You don’t need us to tell you that a bored dog is not a happy dog - and as a caring owner, that’s the last thing you want. After all, your dog deserves all the love and care you can give.
With that caring in mind, this blog shares three fun ideas to help increase your dog’s happiness and good behavior. But first, how do you even know if your dog is bored?
Look for these signs
Uh-oh, something’s been chewed. You come home and the rug is a sorry sight. Vets call it “problem behavior.” A friend shared this story with us. While she was away, her pup went to work on her husband’s loafers. Size 10s were chewed down to size 9s. And no wonder, dogs need stimulation -- in fact, they can’t be without it. So when we enrich their world, they become happier and better-behaved.
It’s easy to sense how your dog misses you when you’re away. Especially when you consider that millennia ago dogs were bred to have a working role. But most dogs aren’t working these days – they have little to do. This is evident when you consider the in-home security footage of one owner’s home while he was away. He saw an unhappy pooch… and rolls of unraveled toilet paper decorating the living room. Charming.
Dogs look to us for engagement and fun. Your dog deserves a lifestyle that beats a ho-hum existence. Because, according to ancient Greek wisdom, for a human or dog to thrive in top form, a healthy mind in a healthy body is key.
Try these three fun ideas:
- Head to the park. A potty break or walk around the block for a bored dog may not be enough. Instead, go out for some intense playtime. It could take the form of an energetic frolic or the tried and true game of fetch with a stick, frisbee or tennis ball. Grab that barely-used tennis racket and hit a ball into the distance for your dog to fetch. And do it again and again. Watch your dog exhibit an Olympic performance with a smile that widens every time you send the ball flying.
- Friends for your dog. You enjoy meeting new friends and, of course, your dog does too. Especially when there’s a chance to cut loose and run with them in a safe, protected area. Dog parks are a roam-free environment that could offer slides, hurdles, hoops to jump through as well as water features like spraying fountains.
- Scrumptious chew treats. Dogs adore our Pork & Apple Sausage Recipe. So they’re perfect for a game of “Find the Treats.” It’s as captivating for your dog as it is for you entering a kitchen with delicious smells coming from the oven. You become transfixed by trying to discover where that aroma is originating from.
Got that picture? Now apply it to a fun game with your dog.
Start by hiding the Pork & Apple Sausage Recipe in interesting places, use your imagination, be creative. Then set your dog on a search. Encourage your dog, signaling if they are hot or cold. Great fun erupts when the treats are discovered. That’s when you can lavish praise on your intrepid hunter. You’ll make your dog feel extra-special and proud ... but that’s only the beginning.
Because “Find the Treats” helps put an end to destructive behavior. It fulfills your dog’s love of chewing with something that’s tastier and healthier than a pillow or your beloved loafers. You both benefit as play promotes better behavior and bonding.
The former chief veterinarian of the RSPCA in Britain, Mark Evans, adds to that:
“There’s a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are really good indicators of a dog’s quality of life.”
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