Does your dog suffer from Dog Boredom? How do you know the signs that your dog is Bored? There can be many factors to consider and some great solutions to help. Keeping your pets busy when you work from home can be quite challenging. Being home can make them even more demanding of your overall attention.
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What causes dog boredom?
There can be many factors involved. Your dog may want more of your attention especially with working from home. Or if you’re out on the frontline or workplace you can be gone for many long hours. Not having enough mental stimulation for your pet can be a big factor. It’s important to have someone check on your pet if you’re working long hours. Not only to care for their basic needs but to give them some interaction with others if possible.
Another factor that plays a huge role is not just mental stimulation, but physical as well. Right now it is safe to take your pet out for a walk or play in the yard keeping physical distancing in place from others. Through this current pandemic across the globe, it can be very challenging balancing work, kids and your pet. Most of all finding safe ways to do so.
Dog Boredom Symptoms
- Destructive behavior
- Sleeping more
- Not wanting to play with their toys as much
- Constantly seeking your attention
- Getting into the trash or other items
- Excessive Barking or Barking more than usual
- Obsessive or Compulsive reactions
- Whining or wanting to be picked up all the time if they are smaller
- Tail chasing
- Excessive licking or chewing
Working From Home
I recommend keeping a routine as you normally would when you go to work outside the home. This will give your dog a sense of consistency and they will look forward to when their time is coming. They will eventually understand that they need to find ways to keep busy until your ready to give them your full attention.
If you find your dog barking while you’re on meeting you may want to have a favorite treat or item to offer them while you’re on the phone or in a meeting online. Load up a puzzle toy to keep them occupied when you’re about to start the call or meeting.
If you don’t have any on hand there are some DIY puzzle toys you can make for your dog. A good example os some are below in the video.
There are items like Kong and treat puzzle balls also available through pet stores or amazon. But if your in immediate need of these items I would suggest making some of your own.
What if your dog is reacting to boredom with destructive behavior?
There are things that can also be causing destructive behavior such as separation anxiety. You can talk to your vet or purchase a calming vest to help them.
Again you can use the DIY or puzzle toys I mentioned above. I would recommend keeping anything that may cause your dog harm away from reach. Just as you would a small child. You may have to put locks on cupboards, or place shoes out of reach and so forth. Clickers are great to use for training your dog in establishing a routine and building boundaries.
Dog Boredom Solutions
Before you start work, play with your dog or interact in a way that will help them stay content or sleep afterward. Burning off energy is the key to creating a relaxing environment so you can work. If you have children have them help with these tasks.
Although some of us already have an exercise routine we can include our pet in. Some find exercising a daunting task. Exercising your dog is actually much easier to commit to for some reason. Some activities can include:
- Playing Fetch with their favorite toy
- Walking or jogging with your pet
- A drive in the car where there is unfamiliar territory to your dog
- Flirt poles are an excellent exercise for prey driven and high energy dogs.
- DIY agility courses using homemade obstacles
- Hide and seek with their favorite toys
- Muffin tin games or puzzle toy balls
- Tug of war
- Consider a weight vest while playing to increase muscle use and encourage weight loss if needed. Start with only 2lbs or so depending on the size of your dog and building up to 5 lbs or so.
Don’t expect immediate results
It will take time for both you and your dog to establish a good routine. Dogs are very dependent and rely on us to teach them and resolve their problems. We can guide them with patience and lots of love. Try not to get frustrated or yell at your pet. If you have been gone long hours have someone help you with keeping your dog active and consider a foster pet.
Through challenging times at the moment. I can only suggest working with your dog to adjust to new routines or activities. Training can help not only with boredom but establishing a concrete routine until things go back to normal.
It is a great time to take advantage of the time you can spend with those you love most in your own space. You just need to commit to it and take the time to create a solid foundation for the changes ahead.
Old Dog Boredom
Some dogs may not be able to play games or run around. So you may want to consider time with them. Here are some suggestions if your dog has mobility or other old age challenges:
- Trick Training or refreshing your obedience training.
- Hide some treats for them to find
- Go for a short walk or sit out in the yard with them
- Car rides to unfamiliar places keeping social distancing in mind, however.
- If the weather permits or you have access to a private pool on your property. A swim will help ease some joint pain and also get them some much-needed exercise that is not too strenuous. Join them if you can.
- Some extra grooming or attention
- And of course some extra cuddles and attention
- Put their favorite show on or animal planet
- Talk to them and let them know you’re there for them although you may be busy.
If your home and you have time I would recommend our read on including your pet in your will. Sometimes just having some extra time from home can help you focus on our futures for not only us but our furry little loved ones.