It’s not always possible to tell what an animal is thinking or feeling, but boredom is a little different. Boredom in dogs is often very easy to spot, so while we can’t tell you what your furbaby is thinking when she stares into your eyes, we can help you tell if she needs more stimulatio
Here are five easy ways to spot boredom in your pooch, and what you can do about it.
5 ways to tell if your dog is bored
- She’s destructive
Are your jeans ripped – not because you bought them like that, but because you came home to find all the laundry yanked off the line? Destructive behaviour like chewing clothes and furniture, digging up the lawn or pulling apart your feather pillows can all be clear indications that your pup is frustrated.
- She barks… all the time
If your furbaby seems to be trying to tell you something, incessantly, it may well be that she’s bored. Barking, whining, nudging you and grumbling are her way of saying, “Come on, get up and play with me!”
- She’s become your shadow
A dog who is under-stimulated or lonely may follow you around whenever you’re at home. Learn to recognise your dog’s nature and behaviour: if she’s simply a pup who enjoys human company, then it’s not something you need to worry about. But if she’s usually independent, it’s worth paying attention to.
- She chases her own tail
When a dog is bored, they’ll try to find outlets for their frustration. Unlike us, our furkids can’t just pick up a book to read or take themselves for a run. They’ll use whatever resources they have at their disposal… and often, that’s simply their own tail!
- She’s listless
Sometimes, dogs become so bored that they almost give up on life. They may simply lie around and show little interest in anything at all. If this sounds like your dog, you need to pay attention, especially if she’s usually more upbeat and energetic.
Ways to help address your dog’s boredom
There are loads of ways to help improve your pooch’s quality of life. Here are some of the most effective ways to help your dog to be less bored and more stimulated – which will lead to a happier and healthier life for your pup.
- Make sure your dog has plenty of little boredom busters. These could be food puzzles (like food dispensing toys), balls to chew or big bones to gnaw on. Always make sure that the food and toys you give your pooch won’t present a choking hazard.
- Walk her daily. Most dogs need regular, if not daily, exercise. For a dog, a walk around the block is like catching up on the latest news. So, don’t deprive your pooch of her daily fix!
- Get her a friend! Most animals are social creatures – dogs especially. Most dogs absolutely love having a playmate, and by getting your pooch her very own bestie, you’ll go a long way towards alleviating her boredom – particularly if she’s alone all day. Many dog owners report that bad behaviour and signs of frustration quickly come to an end when they get a friend for their dog, as the two are able to entertain each other and keep each other busy and active.
- Consider doggie daycare. Doggie daycare is an excellent option for people who work all day. Drop your pup off in the morning and let her interact and play all day. By the time you fetch her after work, she’ll be happy, exhausted, and well exercised – the perfect antidote to boredom!
- Hire a dog walker. Not everyone has time to walk their dog every day, so why not outsource it? These days, you’ll find dog-walkers advertising their services in many suburbs across the country – or simply use Google to find one.
- Throw a ball or a frisbee for your pooch, or take them with you when you run or hike. Just check with your vet first to make sure your dog is up to the same type of physical activity that you are.
Beat the boredom and raise a fitter, happier furbaby
Like humans, dogs who are well exercised and properly stimulated live happier, healthier and possibly longer lives. So keep an eye open for signs of boredom and make sure to nip them in the bud.