Signs your dog is bored
If your dog is acting differently, they might not be getting the stimulation they need. Keep an eye out for these behaviours, which are all signs of boredom:
- Constant pining for your attention
- Destructive behaviour
- Following you around with a toy when you are home
- Excessive barking
- Chasing their tail
- Licking paws
- Excessive grooming
Some of the above behaviours could also be related to ill health too, so it would be wise to book your dog in for a check-up at any of our vet practices in Bromsgrove, Hagley, or Rubery to be on the safe side.
Call us on 01527 889810 or visit our website to book an appointment online.
Six ways to combat boredom
According to our dog-loving team, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to bust that boredom. While we often assume physical activity such as walking is the key to correcting behaviour, the benefits of mental stimulation are plenty and just as important as physical exercise.
Below are some ideas for combatting dog boredom both physically and mentally - check them out:
1. Plenty of exercise is vital at any time of year, but it’s easy to get lazy when it’s cold outside. Try adding new routes to your normal routine or varying the length or frequency of walks to mix it up a bit. January is Walk Your Dog Month so be sure to get out there and let your dog run off that excess energy – you'll both feel healthier and happier for it! You could also do activities on walks such as going around posts, under or over benches (if your dog is able) or try practising tricks or commands for rewards. Remember, stay safe, have fun and make sure you’re both wrapped up warm!
2. Playtime not only entertains your dog (and you), but also helps them to positively focus any predatory behaviour. Playtime stimulates their mind and provides exercise too, whether indoors or outdoors.
3. Mind-stimulating games, such as playing hide-and-seek with their favourite toys or treats or teaching them new tricks.
4. Puzzles - you can pick up brain stimulation and puzzle games in most pet stores in Worcestershire and online. These are designed to keep a dog’s mind really active and engaged so have a look for interactive puzzles. Remember to start simple and move your dog up in difficulty level as they progress.
5. Structured classes such as puppy preschool are an ideal environment to teach obedience, communication, and socialisation. They are great for owner 'training’ too!
6. Companionship is as important for dogs as it is for people. If you’re a one-dog household, take them to play with a friend. As well as giving your dog essential social skills, it’s also lots of fun!
Remember, you can always ask our vets or nurses here at Clent Hills Vets for dog game ideas or for advice on how to improve your dog’s behaviour. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year with your dog!
Got any ideas of your own you’d like to share with other dog owners?