Dogs are lovely, enthusiastic creatures. They usually seem to have so much energy pent up inside them, that whenever we see them idle or lethargic, we can't help but feel a little pang in our hearts.
An idle dog is also one that may tend to build up some degree of negative energy, and become uncharacteristically troublesome, or even downright destructive. To alleviate all these negative effects, it is almost imperative that we find something for our dogs to do when they're bored.
But what options do we have? It isn't as if we get to kick them out of the house and tell them to go out and find a job or something. And to top it all off, we have to go to work ourselves and barely have time to do all the common things, like take a hike with them.
Luckily, though, there remains a lot of simple, fun exercises we can easily carry out with our dogs when they're bored and we're busy. We take a look at 5 of these below.
One of the oldest and most established boredom busters for practically any species is playing games. Thankfully there are several short, fun games you can play with your furry creature no matter how busy you are.
Games such as hide and seek, and "guess which hand", are short and fun enough to help your dog snap out of the boredom, and become energized enough to engage in other activities on its own.
You also don't have to leave the comfort of your house to get these short simple games started and done with.
One of the most exciting activities for a dog, without a doubt, is going on a walk. And yes, we understand how a busy schedule can make this impossible, no matter how hard you try to make it work.
This is why it might be a good idea to hire a dog walker just for this purpose. The health and social benefits of going on walks for a dog are numerous and way too important to neglect.
With a dog walker, you also get to inject a much-needed consistency, so that in the end it becomes something your dog looks forward to, and can easily help it snap out of its boredom spells.
Interactive dog toys such as treat dispensers are perfect for killing multiple birds with a stone. First, you'd be getting your dog something to play with and get excited by. Second, you would also be providing a sort of mental stimulation that has been known to drive dogs to happiness.
And lastly, of course, you would also be rewarding them with the treat, or whatever reward mechanism the toy you choose to go with possesses.
There are also a good number of DIY interactive toys you can easily piece together from everyday household objects lying around.
Busy paw-parents can train their dogs to help with some simple tasks around the house. Dogs love to help. It's ingrained in their DNA.
Once your dog becomes capable of performing little tasks in the house, such as carrying sticks or loading laundry baskets, for example, this can go a long way in reducing the number of hours they stay idle and bored.
And then there are also some not-so-simple tasks they can also engage in. An example of this is fetching, chasing, and coursing. You could choose to make the latter more exciting and consistent by setting up a simple coursing track in the backyard that they can always return to.
They're called jolly balls for a reason – because of their abilities to make people and animals jolly. Most especially dogs. If you have a dog who enjoys playing with sticks and toys, then a jolly ball is going to be a hit, without a doubt.
For busy parents, all you have to do is get them the ball and that's it. The magic takes over and before you know it, they're entranced and never want to play with anything else ever again.
Of course, you can also choose to play with them whenever you have the time. The more the merrier.
Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across the USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers.