We have devised the best tips on how to keep dog from being bored when home alone, so keep reading.
Dogs do get bored, just as humans do.
There are so many easy and fun ways to stimulate you do so that boredom doesn’t have to set in.
We get a lot of feedback from our customers; keen to find ways to keep their dogs occupied.
To some extent, during the COVID-19 self-isolation period many owners have spent a lot more time at home, and with short walks around the home suburb.
For some people, loss of their employment has meant that they may continue to spend more time at home even after the self-isolation restrictions begin to ease.
However, it also means that some people have already started working again and they are now seeking help as their dog is now alone again.
Some of the questions we have been receiving from customers include:
- how to keep dog from being bored when home alone
- do dogs get bored at home all day?
- is my dog bored or depressed?
- homemade boredom busters for dogs
- diy dog boredom busters
We will answer each of those queries using our experience, along with other ideas and tips to help dog owners out there.
There are plenty of other ideas out there, based on our own customer feedback; feel free to contact us with your experiences and remedies.
We would love to hear from you.
Dog boredom customer feedback with some hints and ideas to help you with on how to keep dog from being bored when home alone
The number of different types of dogs is increasing largely thanks to the newer ‘designer dogs’ to go with the already extensive number of purebred and crossbred types already out there.
The human population is living longer; family sizes are reducing and combined that has seen movement towards people buying companion dogs.
Therefore, the increase is on the pet side of dog ownership for sure.
However, if we look historically many dogs were working dogs; such as on the farm to round up animals, or to guard premises.
There are still working dogs of course and that category includes guide dogs, sniffer dogs, etc.
You may recall an earlier Blog we posted; ‘Working Dogs List – 9 Types of Working Dogs’ devoted to that subject.
The point of raising that is because our lifestyles and types of jobs have changed and we have grown with it.
However, many of the working dog traits are innately part of their DNA.
Therefore, they still have a natural skill and need to keep busy.
You can see this in your own area; someone may have a working dog breed such as a Border Collie, Cattle Dog or Kelpie.
How often to you see them as you pass their property, the dog running back and forth inside their property fence line?
There is nothing aggressive about their behavior, but in essence that back and forth running is as if they are trying to herd us, like they would have with animals on a farm.
Our initial suggestion would be to also discuss the issue with your local Veterinarian so that you can get a diagnosis that your dog does suffer for boredom and not something like a mental health problem, such as anxiety.
Here are some questions on the subject of dog boredom that we have received from our customers, along with some suggestions and tips from us that may help you:
How to keep your dog from being bored when home alone
The Naturalpetshop guide on how to keep dog from being bored when home alone
Firstly, it is not a good idea to leave a dog alone inside your home, or even worse just the one room of your house. Most dogs would get bored in this situation. There is also the possibility of your dog developing depression as this isn’t a good way to keep a dog at all.
I will cover some of the signs of boredom in sub-point 3 below; ‘is my dog bored or depressed?’
For now though I will assume that your dog is suffering from boredom when home alone.
1. Spend more time with your dog when you are together again; lots of exercise, interaction, time to play and to stimulate their mind and body.
2. Get them some fun and interesting toys and dog products.
3. Dogs love to play fetch; another good game to play when you are home or on time off work.
4. Create an exercise pen for your dog; preferably outside and with some sort of undercover protection if possible.
5. Leave 1 or 2 of their toys, plenty of water and some dry food as well as a toilet mat or litter tray.
6. Ask a friend or relative to visit on occasions.
7. Leave some music playing or the TV turned on so that the dog is comforted by the noise.
8. Use food dispenser toys – the ones where it takes 30 mins + per toy to find and extract the food. If the outdoor area is large enough, hide toys in different places for them to find. If they are a digger, keep them away from areas they could undermine and escape.
Do dogs get bored at home all day?
You bet they get bored; just as you and would also get bored if at home all day and every day.
If you had a CCTV camera filming them inside each day you would be surprised just how much they get up to with your furniture and even being agile enough to get up onto tables and counters.
These are more good reasons why the dog belongs outside the house.
This is a similar question to sub-point 1 above.
Other things to try when thinking how to keep dog from being bored when home alone include:
- Keep them stimulated with interesting new toys and puzzles.
- Only leave a couple of toys each day, but vary them on a daily basis to keep them stimulated and interested.
- In addition to boredom your dog could also develop separation anxiety and that would potentially bring other issues, including aggression, anxiety and socialization issues.
- A bored dog can make light work of chewing shoes, furniture, curtains, cupboard doors and even unrolling the toilet paper. None of these are things you want to come home to.
Is my dog bored or depressed?
By means make observations of your dog’s behavior but otherwise it is best left with your local Veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.
