5 Fun Ways to Keep your Dog Occupied
Boredom is the root cause of many canine behavioral issues. With too much energy and nowhere to divert it, dogs can become destructive, loud, and difficult to teach. But what can fur parents do when there are bills to pay and errands to run? As much as we would want to spend all our time with our dogs, so they don’t get bored, it’s just not always possible.
There are two approaches to keeping a dog’s life from being monotonous: Give them something to do while you’re busy or make them tired enough so they’ll spend their time resting. Here are some ideas to keep your dog occupied.
Exercise your dog.
Physical activity is the best thing you can do to prevent your dog from getting bored. But it is important to give the appropriate kind and duration of exercise given their size, health, and energy level. Research your dog’s breed and history to get an idea of how much of a workout is good for them. Most healthy dogs require at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep them chill and sleepy for the rest of the day.
When you bring your dog out to get physical activity, make sure they’re well-hydrated, well-fed, and well-protected. There are many pathogens that your pooch can pick up from a walk outdoors. Giving them a dog immune booster helps keep their resistance high, allowing them to stay strong against infection. alchemypet’s Immunity Boost for Dogs is a great addition to every meal-giving your dog the energy to work out and protection to do it safely.
Provide mental stimulation.
Toys, puzzles, and mental stimulation exercises that use food are among the most effective ways to inject fun into your pooch’s routine. There are many food enrichment products available on the market, but all of them rely on providing a challenge before giving access to food. From hollow balls that when rolled to snuffle mats that need to be nuzzled through that both dispense treats (always make sure buying low calorie all natural healthy treats) to puzzle toys that hide treasure behind tiny sliding doors, there is a whole industry devoted to keeping your dog engaged.
But if you want to DIY it, there are a lot of tutorials available online--many of which use easily available materials. Some are simple to put together, while others might need a little more work to construct. Find something appropriate to your dog’s size and your budget to make the most of these homemade designs.
Train your dog a new trick.
If you want to get the cogs in your dog’s brain working, intersperse 10–15-minute training sessions throughout the day. This form of mental stimulation is taxing, so it gets them tired pretty quickly. New tricks keep them on their toes, but there is still value in incorporating old tricks into the training regimen. Start with the basics--like sit, stay, heel, and leave it or drop it. They may master these commands easily, but it is important to keep reinforcing commands regularly to ensure that the information is retained.
Later on, you can move onto more complicated tricks--including those that take up more of their time. Falling under this category is everything that has to do with fetching. You can teach them to fetch random things from around the house and bring them to you or a designated toy bin. Once they have mastered this, you can put their toys all over the house and have them go on a treasure hunt!
Give your dog a window.
Visual stimulation can keep your dog busy for hours, so giving them a spot to people- or dogwatch is a great idea. If you have an existing floor length window, just move the furniture around so, your pooch has space to lie down on the floor. You can also move a couch against a window so they can climb on it. Extra points for pillows so they can stay comfy while watching the world.
Just make sure that your window is strong and secured so they don’t jump through it to greet whoever passes by!
Schedule a playdate.
Want a surefire way to get your dog tired? Find them a playmate who can keep up with them! Running around, rolling in the grass, and sharing toys not only expends excess energy, it’s also a great way to socialize your dog. You may also opt to go for a doggy daycare so your fur child will have many more four-legged friends to play with, and there are a growing number of day care businesses that are catering to activity-based excursions.
Remember to take precautions and assess your dog’s behavior to see if having them meet unfamiliar dogs is a good idea. Some pooches can be dog-reactive, so be sure to supervise their interactions. It’s also important to make sure your dog has had all their shots, and is under worm, tick, flea, and mite preventives to avoid transmission and infection.
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