Boredom in dogs

While we’re at work, school or out and about, our dogs are often at home alone for many hours. Without proper preparation, dogs become bored. This can lead to many behavioural problems such as excessive barking, digging and destructive behaviour. Boredom can also contribute to more serious problems, such as separation anxiety and obsessive, compulsive behaviours.

Responsibilities such as work and school are unavoidable, but we always need to remember our responsibilities as dog owners. Providing our dogs with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation is so important so they don’t get bored and frustrated.

Dog breeds and boredom

If you are away from home for many hours a day, a very active dog may not be the best fit. Doing lots of breed research can be a great way to find out a dogs exercise requirements and how they will fit into your home.

It’s important to remember that while breeds can be an indicator of behaviour, every dog is different. You may have a very active greyhound, or a lazy kelpie! Take into consideration your dog’s unique personality and needs.

Companionship

If your dog is social and likes spending time with other animals, it might be a good idea to have more than one dog. Naturally sociable creatures, dogs can thrive off each other’s company, playing together, eating together and sleeping together can make your dog’s life a whole lot more interesting.

If you aren’t able to get another dog, think about organising a play date, visiting a dog park or a reputable doggy play centre for them to spend time with other dogs.

However, it’s important to remember that adding another dog won’t cure boredom on its own – training and stimulation are always key.

Exercise and enrichment

Providing adequate exercise and enrichment is vital for keeping your dog entertained and preventing any unwanted behaviours such as barking, digging or chewing. Mental stimulation is just as powerful as physical exercise, so make sure your pooch has an opportunity to use that clever brain of theirs!

  • Regular walks. Walk your dog twice a day if possible (provided they are fit and healthy). Not only is walking good for your dog’s physical health, but it also provides mental stimulation as they sniff plants and trees, explore the sights and sounds of the outdoors, and meet any people or dogs along the way.
  • Toys. If you are at work for a large portion of the day, toys are a great way to keep your pooch entertained while you are gone. Use toys that have a reward, like treats or peanut butter hidden in them. Read our blog on 7 enrichment ideas for dogs here.
  • Create a treasure hunt or indoor obstacle course. Hide treats around your house and through the backyard for your pooch to sniff out. Finding the treats will release endorphins and give your pooch a sense of satisfaction. You can also create an indoor obstacle course for them to practice their agility!
  • Arrange for a friend or neighbour to walk them during the day. If your pooch goes a bit mad while you’re at work, try arranging someone else to come and walk them during the day. Not only will they get additional exercise,
Kelpie-MPW-22

Include them in your life

Remember you are your dog’s whole world. They want to be included in your life. Make sure they spend plenty of time indoors with the family and join you on trips out of the house – to dog parks, beaches or cafes. This will help build the bond between you and your dog and add some colour to their world.

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