Not sure how to keep your pet entertained while you’re stuck in the house all day? Your dog might love the fact that you’re staying home, but if other things are taking up your attention, your pet might get a little bored. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep your pet occupied.
Continue reading for a few ways to keep your dog busy while you’re at home. Your pet will love each and every one of them, and you’ll have fun, too.
Info For Puppy And Dog Parents: Ways To Keep Your Dog Busy While You’re Working From Home
Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, your pet can sometimes get bored. In some instances, a bored dog can become a destructive dog, chewing your shoes or even your furniture. Your new four-legged coworker might get tired of seeing you type on your keyboard all day, and they might commit a little mischief.
One thing that might be great for both of you is taking a break from the workday and getting outside to play a game of fetch. Get a little fresh air, and get your pet some exercise in the process. If the weather doesn’t allow for outside play, you can bring your fetch game indoors. Just use a soft toy or a ball.
Another idea, if the weather allows, is simply to get outside during your lunch break and take a walk. If you can, make it a nice, long walk. Let your puppy or adult dog sniff to their heart’s content. Let them take the lead and nose around – you could even let them choose the direction they want to go, as long as it’s safe.
A good, long, “sniff walk” will do wonders for your dog. They’ll burn off a lot of energy, and they’ll probably be ready for a snooze once you get back home.
What Could Be Leading To Your Dog’s Boredom?
Does your dog like to get in trouble during the day? Do you find them unrolling your toilet paper, tipping over the trash can, or using a shoe or pillow as a chew toy? If you’re in another room working and your pet gets bored, that could happen. But why is this the case?
The answer could be as simple as a lack of stimulation. Humans can get bored when they don’t have anything to do. Dogs do too. If they’re tired of their toys or don’t get the chance to play and get exercise, boredom will set in. A dog can even get bored with their dog food.1
If your pet shows disinterest in toys, barks more than normal, or exhibits odd behavior such as excessive grooming, those could all be signs of boredom.2
You might want to think about buying a new toy or two, or taking your dog for a longer walk than normal – or even taking a different route. If your dog gets along with your neighbor’s pooch, maybe invite that dog over for a play date. Just make sure you supervise to make sure their play doesn’t get out of hand.3
Could Separation Anxiety Be Part Of The Problem?
If your dog is destroying things like furniture, clothing, or shoes on a regular basis, your pet might be dealing with separation anxiety.
This issue can affect a dog at any age, whether they’re an adult or a puppy. It typically occurs when a dog experiences extreme stress when left alone. Just like humans can suffer panic attacks, a dog can go through separation anxiety “attacks.” If your dog starts to whine or pace when you get ready to leave, howls or barks excessively, or has accidents around your home, talk to your vet.4
Keeping Your Pooch Active: What Are Some Great Interactive Dog Toys?
An interactive dog toy might be just the thing to keep your furry friend occupied. This type of dog toy will provide hours of fun, and it might keep your pet from becoming bored.
One of the more effective types of interactive toys is a food puzzle. This toy might help break up the typical feeding routine, which might contribute to your dog’s boredom. Instead of using the regular bowl day after day, try putting dog food in a puzzle for your pet instead.5
You can put food or dog treats in the puzzle toy or ball, or you can even hide some food in different areas of the yard.6Your pet will have a blast sniffing around for their reward. Whether you use a puzzle toy or the hiding option, your pet should enjoy the stimulating challenge.
Here are a few other interactive toys you might want to consider for your pet.
- Snuffle mat – This mat has several raised areas where you can easily hide treats or dry food. These crevices will really challenge your dog’s nose, keeping them occupied for hours.
- Ball thrower – If you can’t spend time with your dog because you’re up against a tight work deadline, this could be the perfect toy. It will automatically throw a ball – sort of an automatic game of fetch. With a little training, you can show your dog how to put the ball back in the launcher so it can shoot the ball again and again.
- Treat-dispensing chewing toy – This works on the same principle as the puzzle toy mentioned above. You put some dog treats in the middle of the chew toy, and it gradually dispenses them.7Some people will put a little peanut butter on their treats to make the reward even that much more satisfying.
Life Is Particularly Busy And Stressful For Many: Should You Look Into A Doggie Daycare Or A Dog Walker?
If you’re busy on top of being stressed due to the pandemic, it might be worth considering getting your bored dog a little company during the day. You could hire a dog walker to come by a few days a week to get your pet some exercise and to work off energy.8,9,10
Hopefully, one or more of these ways to keep your dog busy will help your pet stave off boredom while you’re quarantined. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to appreciate the extra bonding time you’re enjoying with your beloved companion.