Helping your dog overcome boredom

When we don’t pay attention to our pets, do they get bored? Ever come home to a dog with a guilty look on his face and a destroyed pillow? Or has your dog tried to dig up the carpeting?

When we leave our dogs at home by themselves, if they are not dozing, they can get into trouble. They need mental and physical stimulation. These activities can include chewing on furniture, knocking items off tables and shelves, or excessive barking.

If your dog participates in destructive behaviors, he may be bored.

Dr. Wailani Sung, a Washington veterinarian, is shares tips on how to change those negative behaviors.

Puzzles

Just like us, our dogs appear to enjoy regular mental stimulation and physical activity. And while our dogs have been domesticated for hundreds of years, they still have a drive to engage in instinctive behaviors like hunting for food. To satisfy these behaviors, Dr. Sung suggests having your pet work for his food by purchasing food puzzles where you place some food into the puzzle so your dog has to “work” for his supper.

She also smears a tiny dab of food on her pet’s toys, hides them, and has her pet find them.

Exercise

This benefits both you and your dog. Dogs should get three walks each day — once in the morning, sometime in the afternoon, and once at night. Walks should be at least 20 minutes — shorter in the mornings if you are in a rush to get to work.

Play

Playtime socializes you and your dog, and strengthens the bonds between the two of you. This could entail training, tossing a ball, talking to your dog, petting him, and snuggling together.

It doesn’t really matter what activity you choose. Your dog takes delight in your showering him with attention. It is a sure way to combat boredom. If you tried all these recommendations and still feel that your pet is acting bored, call your dog’s veterinarian to seek professional help.

Sources: Today Pets