Great Ways to Release Your Dog’s Boredom

fighting boredom in dogs

If your dog cannot sit still and is driving you crazy, you ought to know that dogs used to be hunters, and they used to accompany humans to do a job: assisting their owners on the hunting spree. Now, after hundreds of years of domestication, the dogs are not just the dogs that work with humans, but they are our companions.

Rest assured, dogs need physical and mental exertion to keep them happy and entertained.

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What causes boredom in your dogs?

Our pet dogs live in our home, bring us comfort, and we find a faithful companion in them. While all of this is great for us, it is a tad bit unfortunate for the dogs as they have evolved into domesticated dogs that can be unstimulated, bored, and looking for a job!

Don’t get us wrong, your dog isn’t looking for a 9 to 5 job, but, yes, they do need a job that keeps them busy, entertained, and happy. Do you know what becomes of the dogs that are unstimulated and bored? Their behavior becomes uncontrollably erratic that owners potentially don’t like and find hard to deal with.

Anxious Dog? 5 Easy Enrichment Acti... x
Anxious Dog? 5 Easy Enrichment Activities To Calm Your Dog

Bored dogs are can turn into anxious dogs, and one of their favorite ways to release their pent-up anxiety is by chewing things. This perfectly explains to us why bored dogs with no “job” are so destructive. Besides, bored dogs are more likely to eliminate frequently, bark more, and act more aggressive when they are outside because they don’t get enough chances to play outside, and when they do, they (dogs) get overwhelmed with excitement, which makes them so much more uncontrollable.

If this sounds familiar to you, you ought to know that helping your dog overcome boredom at home can also improve their behavior outside.

Here are some great ways to relieve your dog’s boredom:

Get them Moving

By taking your dog more frequently out for a walking exercise, you will do them a great favor. Exercise is immensely beneficial for your dog. Irrespective of the breed and age of your pet, make sure that your dog gets at least half an hour of walking exercise each day and a rest day once a week.  A short sniff walk (or sniffari as we like to call it) is as good as a long walk on days when the weather is unpleasant.

When it comes to older or very young dogs, as a pet owner, you ought to be aware of the aging and growing bones, and that exercise needs vary over a dog’s lifespan. If you are confused about how much exercise your particular dogs needs, check in with your vet and get proper advice on how much physical activity would benefit your dog in general.

Dogs, like people, require a healthy balance of physical and mental activity. While it won’t completely replace their outdoor adventures, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep your dog entertained.

Ensure Mental Enrichment

It is important to mention here that exercise is so much more than just physical stimulation – sensory stimulation plays an equally important role in eliminating your dog’s boredom. Sensory stimulation encompasses the dog’s ability to smell/ sniff things, see things, hear things, taste things, and feel/ touch things.

Sensual stimulation leads to mental enrichment, which can help your dog with boredom relief. There are many other ways through which you can mentally enrich your dog. For instance, you can play games inside the house, including amazing mental activity games, such as hide-and-seek (dogs love this game).

If you have run out of ideas, we have an amazing one for you: take a rubber toy, like a kong, and stuff it with your dog’s favorite food. Hide the toy containing the food somewhere in your house and encourage your dog to find the food-stuffed toy.

If you have a backyard, you can play the same game outside. At first, your dog might find it difficult to find the food-stuffed toy outside. To make it easier for your dog, start the game easy by enabling your dog to see where you are putting the food, such as behind a tree.

Once your dog familiarizes with the game and gets used to finding the toy, then start hiding the toy and ask your dog to go find it. By switching between indoors and outdoors with this game, you surely will keep your pet occupied for hours.

Change the Dog Bowl

Another way to help your dog combat boredom is by avoiding feeding your dog from a regular food bowl, which will also ensure that your dog gets sufficient mental enrichment. You may want to put your dog’s dinner into an activity toy. There are many different activity puzzle feeder toys that you can find in the market to choose from; by placing the food into an activity toy, your dog will take longer to access the food. That said, a regular five-minute meal for your dog can turn into a half-an-hour meal, which will keep your dog for a longer time.

As mentioned before, the ancestors of our pet dogs used to hunt, search for edible things in the wild, and by changing the typical dog bowl with puzzle feeder, you will enable your dog to do the same inside your home.

You can also use different types of activity toys and stuff them with dog food; subsequently, you can hide those toys all-around your house as well as in the backyard. By doing so, you can ensure that your dog hunts for the food. Simply put, this kind of game ensures that your dog is not only eating but also being active. Your dog will sleep peacefully afterward because this activity will definitely make them tired and sleepy.

Your dog is very much like a child when it comes to toys, and like children, dogs like the novelty of new toys. You can keep your dog occupied by keeping their toys rotating. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to visit the market each week to buy new toys; just ensure that your dog can play with something new after a couple of days by swapping their old toys with new ones and vice versa. The rotation shouldn’t be delimited to your dog’s bowl alone.

Get Involved in Sporty Activities

Another way to keep boredom away from your dog is by becoming involved in different types of sports and physical activities. If you do a little research, you will find all kinds of amazing sports that you can do with your faithful companions, such as hiking, fly-ball, canicross, dancing and other types of great activities that are not only fabulously social but also enable an amazing bonding time between you and your dog.

Tug of war is another great indoor activity that doesn’t take up much room but is quite physically demanding and rapidly exhausts dogs (and people!).

Besides, sporty activities (other than walking) can provide your dog with an amazing outlet that they need to eliminate boredom from their lives.

Our dogs spend loads of time at home. While this might be great for bonding and companionship, the thing is that your dog(s) still retains their instinct and superior senses that they are naturally embedded with, such as their super-sharp smell of sense, their amazing eyesight, their excellent hearing skills, and the sad part is that they don’t really get a chance to use it as your interior space is an environment that is relatively sensory-deprived. You have to start seeing things from your dog’s perspective.

For this very reason, as a pet owner, you have to be smart and come up with fun activities that your dog can do and prevent them from getting bored. As mentioned before, bored dogs are anxious and unruly; and hence, difficult to control.

Sometimes, it is a good idea to allow them to sit by the window or on the terrace and let them watch the world pass by. If your terrace and window are safe, you can allow them to see things, listen to outdoor sounds and smell the world go by. This is especially helpful when you are super busy and don’t have time to play with your dog. 

Anxiety in dogs can breed all kinds of awful things, including phobias, aggressive behavior, and fears. The more you can physically and mentally enrich your dog’s life, the better your dog’s life and your life will be. And these were just a few tips on how you can prevent your pet from getting bored.

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Final Thoughts

Being stuck at your home is annoying, disappointing, and draining for you and your dog. After reading this article, you will know that an active dog is a happy dog, and if you don’t come up with smart ways to keep your dog entertained, your dog will essentially drive you crazy. That said, you ought to keep yourself entertained and happy by giving them amazing jobs to do throughout the day.

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