Think about your daily routine. You wake up, get dressed, and leave the house for work, errands, social outings, or whatever else. Then you come home to your dog, who is so excited to see you… and who might have chewed on some things they shouldn’t have while you were gone.
Your pup is home alone without you when you leave for the day, and understandably, they get bored! Leaving the TV or radio on is comforting, but it’s not an activity that they can focus on. What your dog needs is mental (and physical) stimulation to keep them occupied.
So, what can you do to make sure your dog stays occupied throughout the day? We put together a list of boredom busters for you to try out!
1. Stuff a Kong
Your dog’s natural instinct is to play and to chew—and when they’re left alone and get bored, that instinct can lead to chewed up shoes, furniture, and more. Instead of fighting that instinct, we recommend leaning into it! Kongs are designed to give your dog a healthy outlet for chewing and playing. When you freeze food in a Kong, you also give your pup the mental stimulation of trying to get the food out of the frozen Kong, keeping them occupied for hours.
We love freezing chicken broth and kibble in a Kong, or peanut butter and apples. But don’t feel limited to those combinations—there are plenty of things you can freeze in the Kong, which means you can keep your dog guessing about what treats they’ll get next!
2. Play with Puzzles
Speaking of toys that keep your pup mentally stimulated and give them something to chew, puzzle toys are a great way to beat doggie boredom! Typically, these toys involve making your dog solve a puzzle to get treats or kibble out of a toy.
3. Rotate Their Toys
Your dog may have tons of toys, but if they’re all available at all times, your pup is bound to get bored of them. Instead, leave two or three toys out at once, and keep the rest away. Then every few days, switch out the toys and watch how excited your dog gets to play with the goodies that they may have forgotten about! Simply rotating out the toys on a regular basis can keep your pup excited to play, even if they’ve had the same toys for ages.
4. Freeze Some Treats
Take some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats, and freeze them in a Tupperware container of water. Then before you leave for the day, pop the ice cube of treats or toys out into your dog’s water dish. As they lick the ice, it will melt, freeing the treats or toys for your pup to enjoy.
5. Get Your Pup a Playmate
Though it may be a lot of work initially, getting another dog is a surefire way to entertain your bored pup. They’ll always have each other to play with, more or less eliminating the boredom factor altogether. Not to mention all the extra cuddles you’ll get to enjoy when you’ve got two pooches instead of one!
6. Go the Extra Mile—Literally
A tired dog is a good dog, y’all. Sometimes, your dog gets bored because they haven’t gotten enough physical exercise. So, go for an extra long walk or even a run together in the morning to burn off some excess energy and make sure your dog is good and tired before you head out for the day. Bonus: this will help you both stay healthy and fit, too!
7. Schedule a Walk with Skipper
Listen, we get that you’re busy! It can be hard to fit in enough time to take your dog on a walk that will be long enough to tire them out. If you can’t squeeze in a walk before work, Skipper is here to help.
Our team of responsible, organized, and trustworthy animal-lovers provide on-demand dog walking services with free same-day scheduling and GPS tracking for total peace of mind. Our dog walkers are pet owners who are professionally trained, insured and bonded—and they’ll send you photos to show you how happy your dog is after their walk! You can schedule your first Skipper walk today.
Guest post by Alicia Thomas