If your dog has ever seemed down in the dumps or, on the flip side, a bit more destructive and unsettled than usual, we might know the reason (and it’s not all that worrisome) –your dog could be bored.
You’re always worrying about keeping your pup happy and stimulated, and chances are, you’re already doing a great job. But how do you know when your pup is bored? What should you do to keep your dog’s brain active and occupied?
Here are some telltale signs of dog boredom (including our recommended boredom busters):
Bored dogs usually lack energy or enthusiasm.
If your furry friend seems uninterested in interacting with you, it’s a good bet that they’re in a “meh” state.
A bored dog may spend more time snoozing than playing. They may not seem excited about activities they normally enjoy.
If you observe your dog being extra sleepy or uninterested, it’s time to spice it up a bit!
- Keep bored pups entertained by turning on the TV, and what better channel than one scientifically developed to battle dog boredom? Try DOGTV for free here!
- Plan for a rewarding scavenger hunt using treats or toys.
Bored dogs have lost interest in toys or play.
Your dog is ignoring their most cherished toys? Yup, this may be a case of the doggy boredom blues.
A bored pup may not show interest in playing with their toys. They may not initiate play, or ignore your attempts to play with them.
When this happens, it could be time to bring out the big guns (AK new toys… YAY!):
- Introduce new chews, squeaky toys, ropes, or stuffies. Rotate their toy collection to keep things fresh.
- Take playtime to the next level. Engage your bored dog in more interactive games, such as hide-and-seek, tug-of-war, or fetch.
Bored dogs may exhibit destructive behavior.
Uh-oh, have your pets been getting into a little too much mischief lately? They turned your favorite pair of shoes into a chew toy. They chomp on your couch instead of lounging on it. They remodel your yard into a minefield of holes.
Don’t let dog boredom lead to a dog-tastrophe.
Here’s what you can do to keep your dog busy (and save your precious possessions):
- Provide a more durable and satisfying outlet for all that pent-up energy, like stuffed Kongs or other puzzle toys.
- Give your bored dog a good workout. You win the battle against boredom while keeping them physically fit (and get some exercise yourself!)
Bored dogs tend to bark or whine excessively.
If your dogs are barking or whining up a storm, there’s a good chance they’re bored and looking for ways to entertain themselves (perhaps with singing a little tune.)
Do they suddenly break into loud, soulful howls for no apparent reason? It could be their way of auditioning for the next season of “American Idol for Dogs” or maybe they’re just trying to get a little extra attention from you.
Silence the barking or whining chaos in your home with the following dog boredom solutions:
- Obedience training not only teaches your pets how to be the perfect gentleman or lady, but it also provides mental stimulation. Take a quick 10-minute break to work on some commands.
- Schedule dog playdates and let your bored dogs mingle with their besties. Socialization is tiresome!
Bored dogs are likely to pace or circle around.
Is your dog constantly on the move? That’s probably a bored pet searching for something to do. When left to their own devices, bored dogs exhibit restlessness or fidgety behavior. They pass the time by acting like they’re trying to achieve 10,000 steps or training for the next big walkathon.
Keep dog boredom at bay with these paw-some ideas:
- Give your dog a job to do around the house. Start with simple tasks like fetching an item for you or cleaning up their toys.
- Set up a mini agility course in your living room or backyard using items you might already have handy: boxes, poles, hula hoops, to name a few.
Boredom is no joke for our furry friends! Everything your dog does is a form of communication, even the sometimes mischievous or overly excited behavior. If you notice these signs of boredom in your own dog, it might be time to pursue some new forms of mental and/or physical stimulation to make them feel like a top dog again.