How You Can Keep Your Dog From Being Bored

How You Can Keep Your Dog From Being Bored

Is your dog bored at home? Has your furry friend had a change of heart about his favorite toy or seems to be a little more sluggish than before? Your dog could be experiencing some emotional distress or discomfort in the home. During these times of financial struggle, hardship and stress due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we may have forgotten about our beloved pets at home! When we are stressed or tired or feeling emotionally drained, our pets can sense that and may begin to feel a similar way. Although most of us have a lot on our plate, we must make the time for our pets. They deserve it!

How to avoid dog boredom you ask? Increasing exercise is a great way to alleviate stress for both you and your dog. Going for a walk can help burn calories and increase the heart rate, as well as provide you and your pet with fresh air. You may run into a neighbor or a friend, in which you can practice social distancing while still interacting with others. Your pet may enjoy this experience too; always leash your pet to avoid cars and also possible crowds of people.

Include your pet in family time and activities; they are part of the family too! If you decide to have a barbecue or make a nice dinner, allow your pet to socialize and interact with your family out on the patio, by the picnic table or in the kitchen during preparation. They will feel the comradery and acceptance into the family activity. Playing games outdoors can also provide your pet with a chance to get outside and play.

Your pet may be having a change in medical status, including a new condition or disease, or natural changes from aging. As dogs age, they can develop arthritis and joint disease which can cause discomfort and inflammation. They may also experience weight gain/loss unintentionally, requiring a visit to the veterinarian and a possible change in diet. Always consult with your pet healthcare professional if your pet seems to be having a difficult time moving, seems to be in pain, or has a change in appetite. Although this can be from natural aging, it may also mean something more serious. When making the call, always have on hand your pet’s current diet, medication list and be able to report to the receptionist the pet’s sign/symptoms of medical distress.

Buy your dog some new designer dog toys or equipment to assist in mobility. Going to the store or shopping online for a new toy can spark your pet’s interest in play again, or at least keep your pet busy during the day while you work from home or care for your family. Always buy a toy that is suited for the breed of dog, as smaller dogs naturally need smaller toys, pets with dental issues may need a specific type of chew toy, etc. Purchasing a device to help with mobility may also allow your pet to become more motivated to play and exercise. Examples include a pet ramp to ease transition from couch to floor, floor to bed, and so on, a new soft dog harnesses to decrease stress along the trachea and spine, or adding nonskid material to hard surfaces to decrease your pets risk for slips and falls, and to support joint integrity.

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  • Rachel Hazan
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