Tips For Curing Your Dog's Boredom
written by Ellie Walker
While dogs are usually quite good at entertaining themself, it doesn’t mean that they don’t experience boredom from time to time. If you’re not sure if your dog is experiencing boredom, or if you know that they are but aren’t sure what to do about it, read on!
How can I tell if my dog is bored?
Dogs don’t often hide the fact that they are bored – they actually try to make their feelings very clear. A few of the telltale signs of dog boredom include:
- Destructive behavior: Dogs that are experiencing boredom will chew, dig, or scratch anything they can access – be it your furniture, doors, walls, or yard.
- Hyperactivity: Dogs who have experienced boredom while you were away will often greet you with over-the-top enthusiasm, jumping on you and frantically barking or whining.
- Extreme self-soothing behaviors: Bored dogs may also engage in extreme self-soothing behaviors, such as licking their paws or other parts of their body raw.
How can I cure my dog’s boredom?
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to add some excitement to your dog’s life. If you notice your dog displaying any of the telltale signs of boredom, try incorporating some of these ideas into your daily routine. Not only will these cure your dog’s boredom, but they also provide a great opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
Idea 1: Make mealtime more engaging
A fun and easy way to bring some excitement into your dog’s day is by turning mealtime into playtime. Swapping their traditional bowls for puzzle feeders will keep them mentally and physically engaged as they work out how to get to their food.
There are several different designs of puzzle feeders available, such as:
- Brick puzzles, like this one by Outward Hound
- Ball puzzles, like this one by OurPets
- Snuffle mats, like this one by AWOOF
- Interactive puzzles, like this one by LOOBANI
There are so many options on the market, you could always have a selection of puzzle feeders on hand and mix them up to keep your pup on their toes.
Idea 2: Give them some ‘company’ while you’re gone
If you worry about your dog experiencing boredom when left home alone, fear not – there are devices designed specifically to keep your dog company.
- DOGTV: Before you head out, tune in to DOGTV, a unique streaming service designed specifically for dogs. Their programming is shown with adjusted coloration and at a higher frequency of frames per second to better suit dogs. The programming is also divided into three segments, scheduled based on the average canine daily cycle.
Pet cameras: With the PetCube Bites 2, you can interact with your dog via your phone while you’re gone. It offers two-way communication, so you can speak to your dog and hear if they respond as well toss treats up to 6 feet in the air for your pet to catch. Interested?
Idea 3: Keep their mind busy
Another way to combat dog boredom is by offering them toys and activities that will keep their mind busy throughout the day. If your dog has to spend time alone during the day, a Kong toy is a simple but effective way to keep them entertained. Simply fill it with a thin layer of their favorite Freshpet roll or a handful of a bagged recipe and your dog can spend hours fishing out the snack. During the summer months, you can also freeze the Kong to make it a nice cooling treat.
Idea 4: Teach them new tricks
Spending a little bit of time each day working on new tricks will keep your dog’s mind engaged and channel their energy into positive behavior. This can be especially helpful if your dog has to spend time alone during the day, as they can use this as downtime after getting their energy out with you. If your pup is food motivated, we recommend using their favorite Freshpet treat as a high-value reward while training.
Idea 5: Try a dog sitter or dog walker
If your dog still seems to be experiencing boredom, especially while you’re not home, it may be a good idea to look into doggy daycare or dog walking services in your area. This way, they’ll have company to keep them entertained when you’re not around.
Have any other tips for curing your dog’s boredom? Share them in the comments for other pet parents to try!