Dogs are man’s best friend and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you leave for 5 minutes or 5 days, your pooch is just as excited to see you as they were yesterday. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to keep your dog busy so they stay healthy and happy.
A lonely or bored dog can easily get depressed or engage in problem behaviors. Dogs may chew furniture, tear up your garbage, or dig through your closet when they’re under stimulated.
Before you throw your hands up and accept coming home to a mess every day, there are some things you can try. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog busy and stimulated.
Take Them on Daily Walks
We understand that life gets busy and there isn’t always time to fit everything into your schedule. But taking your dog on a daily walk is important to their physical and mental health.
If your dog is getting into trouble while you’re away, he/she probably has too much energy to spare. Try taking them on a daily walk before you leave the house, even if it’s a short one. You may be surprised at what a difference it makes.
If you absolutely have no time to go on a walk, at least let your dog out for some sniffing time. Dogs love to use their noses and sniffing time can give them needed stimulation without much effort from you.
Make Them Work For Food
Make mealtime an activity for your dog. There are puzzle feeders you can buy that make your dog work to release their food and helps stimulate their minds.
You can also turn mealtimes into a short training session and save the puzzle feeder for snacks. Dogs love to learn but may not have a long attention span. A few minutes of training before their meal will give them something to look forward to every day.
Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Training sessions are an excellent way to keep your dog busy. Consider getting a clicker to reward desired behaviors and help your dog learn. Follow the click with a small treat to help them stay motivated.
There are many excellent dog training videos online that offer the basics of teaching your dog new tricks. Remember to break long trainings into short learning sessions so you and your dog don’t get frustrated.
Play Games With Your Pup
There are many easy games you can play with your dog. Something as simple as putting an empty cardboard box in the middle of the room will prompt your dog to think for himself. Try it and see what happens. It may even provide you with a few laughs.
You can also play the shell game with your dog. Start by sitting at a short table across from your dog. Place 3 cups on the table. Put a small item under 1 of the 3 cups and shuffle the cups around. Let your dog pick a cup and see if the item is under there. It may take awhile for your dog to catch on, but once he/she does it can be lots of fun. Don’t forget to reward him/her with a treat!
We hope you enjoy these tips on how to keep your dog busy and stimulated! If you’re too busy playing with Fido to clean your own trash cans, let us know!