Imagine if you had nothing to do all day.
Although this might sound relaxing at first, you’d likely start to get bored pretty quickly.
Well, our pets can get bored without anything to do as well. This can lead to the type of behaviour you don’t want to deal with.
Not everyone has the ability to work from home, or a modern office which allows them to bring their pets to work. So it’s important to look at wellness strategies for dogs to prevent them from getting bored while being at home all day.
Let’s talk about fighting off your pup’s daily doldrums.
Is My Dog Bored?
There are a lot of factors to consider when getting a puppy.
Having a dog is a big responsibility, with a number of factors to consider before bringing a new addition to your home.
Will you have the amount of time to give your new four-legged friend everything they need?
Puppies can be a lot of work, and left to their own devices without proper attention and stimulation they can get bored. This may lead to destructive behaviours such as chewing, digging through the trash, or excessive barking.
Keep reading to learn how to keep your dog entertained, and limit the behaviours associated with boredom.
1. Get Them Some Fun Toys
If your pup is home alone all day, having mentally stimulating toys can help to stave-off boredom. Look for puzzle toys which release treats in response to interaction. These will keep your dog interested in the toy, and not chewing on your shoes.
Using hard plastic toys with small holes where you can hide treats is also a good way to keep your dog busy.
When using puzzle toys or other toys with “hidden” treat, be sure to use something other than their regular kibble. That way, it really is a special treat when they get to the food.
2. Keep Them Active
Being sure your dog is getting enough exercise is important for so many reasons.
A quick 20 minute walk in the morning before you leave for the day can help them release energy and may help curb destructive behaviour.
Of course, most dogs will need more than just a 20 minute walk, and the amount of activity required can vary by breed.
3. Find Them A Pal
Some dogs need more stimulation than others. Sometimes you may need to find extra help to make sure they’re getting the attention and exercise they need.
If you work particularly long days, or have a rambunctious pup, consider hiring a dog-walker for some mid-day exercise if coming home for a lunchtime walk isn’t a possibility.
Another option would be to have a neighbour stop by during the day for a play session and bathroom break. This is a perfect job for your local student who wants to earn a few extra bucks, or a retiree who needs something to do.
If you prefer your dog have more constant stimulation and supervision, you could look into a “doggie daycare” centre. Do your research, though, and make sure you agree with the practices your daycare uses.
4. Leave The Radio/TV On
Most of us wouldn’t like spending all day in a place which is completely silent.
Even in the quietest of offices, there’s always background noise and conversation.
It’s no different for your dog. Being home alone with only silence can be a recipe for boredom – and boredom leads to trouble.
Leaving the television or radio on for your pet can offer a distraction. Some companies even make CDs or DVDs meant specifically for you to play for your pet.
5. Talk To Your Vet About Anxiety
Just as humans can experience anxiety, dogs can too.
It may be because they’re stressed from being separated from you, or perhaps due to mistreatment in their past.
Start by reading this article on dog behaviour. Watch for signs that your dog may be experiencing anxiety, such as reluctance to play or avoidance.
If you think your dog may be suffering from depression or anxiety, your vet can help. We’ll determine your next steps, which could come in the form of medication or behaviour therapy.
Call Bickford Park Animal Hospital
Are you following these recommendations but still noticing undesirable behaviours in your pup?
Do you think your dog may actually have issues with anxiety or depression that an extra walk or more playtime can’t help with?
Perhaps it’s time to discuss other options to help keep your dog relaxed and stress-free.
Contact us at Bickford Park Animal Hospital today, and let us help.
Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.