Bored Dogs: How to Recognize Doggy Boredom (and Help!)
Dog Boredom Busters
Pets dying of boredom thanks to Covid-19…
You read the title and thought, really? No not really, well not in the literal sense anyway.
Do dogs get bored?
Since lockdown we have had mixed emotions ranging from highs, lows, positives, negatives, and outright depression and yes dogs feel that too.
Travel around the world they said!
It is our motto and we planned to explore the wonders of Europe with our boy Francis in an ‘over the hill’ pet friendly motorhome (Fiat Ducato) in true ‘Travfurler’ style. However, this is now sadly postponed until next year meaning we needed some dog boredom busters.
When you notice your pet’s eyes staring at you, or the huff sound they make and some other actions of emotion they display, you get the feeling they might be bored, and they probably are. When they dream, especially when a dog dreams, it can appear like they are running, barking, and playing in the big open world. This is something which might have vanished for you since the pandemic arrived in the same manner that our plans were scuppered. Despite this, it is your responsibility as a pet owner to make life more interesting for them, or at least try, but how?
Dog boredom busters when travel and adventure is impossible
There are several activities dogs love to engage in. Here is a list of some dog engagement ideas to try.
Hide and seek
Yep you heard me. Tell them to sit and wait and slowly back away from them leaving the room and go and hide in the house and then call them to find you. Kimberley has mastered this with our dog Francis and like to play on their own which is rather amusing. If they do not understand the game and don’t go charging around the house then it’s time to get a family member who is not isolated from you to give your pet a hand and get them to roam the house with you to find the hidden person. This is not only great for getting them engaged and thinking, but it also tires them out if your hiding spot is pretty good.
Fetch or the wall bounce
If you are lucky enough to have a back garden, then grab the tennis balls and play fetch. However, if you have a dog who does not understand fetch and only brings the ball half way back then the ‘wall bounce’ game is for you! Use your house wall in the garden and throw the tennis ball at the floor which then proceeds to hit the wall and come flying back to you for the catch. You do not need to be a cricket master; you just need a reasonable reaction time. Do it and if you find the catch easy, you can speed it up a bit whilst your dog springs from side to side trying to catch the ball which they will love. Eventually they will headbutt the ball or you will make a mistake and they have the chance to paw it, headbutt it, kick it and go flying after it. The look on their face when the opportunity finally presents itself is hilarious! Give it a go. Your neighbours will think you are mad.
Yep, take the Amazon box and throw it in the garden but make sure you removed any staples or anything that could harm your pets first. My other half loves to do this, but I do not love to spend hours picking up the shredded bits from all the over garden which is the only downside to this. On the upside they get hours of fun and frustration out on tearing the box up. If they are not sure, you could tempt them by showing them how it is done however once again, your neighbours might question your behaviour.
The Taste Challenge
No, not the Pepsi Max taste challenge. One suitable for dogs please....
Take a long piece of cardboard from that trusty Amazon box you half shredded and use that as your long plate for your dog. We are going to layout many different food types for the hungry hound. Try laying out the following and get them to taste one at a time:
· Beef Steak (Raw)
· Peanut butter
· Ice cubes
The world will re-open soon and if there is one thing we learned from this pandemic, it is how much we will appreciate the borders fully opening again allowing us and our pets to travel the globe. You may not be able to globe trot now with your furry friends however some national parks, walks and local woods and beaches do offer some sense of adventure until things return to normal. Also, if you are truly locked in, then give the above dog boredom busters a go and see how you get on.
Have you made your plans for when the borders re-open? Let us know what they are by commenting!