Darren shares their top tips for battling your dog’s boredom
January 14, 2023
It’s not just people who suffer from the post-Christmas blues. After all the fuss and excitement of the festive season, dogs can struggle to get back into their usual routine, get bored more easily, and start to display unwanted behaviours.
To help you help them, our head vet Darren Partridge has some ideas for perking up your pooch below.
Plus, don’t forget that you can always contact us for advice if you’re worried about your dog’s behaviour.
If, after reading Darren’s tips you have some of your own you’d like to share, pop over to Facebook and share them on our page.
Share your tips on Facebook
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 Alpha Vets to be on the safe side. Call us on 0208 943 2303 or visit our website to book an appointment online.
Six ways to combat boredom
According to Darren, 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.
Darren has put together some ideas for combatting dog boredom both physically and mentally below – check them out:
- Mind-stimulating games, such as playing hide-and-seek with their favourite toys or treats or teaching them new tricks.
- Puzzles – you can pick up brain stimulation and puzzle games in most pet stores in Teddington 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.
- Plenty of exercise is vital at any time of year, but it’s easy to get lazy when it’s cold outside. Darren suggests 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 wrap the both of you up warm!
- 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 indoor or outdoor.
- Puppy preschool and similar structured classes are a safe environment to teach obedience, communication, and socialisation. They are great for owner ‘training’ too!
- 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. Not only will it give your dog essential social skills, but it’s also lots of fun.
Remember, you can always ask our vets or nurses here at Alpha Vets for dog game ideas or for advice about improving 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?
Share your boredom busting tips on Facebook