There are however a range of observations that you can make to discuss with the Veterinarian such as:
- Studies have made anecdotal observations that dogs have been known to develop anxiety, depression and become apathetic due to the lack of mental stimulation.
- Dogs can also suffer from separation anxiety; they see you as the leader of the pack and when you are not around that can affect them.
- Excessive boredom can lead to other behaviors such as:
- Constant barking.
- Delinquent or mischievous behavior.
- Destructive behavior.
- Over exuberant greetings.
- Excessive digging.
Homemade boredom busters for dogs
There are plenty of inexpensive and fun things you can do with and to make for your bored dog.
However always make sure that anything you make or buy is safe and sturdy.
The last thing that you want is to hurt your dog.
- Dogs love to play tug-of-war and you can make a great toy for this game using rope and a tennis ball.
- Playing fetch is another favorite play toy for dogs. A great toy to toss for them to return to you is knotting up an old t-shirt with a tennis ball inside, as they love the sensation of gripping the ball with their teeth.
- Tape up a few dried treats and hide them inside an empty cardboard box. However, from personal experience avoid something like a cereal box and then the next time you leave an unopened new box unattended within reach. They will have that box ripped apart in no time and masses of cereal on the floor to clean up.
- Some people make toys out of old towels. I don’t as it’s a bit like the cereal box example above. Your dog can’t differentiate between an old towel and the new ones handing on your clothes line. A potential heartache.
- If your dog likes toys that make noise as they chew, then something like an old water bottle tied up inside a large sock will keep them occupied.
- Freeze a small treat inside an old sock.
- Invent your own toy using rope; something like a spider-shape has plenty of rope ends to gnaw away at.
- Freeze some of your dog’s favorite toys inside a bowl of water. When ready to use, invert it out of the bowl and leave your dog occupied for hours licking through the ice until they can get to their toys.
DIY dog boredom busters
This is a similar question to sub-point 4 above.
However, here are several more boredom buster toys and puzzles for you to make at home.
- Get an old muffin baking tin; the ones that would make about 15 muffins. Get about 6 tennis balls and put a treat under 1 or 2 of them and let your dog work out where the treats are. Change it round all the time to help challenge them and to make it more fun.
- Give them an old peanut butter jar (preferably a glass one) so that they can spend hours getting out all the residual peanut butter.
- Cut up some old tea towels into log strips; plait them together to make a great toy to play fetch with as well as something for your dog to chew away at for hours. Old denim strips work a treat too, given how tough and sturdy the cotton material is.
- Try some of the homemade frozen treats from some of our earlier Blogs such as; ‘Pooch Fruit Delight – Yogurt Dog Treats DIY’
- Make your own puzzle using PVC pipes – drill a few holes in it and hide a treat inside.
- One of the best things you can make for your dog suffering with boredom is TIME. Spend plenty of quality time with your dog; introduce new obedience training commands with a recognition and reward system attached to it.
- Make sure there is time spent on socialization, so that your dog is mixing with other dogs and people nearby.
- Give you dog tasks to perform; start with simple ones like picking up their toys, and progress up to something more challenging like an activities track around your backyard.
- Build the dog a digging box and let them find the toys you have buried.
How to keep dog from being bored when home alone – Summary and way forwards
The overwhelming response that we have received from our customers is that their dogs do suffer from boredom, especially when left alone inside at home.
They do not respond well to a lack of socialization with you, and separation anxiety can easily creep in if not observed and addressed.
If left unchecked this boredom with your dog could turn into something worse such as anxiety or even depression.
However, rather that rushing to conclusions or making internet diagnosis on your dog, it is far better that you discuss your dog’s behavior with your local Veterinarian for a proper professional diagnosis.
A dog left at home alone all day, will could manifest into aggressive or anti-social behavior but it will more certainly lead to a lack of mental and physical stimulation.
There are many cheap, fun and practical games and puzzles that you can make yourself.
Many may incorporate hiding treats or toys for them to find, and in a way that will occupy a lot of time for them to find these hidden treasures.
Always make sure that any toy or puzzle that you buy or make is safe and sturdy. You do not want to hurt your dog.
The best thing that you can give your dog is TIME.
They love you as you also love them.
Make the most of the time that you have together and build in a changing routine or set of toys and puzzles that you use.
They love plenty of exercise, but there needs to be that balance including nutrition as well as mental stimulation that boosts their physical and mental wellbeing.
Let us know if this Blog has been helpful and how you got on trying some of the ideas with your dog.
We would love to hear about other toys, puzzles and ways you have countered boredom with your dog.
The ultimate goal is to no longer hear that question; ‘how to keep dog from being bored when home alone.’