Is my dog bored?

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With a busy work-life schedule, finding time to entertain your dog isn’t always easy. But a few tweaks to your dog’s routine can go a long way to keeping boredom at bay.

How do I know if my dog is bored?

Different dogs react to boredom in different ways. Signs your dogs could be bored include:

Destructive behaviour – like scratching furniture or raiding bins

They seem anxious – for example, pacing or panting more than usual

They lick you a lot – more often than their usual doggy kisses

They’re hyperactive – even after exercise

How can I stop my dog from getting bored?

There are loads of ways to inject some excitement into your dog’s life – even if you regularly need to leave them home alone. These boredom busting tips fit into any schedule.

1. Make mealtimes into playtimes

Extend the excitement of dinnertime as long as possible. Food-based games and puzzle feeders are great toys for bored dogs, keeping them entertained as they crack the code for dinner. Just make sure you subtract the food you put in from your dog’s daily allowance, so you’re not adding extra calories to their diet. For tails.com customers this is easy – your adjustable portion scoop will keep you on track.

Up the challenge by adding water to your dog’s dry food to make a paste, then freeze it inside a puzzle feeder. This makes your dog work harder to get the good stuff, and it keeps them cool in hot weather too.

Related blog: How to keep feeding time fun and interesting for your dog

2. Leave toys when you’re not home

Dogs love toys, but they can quickly get tired of the same old ones – even if they’re the most stimulating or interactive dog toys out there. That’s because dogs thrive on novelty. The secret is to rotate your dog’s collection. Different toys each day of the week will keep things fresh, and keep your dog entertained. When it comes to the best dog toys for boredom, there are no fixed rules –just choose a selection your dog enjoys, and that are safe and suitable for their breed and personality.

Boredom in dogs

3. Introduce them to other dogs

Like us, dogs are social creatures; if they spend all day in their own company, there’s a high chance they’ll get bored. They’re also more likely to develop a fear of other dogs or separation anxiety. So let your dog mingle – take them for walks with other dog owners, go to the park, or try training classes where they can spend time with other dogs.

boredom in dogs

4. Teach them new tricks

Tackling boredom relies on tiring your dog out mentally as well as physically. Working together to master a new trick is just the thing.

Not sure where to start? Look for local training classes – you’ll find them for all breeds and abilities. From fun little tricks to good citizen classes they  are a great way to keep your dog’s mind active. And they’re a ready-made way to socialise too.

Boredom in dogs

5. Mix-up their exercise

Exercise is a brilliant boredom-buster. Your regular half-hour walk around the block is a good start, but new experiences are better at occupying your dog’s mind. Going for a run? Take the dog with you. Build an obstacle course in the garden. Even a game of fetch can add some welcome variety.

Come the weekend, ditch the day-to-day and head to a completely different environment – roam through the woods or bound across the beach. All that physical exercise, plus the excitement of taking in all the new sights, sounds and smells, means your dog won’t have any energy left to be bored.

6. Change their routine

Doing and seeing the same things every day has a similar impact on dogs as it does on us – boredom. But a change in routine can work wonders. Got a friend who’ll look after your dog for a day? Bingo – an instant adventure for your dog. A site like Borrow my Doggy can also be great for finding dog-walking friends.

Worried your dog is bored? Want to find out what tails.com dog owners do to keep their pooches entertained.  Get in touch with us at hello@tails.com – we’re always happy to help.

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