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What to do When Your Dog Gets Bored
Preventing your dog from becoming bored can be quite a challenge sometimes, especially if your dog happens to be on the energetic side. Many of us just can't dedicate all of our time to keeping our dogs entertained, no matter how much we may want to.
If a dog doesn't have enough mental stimulation, he'll end up getting bored quickly. This can lead to a number problems, like destroying furniture and constant barking.
So what is a loving dog owner supposed to do?
Making sure your dog stays entertained all day is the best way to go. There are a lot of things you can do to help make sure your dog doesn't end up bored, even if you aren't home.
These KONG squeaker tennis balls will last much longer than regular tennis balls, and the squeaker adds more fun!
The easiest fix for boredom is toys. Loads of toys. Most dogs have to spend a significant portion of the day alone while their owners are at work. Toys will help to give your dog something to focus on while you're away from home, and will prevent him from getting so bored.
Try heading to the pet store and picking up a few essentials:
- Chew toys. If your dog has something he can chew on, it might deter him from gnawing on your furniture. Try getting him a rawhide bone (or two).
- Balls. Dogs love a good ball. Tennis balls are commonly given to dogs as a toy, but they get used up fast since they're fairly easy to destroy. I like to get the Kong Ball for my dogs, which is made out of extremely tough material and is virtually indestructible. One will last a year or more (as long as it doesn't get lost).
- Treat keepers. These are toys that have holes in the middle for you to hide treats in. Give this toy to your dog, and he will have to work to get that treat out of the middle of the toy! This can potentially keep him entertained for hours.
- Squeakers. Dogs love a toy that squeaks. The toy is always more entertaining if it makes noise! Just be careful if your dog tends to rip his toys apart. If the toy has a squeaker in it, he may get that out and swallow it (and possibly choke!). Trust me, I've seen it happen. Try to go for a toy that uses a hole in its surface for the noise. When you squeeze it, the air runs through the hole and squeaks. Lots of toys are built like this.
- Rope toys. These are great if you have more than one dog. They will use a designated rope toy to play tug-o-war with, instead of using your socks!
Love and Affection
When you are around your dog, make sure he gets plenty of attention. Any dog will start to act out if it doesn't get enough love from it's owner. Make sure you spend plenty of time with him and give him lots of attention when you are able. It may sound silly, but your dog's behavior when you aren't around will reflect the amount of attention he gets when you are there.
Exercise is a very important factor in preventing boredom for your dog. If your dog doesn't get enough chances to burn off extra energy, it will build up. When he's left alone and doesn't have anything to do, he might choose to burn that energy in ways that make life harder for you (digging holes in the yard, ripping up your couch, excessive barking, etc.)
Take him out for a walk in the morning, play fetch with him a few times a day, take him to the dog park to play with other dogs. Releasing extra energy in healthy and appropriate ways will help keep his boredom at bay during the day. He won't be so energetic and won't be as likely to get destructive or obnoxious.
Other Tips and Tricks
What are the tips and tricks you use to keep your dog from getting bored? Please help out your fellow dog owners and share your own tips in the comments!
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