# 6: Off Leash Parks
Off leash parks are a unique experience for dogs because they can walk, sniff and explore here without parental guidance. They can interact with other dogs, play, exercise their free will and generally have a great time. Check to see if your city and town has off-leash parks and try going there once in a while.
# 7: One-On-One Playtime
If your pet loves playing tug-of-war with you or likes to fetch, you can multitask while watching TV and holding a tug rope or throwing a ball at the same time. A few minutes of exciting playtime with you will immediately put the animal in a happy frame of mind.
# 8: Interactive Dog Toys
Food-dispensing toys like Kong Wobblers are a source of good mental stimulation and keep them occupied for a fairly long time.
# 9: Massage And Grooming
Massage is a great excuse to bond with your pet, as well as calm agitation and help the animal relax. Massage is good for his health too!
# 10: Outside View
If it is possible, arrange furniture in such a way that your pet has a good view of the outside world through a window or a glass door. Inquisitive dogs can spend hours looking outside and be occupied by whatever is going on there.
# 11: Music Therapy
A lot of dogs respond well to music and you can make playlists from dog-specific tracks you can find easily enough on the internet. For a list of dog-friendly music tracks on Youtube.com, click here.
# 12: Obedience Training
Enroll your pet for some training and obedience classes. Or teach him a few new tricks and new commands yourself!