Have you ever come home to have the trash spread all over your home, toilet paper everywhere, pillows thrown off the bed or couch, clothes thrown all over, or holes dug in the yard?
Have you ever wondered, “is my dog bored?” I am going to show you signs your dog is bored, how to solve dog boredom, and recommendations for dog boredom toys to help your dog feel less bored.
Do Dogs Get Bored
I know there are many times that I have looked at my dog and wondered, is my dog bored? If you think your dog is bored, they probably are. Dogs do get bored just like us if they aren’t given things to do throughout the day. Unlike us, they can’t just leave the house and go do something fun. We are their main source of entertainment.
We decide for them when they eat, play, go on a walk and even when they sleep. If we don’t find enough things for them to do, dogs get bored, and there is a good chance they are going to get into trouble when they do. If your dog is bored, they will find ways to entertain themselves.
Signs Your Dog Is Bored
There are many different signs your dog may give you to let you know they are bored. Some of them might be more obvious than others, but they will let you know. Here is some of the signs you should watch for when deciding if your dog is bored.
- Showing destructive behaviors. It could be excessive chewing, barking, digging, or getting into the trash or toilet paper. Digging is a self-rewarding behavior and releases some of that energy.
- Seeking attention. It could be barking, whining, nudging your hand with their nose, or biting at your clothes or ankles or anything else they can reach. I had a dog that would get right in my face and give me the sharpest bark I ever heard when he wanted me to do something with him.
- Following you around. It is as if they are saying, “what are we going to do next.”
- Listlessness. Your dog might just lay there or act listless. It is like they have “given up” on life, since they figure there is no end to their boredom.
- Getting in your face. Forcing themselves on your lap, putting their face right in your face or staring at you.
- Excessive licking or chewing. It is possible that they have allergies and you should check with your veterinarian, but they also might just be looking for something to do. They also might lick you over and over incessantly.
- Chasing their tail – Most of us have seen a time when our dog runs around in a circle chasing their own tail.
Do not confuse boredom with depression. The signs for depression are different than boredom. Depression warning signs can include appetite changes, change in sleeping habits, loss of interest, avoidance or hiding and excessive licking.
How To Keep My Dog From Being Bored
You need to create a combination of physical and mental exercise for your dog. This will keep your dog happy and entertained. In addition to a daily walk for your dog, add some training sessions or interactive games throughout the day. Dogs don’t always need more physical exercise to cure boredom, sometimes what they need is mental stimulation. This can tire out your dog as much as a 30-minute walk. Giving your dog mental stimulation will tire them out the same way that a child will become tired from doing homework. Using your brain tires you out.
Walking – A dog needs a walk every day if possible. Not only is the exercise good for them and help tire them out, it is a chance for them to go out and explore and see what is going on in the neighborhood. This will add mental stimulation for them as well.
Daily Routine – Your dog will be much happier if they have a daily routine. They will know when it is time to walk, eat, sleep and play. Dogs are creatures of habit, so by giving them a consistent daily routine, they will know what is expected of them.
If you give them a walk in the morning, it will encourage them to relax until late afternoon. They will soon realize that morning is nap time after the walk.
Feeding them at the same time every day gives them a sense of security. They won’t have to worry when they will get their next meal.
The same is true for their other activities. If after dinner you always play some type of game with them, they will learn when it is time to be active and play and when they should relax.
I never realized how important routines were until I had a dog that strictly followed a routine before I even realized I put him on a routine. Jake was my scheduler of all things happening in the house. He would let me know when the school bus would be coming in the morning, because he knew he went out for the bus and that he would be going on a walk immediately following.
Jake let me know when I should be giving him dinner by laying by his dish until I would fill his bowl. He also received a special treat every night at 7 p.m. and he would follow me around until he got it. After doing all the things on Jake’s schedule, he would always go back to whatever else he had going on and was content until the next item came up on his list.
This is the short list of what he had in his routine. It would always make me laugh when he would remind me, but the biggest problem with his schedule is that his clock always ran fast, and he would usually be reminding me about 30 minutes ahead of time. It was clear a schedule was very important to him. He also never did any destructive behavior, and I believe largely because of a routine. He always knew what to expect.
Activities To Help With Mental Stimulation
There are many ways to help your dog get mental stimulation.
Hide the treats – it can be as easy as hiding treats around the house for them to find. I suggest getting the mini treats, as you will be able to hide more without giving your dog too many treats.
Chasing bubbles – This is easy and inexpensive fun. Use kids bubbles and let your dog chase the bubbles around. Your dog will enjoy it and so will you by watching them have fun.
Training – Training tires a dog out and they will enjoy the special time they get to spend with you. It uses brain power, which can be as effective as a walk or run.
Doggy Day Care – This is good for friendly and social dogs. It will give your dog exercise and plenty of mental stimulation.
Toys To Help With Mental Stimulation
Kong Wobbler – These are one of the best toys to help dogs who get bored. They come in several sizes, so there is one to fit whatever sized dog you have. You can put small treats, Kibbles, peanut butter or frozen treats in them. It has a weighted base, making it a bit harder to knock around and the amount of food that comes out varies. Sometimes one piece, sometimes several. It will keep them occupied for quite a bit of time.
iFetch Frenzy – Works great for small to medium-sized dogs. Drop a mini tennis ball in the top of iFetch. Your dog tries to figure out where it will come out. The ball randomly drops out of one of three holes at the bottom for your dog to chase.
Entertaineze Puzzle Ball – Great for stimulating clever dogs while they play. Made from a durable rubber, the toy is slightly squishy and has a fair amount of bounce. You put treats or Kibble inside the toy and they only come out for your dog once it has been properly tumbled and thrown around by your dog.
AFP Interactive Food Maze Dog Toy – This product works differently than the previous ones. It is very similar to a doggy puzzle. This toy allows you to leave treats or Kibble in the crevices of the maze. Your dog will enjoy spending time wiggling, biting and licking them out.
You Need To Help Your Dog From Getting Bored
Dogs are very social animals, and need both physical and mental stimulation. They need exercise every day, but they also need to be thinking and mentally challenged to remain happy and to avoid them getting into things they shouldn’t be doing.
Dog boredom toys help with challenging your dog’s mind. Make sure they are getting plenty of both mental stimulation and physical, and also make sure to get them on a daily routine.
The routine will definitely help them know what to expect of their day, and you will notice them pestering you less often, unless you forget to stay on schedule. Then, like Jake used to do for me, they will remind you what you should be doing for them.
So is your dog bored? You have reviewed the signs of dog boredom, and you might have to make a change in your dog’s activities to help keep your dog happy mentally and physically. These suggestions should help you solve your dog’s boredom.
If you want to know what your dog is up to when you aren’t home, I suggest investing in a Pet Video Monitor. This will help you know what is going on when you aren’t there. It also will brighten your day and give you peace of mind when you see they are doing just fine. You will also have a better idea if your dog is bored during the day or just peacefully resting to have plenty of energy to share with you when you get home.
Please share any comments or questions below and I will get back to you. Also, if you have something that really works for you and your dog to help avoid boredom that I didn’t mention, please share it with the rest of us, so all of us can have happy dogs.