In our previous article, we described the serious consequences it can have for dogs to regularly experience boredom. We also explained how to read the signs with which your dog is telling you that she lacks something. But how do we tackle the challenge of how to avoid boredom in dogs? In this article, we will show achievable approaches for how to activate your furry friend. So you can make sure that boredom becomes a thing of the past.
How can I avoid boredom in my dog?
As mentioned in our article “New dog parent? Here's what you need to know”, finding out more about your dog’s breed and personality, is a great first step to be able to tailor the activities to your dog’s needs. But we also need to take a critical look at our daily life and ask ourselves if our dog has a chance to fulfill her needs while following our schedule.
Most of us surely would love to be together with our pooches 24/7, but, unfortunately, we sometimes need to leave them home alone. Therefore, we have collected ideas for how to avoid boredom in dogs while we’re together with them. And also for the time, they need to be by themselves – while you’re out earning money to put food in your dog’s bowl.
Activities together with your dog to prevent boredo
- Find physical exercises that are both fun for you AND your dog. Go for long walks or energetic runs. Play with your dog, outside and inside (play with a disc, a ball, tug of war, etc.). An exhausted dog is (usually) a happy dog.
- Get your dog to work for its food. Put your dog’s food in a little food bag and, based on your dog’s preferences, either throw it or hide it. Your dog then needs to find the food bag, bring it back to you, and then get some of the food, before you continue the game. Proud doggy tails guaranteed!
- Teach your dog new tricks she can show off with. High-five, paw, lay, roll-around or play dead are great ones. Start easy and get as crazy as you like.
- Create mental stimulation games for your dog without needing to buy new toys (Check out our easy DIY games for this)
- Hide treats in the apartment and send your dog on a scavenger hunt right before you leave.
- Freeze down a Kong filled with paté which your dog gets right before you leave. It will take your dog a while to get all the yummy stuff out.
- Fill dog puzzles and other toys with treats, so while you’re gone, your dog can work for her food.
- Get her a special chew bone that will keep her busy (make sure that there is no choking hazard!)
- Give her a special toy she only gets when it’s home alone time
- Always make sure that your dog has a safe space, where she can snuggle up and sleep
How to avoid boredom in dogs – get a support system in place!
If you are struggling to include the needed mental and physical activation in your busy human schedule, don’t hesitate to find people to support you. This could be a dog walker who can help you with getting your dog the activation she needs or your neighbor who would love to spend some time with your dog, while you’re at work. Alternatively, look for good doggy daycare, so your dog is well taken care of and entertained, while you’re out of the house.
If you are still unsure if your dog is getting everything she needs, book a session with a certified dog trainer who can help you analyze the mental and physical needs of your dog – and make a personalized plan for you and your dog.
We regularly upload new mental workout ideas on Instagram and Facebook – follow us to get new inspiration on a regular basis. If you want to discuss mental workout ideas for your dog, join our Facebook group – and share adorable pictures and videos of your dog.