8 Tips For Relieving Doggy Boredom at Home
Tired of coming home to find shoes chewed, garbage upended, furniture destroyed, and your unmentionables scattered throughout the house? Admittedly, it can be frustrating when your dog regularly leaves a trail of destruction in their wake; however, it’s a sure sign he or she is trying to tell you something: “I’m bored.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to keep your dog happy, busy and out of mischief.
Here are a few simple tips for relieving doggy boredom at home:
1. Nose Around
Indulge your dog’s natural desire to sniff things out with a few nose games! This could be as easy as hide-and-go-treat (you hide the treat around the house, they have to find it) or playing a few rounds of the shell game (hide a treat under one of three cups and encourage them to pick the right one).
2. Alternate Your Dogs Toys
Prevent your dog from getting bored with their current toys by occasionally swapping them out. Keep only four or five available at a time, then clean and rotate weekly. Be sure to give them a variety, however (such as a ball, rope, bone and a treat puzzle), so they continue to have their choice of toy.
3. Doggy Archeology
A bone-ified garden saver! Fill a small child’s pool or sandbox with pet-friendly dirt or sand. Then, bury a few favoured toys such as bones or balls within – making it easy at first, then progressively hiding items deeper in the soil. Not only is this a fun activity to keep your pup busy, but it’s also a great way to teach them where they can (and can’t) dig.
4. Be Social
Socialization is essential for both encouraging good behaviour as well as maintaining your dog’s health and mental wellbeing. Take your dog to the dog park regularly or, when you leave home for work, consider dropping them off at doggy daycare a few times a week. If your doggo is a little more on the shy side, scheduling regular play dates with a dog they know and are comfortable with will also do the trick.
5. Food Puzzles
Especially useful for dogs that inhale their food at record speeds, interactive dog puzzles are perfect for a) getting them to slow down and b) making dinner (or treat) time stimulating and exciting. See Best Dog Food Puzzle Toys for Stimulating a Bored Pup for a ton of tasty ideas, or check out these DIY Food Puzzles you can make from items you already have at home.
6. Walk This Way
Expose your dog (and yourself) to exciting new sights and smells by switching up your regular walking routine. Better yet, let your dog take the lead by letting them follow their nose (if safe to do so). Really allowing them to sniff things out at their own pace will provide loads of mental stimulation.
7. Take Training Mini-Breaks
Speaking of mental stimulation, keep your dog’s brain engaged throughout the day with mini-training sessions. For instance, while you’re watching TV, encourage them to sit or find their ball. In addition to practicing the stuff they already know, spend a few minutes a day working on a new trick, which is sure to burn more mental energy.
8. Give Them a Job
Dogs enjoy having jobs. Not only do jobs stimulate their brains, but they also serve to keep them fit and confident. For instance, teach them to put their toys away, bring you the remote or pick up their dishes when they finish eating. You can also engage them with more complex, breed-specific jobs (i.e. retrieving or herding) to really provide fulfillment. Check out these 20 Dog Jobs for a few fun ideas.
For more helpful pet-related info, check out our previous posts:
What fun things do you enjoy doing with your dog? Let us know in the comments!