Is boredom setting in for your pup? Most of us work all day, and leave our furry friends at home for up to 8 hours at a time. Some might chase their tails, sit by the door, or chew on their favorite bone for a while…but most of the time, they will sleep or get bored waiting for someone to play with. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to eliminate the monotonous time spent alone!
– Physical exercise: Yes, this means waking up a little bit earlier than usual! Take that pup outside and drain some physical energy with a morning walk or run. This can help your dog feel restful throughout the day. If the weather doesn’t allow an outside romp, try playing ball or rough-housing for a few minutes indoors. If you have a large yard, throw that tennis ball as far as you can! Even a few minutes of hard running is a good workout.
– Mental challenge: Provide interactive puzzle toys! There are plenty of toys on the market, some you fill with treats or kibble, and your dog has to figure out how to get the treats to come out, and some toys that make noise or flash when bumped or rolled. You can find these toys at most local pet stores!
– Long lasting goodies: Give your pup a toy like the Kong that you can fill with a wide variety of food items such as canned dog food, yogurt or peanut better (or both mixed) and then freeze it. This will occupy him for quite a long time. Large, healthy chew toys or Nylabones will also provide hours of chewing pleasure. You can soak rope toys in chicken broth and freeze them. Your pup will go crazy for this frozen treat, especially during the warm summer months!
– Play dates: Get to know your neighbors who have dogs, and alternate play dates! If their schedule differs from yours, you could take turns baby sitting each other’s dog, so that the dogs can enjoy time playing together. Or utilize your family and friends who might have the time to stop by and play with or walk your dog for a few minutes each day.
– Consider hiring a professional dog walker, sitter, or doggie daycare facility. Even if utilized only once or twice a week, it can help break up the normal routine and provide an outlet for her physical and mental energy.
– Leave the television or radio on while you are gone. It may sound silly, but you’d be surprised at how much they’ll pay attention to the sights and sounds.
Always be aware of safety issues and be careful not to provide toys with small parts that can be choked on. Vary the toys provided so that your dog will stay interested.
Just remember, dogs need an outlet for both physical and mental energy, and the more you can safely provide that, the more peaceful and stress-free your household will be. Never punish boredom – prevent it instead!
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