Dealing with Doggie Boredom
Dogs, like humans, can get bored if there isn’t enough mental stimulation to keep them occupied. Even though boredom can be a common issue, it can be challenging to determine if that’s what your fur baby is actually dealing with and to know how to remedy their boredom.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
So, how do you know if your dog is bored?
It can be difficult to know if you have a bored dog on your hands. Separation anxiety or underlying medical issues can result in the same cues as boredom such as destructive chewing or excessive barking. They may even protest the lack of stimulation by breaking their usual potty training habits and mark inappropriately. But these expressions are actually their way of trying to find a novel way to occupy their time.
Once you rule out other possibilities, some common indicating a bored dog are:
- Coming home to a mess (shredded cushions, dug up planters, etc.)
- Behavior that appears destructive such as chewing, digging, or knocking things over
- Inappropriate marking or barking that is not accompanied by any symptoms of pain or illness
- Excessively jumping on you or repeatedly bringing you toys
Do dogs get bored at home?
Luckily, just because your dog is home doesn’t mean your dog is bored. As much as your pup loves an exciting play sesh, they also need time to rest and relax to live a healthy and balanced life. Downtime while you’re away at work or out for errands gives them a chance to catch up on some ZZZs. You can also provide an indoor dog bathroom like Bark Potty so they can have access to real bark and a taste of the great outdoors while you’re gone. However, your fur baby will need and expect some attention and play time when you are back home.
What should you do if your dog is bored?
- Interactive toys: Interactive toys are the go-to for paw-rents that are dealing with pups engaging in destructive chewing. Interactive toys not only provide a healthy outlet for their gnawing urges, they provide mental stimulation as well. A treat ball also rewards active engagement with the toy.
- Changing your routine: If your dog is bored but isn’t responding to play, try changing up your routine to add some excitement to their day. Some simple solutions can include switching up your usual walking route--there’s nothing like new smells and textures to awaken their senses!
- Socialization: If you have a single fur baby, they may be craving socialization. Try going to a dog park where other dogs are around. Even if your pup doesn’t engage with other dogs, it can be entertaining to see other canines playing and to smell the scents they leave behind.
- Medical attention: If your pup seems despondent and non-responsive, make sure you check in with your vet to see if there are any underlying medical issues or depression that might be causing your dog’s lack of interest in daily activities.