Photo By: Pixabay
Some breeds need more activity than others, but a dog that’s left to its own devices will display anxious or destructive behaviors. A dog that’s left alone or that doesn’t have regular social interactions, will likely become unhappy or bored. Yes, you have to work, but you need to do what you can to encourage the healthy mental well-being of your dog. Your dog may need a walk, or your dog may need to get out and play. Here are some tips from Preferred Pet Sitter that can help your dog overcome those boredom blues.
Watch for boredom cues
Even a small dog can turn a couch cushion into a pile of fluff in no time if left alone. The dog isn’t exhibiting destructive behavior with the goal of misbehaving. The reason is more simple than that. With a lack of mental and physical stimulation, the frustration is taken out on items nearby. In an effort to relieve boredom, your pooch takes it out on his chew toy or the pair of shoes left by the door. Your dog isn’t trying to drive you insane. They just need a way to release all that energy that has built up. In addition to destructive behavior, there are several other signs of a bored dog such as barking, whining, biting, pacing, and even laying around depressed, with no energy. The cure for a bored dog can be getting outside for a walk, playing fetch, or visiting the dog park. However, you’ll want to brush up on your dog’s manners so that all that excitement doesn’t bubble over into a social faux pas.
Know the Difference
Boredom and separation anxiety may look the same, but they are completely different. So, how can you tell the difference? If your pooch gets anxious or upset when you leave, signs that he suffers from separation anxiety include:
· Barking, howling, and whining for hours or until you return
· Bathroom accidents when trained otherwise
· Destructive behavior
· Breaking out of rooms/crates/fences
However, some of these same symptoms could point to boredom, excitement, incomplete potty training, or never adjusting to a crate. If you aren’t sure what category your dog falls into, set up a video camera to record your pooch when he is home alone. It could be that after a few minutes of barking, your dog takes a nap or finds a way to entertain himself until you get home. If you still aren’t sure, show the evidence to a trainer or your vet.
Last but not least, try to make your home as stress-free as possible. Dogs are often in tune with their owner’s emotions, so they could be acting out based on how you’re feeling. The less stress you feel, the better your dog will feel as a result.
Bring in a pro
Whether your dog is bored, anxious, or in need of a little training, most dog walkers or doggy daycare facilities can help. Dog walkers from Preferred Pet Sitter can arrange to come over to fit your schedule, as often as you need them. If your dog isn’t getting through the day without having to go in the house, this will cause anxiety. The dog doesn't want to go in the house, and the dog may be afraid of being punished. If the dog is on a regular schedule, this will alleviate anxiety and your dog will get out when they need it most. You can still walk your dog when you get home, for your own exercise, and for the extra bonding.
Doggy daycare may also walk your dog in the middle of the day, with the primary difference that you take the dog to the daycare, and while there, your dog will be around other dogs to socialize all day. Dogs are pack animals, so they tend to love being around other dogs, and while this option requires drop-off and pick-up, many doggy daycare facilities also offer training and grooming services.
Everyone likes new toys
If your dog plays with toys they’ll get eaten up. The stuffing will get pulled out, the squeaky part will break. This is expected. It’s what the toy was for. Just replace them after your dog has lost interest in them, and that’ll keep your dog entertaining himself. Of course, the best toys are the ones where the two of you interact.
If your dog walks include a stop at a dog park where your dog can socialize or chase a ball, that’s the best of both worlds. Your dog wants to spend time with you, to be active, and to socialize with other dogs. It takes some effort, and not every option is free, but your dog is worth it. If they seem bored, have some empathy and get them outdoors. Because it’s good for you too.