Bored Pets = Boredom-Induced Behavior Problems
Boredom in pets can lead to behavior problems, stemming primarily from lack of exercise. Here in the Western Suburbs most pet parents are gone during the day for work, which can leave your pets with decidedly little to do. Boredom-induced behavior problems include:
- gnawing on furniture, shoes, carpets and rugs
- destroying or raiding the garbage
- restless digging
- over-excitement when you are at home.
The key to curing boredom in pets is with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog lies around the house all day he may be overexcited to see you when you come home, which is cute at first but can quickly become annoying. When you do get home from work you want to pay attention to your dog–that’s natural and understandable. But instead of straight-up affection, experts recommend exercise too. Exercise is a form of care that allows your dog to engage in physical and mental activity.
However, after a long day at work walking your pooch may not be on the agenda. If you don’t have time or energy to walk your dog every day, consider hiring a pet care service to help. That’s actually not just a shameless plug–regular exercise seems to be the key to staving off boredom. Other things to consider are agility classes and pet-friendly sports. Experts suggest stimulating mental activity in dogs while you’re at work with puzzle toys that dispense treats or even a portion of their daily meals. These toys offer hours of rewarding play for your dog as they work to get the treats out.
Want to find out more? The ASPCA website has an article on this topic with loads of suggestions.
Boredom and excess energy are two common reasons for behavior problems in dogs. This makes sense because they’re meant to lead active lives.