What if 98 percent of your life was lived inside your home and never really went out except when someone let you out in the backyard to roam around for a few minutes? And none of your family members were around until the evenings and when they came home, they didn’t speak a language you understood other than a few words you could make out here and there. What if you knew that your family really, really, really loved you and would do anything to make you happy, but you were still just flat-out bored most of the time?
That’s the life of many dogs.
And that’s why our furry four-legged friends need some type of stimulation … every single day.
When it comes to avoiding boredom, our dog friends are just like us; we both need mental and physical stimulation. Otherwise, we go nuts and possibly even act out in non-productive (aka: destructive) ways.
Remember that time when Fido wanted to see just what was in your garbage when you were gone? Yep, that’s boredom at work.
Letting that boredom turn into a repeating habit of bad behavior then scolding then bad behavior then scolding (over and over again) can even lead to anxiousness and fear in dogs.
So, what can we loving dog owners do about it?
How about getting your doggies moving and thinking.
Pretty simple, right?
In terms of “thinking,” how about some of these ideas:
- Bring your dog with you on errands so he or she see and hear new things
- Get your dog excited about food by feeding just twice per day and not having a bowl full sitting around all day
- Rawhides and Kong toys to chew on
- Participating in training and/or tricks
The above are all activities that you do with your dog. When you’re away and no one’s around, of course DogTV can come in handy to be a great stimulation and calming source for your pet. With short clips showing active and natural dog activities, this can help keep your dog thinking even while you’re gone.
To get your dog “moving,” consider these activities:
- Going to the dog park
- Playing in the backyard
- Retrieval games with a ball, frisbee, etc.
- “Play dates” with neighborhood dogs
Again, the above activities are all things you can do with your dog. But, if you’re gone and your buddy is alone for 8, 10, 12+ hours each day multiple days per week, consider getting a dog walking company. If you have a very energetic and active dog, you may even want to try and find someone to run with him or her, such as this dog running service.
Exercise is great stimulation for dogs. It’s so important that it’s mentioned on the first page of the first chapter of the book, The Well-Adjusted Dog. Whether it’s with you or with someone else, your doggy needs to get out and about and expend all that pent-up energy.
When it comes down to it, your dog doesn’t need much from you. Some basic mental and physical exercise each day will go a long way in relieving boredom and making your furry friend happier and healthier.
What do you do with your pets to keep them mentally happy and physically fit? Leave a comment below and let us know!