A curious dog looking at the camera

If your dog spends their days by themselves while you are working, then they will naturally become bored. Dogs need things to do to wile away the hours and stay busy and focused on something other than chewing on the furniture or digging into your houseplants. Mental and physical enrichment are both necessary to keeping your Fido happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

If you have a bored four-legged friend, do not despair! We have some great boredom-busting games and activities your dog will enjoy. Here are a few of BEEVET Animal Hospital’s top eight ideas to keep your dog busy.

8 Fun Ways to Distract Your Dog During the Day

If your dog sings the blues every time you can’t pay attention to them, you are not alone. Many pets have a hard time with free time, and dogs easily become restless, anxious, and destructive when left to their own devices. It’s important to give your pet some distractions for daytime fun and enrichment 

  1. Chew toys – Chew toys are one of the favorite go-to items for pet owners because they are long lasting and give your pet something that occupies their minds and stomachs. Bully sticks are a good choice. You can also choose a Kong with edible filling. Some dogs love ice cubes, too. Be sure to avoid rawhide and antlers!
  2. Treat dispensing puzzle – This Shuffle Bone toy or the Hide and Slide are both great choices to keep your pet busy. They require attention and patience by your dog, as they learn the games over a period of time. Once mastered, you can add other mental games to enhance their experience. Or cut a slit in a tennis ball and add treats for a quick DIY!
  3. Automated ball toss – There are a few automated fetch games out there that you can purchase for your dog. These disperse balls in a sequence to get your pet to run after them or fetch them, and then the machine continues to pelt more balls until the game is over.
  4. Bird watching – Of course, your household feline’s favorite pastime is watching the birds outside on the feeder. But did you know that many dogs like to watch birds, too, as well as squirrels and other wildlife? Set up several bird baths and feeders outside, in front of a large window where your pet can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
  5. Extra walks – If you have to leave your pet for some time, try extending their daily walk before you go to work. This doesn’t supply them with something to do while you are gone, but if they have been taken out to play already, they won’t be as bored or hyper while you are busy.
  6. New toys – Dogs, like kids, like new toys and activities after the thrill has worn out of the old ones. Go through your pet’s toy box, recycle the old ones, and find some new, exciting toys for your bestie. You can make it a trip you do together, by bringing them to the local pet supply store and offering them an assortment of toys they can choose from.
  7. Hide-and-seek – Gather tiny bits of treats or some of your pet’s meal, as well as some cherished toys, and hide them around the home. Get your pet used to the game by playing hide-and-seek together, then try it on days where you are gone for an especially enjoyable game they can play solo.
  8. Animal shows –  Many pets love to watch Animal Planet and other animal related programs. Just watch as their ears perk up when they hear the call of a wolf or the roar of a lion. Any television program or radio playing can provide a distraction from being alone, making your pet feel like there’s a presence in the home.

Other Ideas to Keep Your Dog Busy

Does your dog have any particular favorite activities or games they like when you’re away? We’d love to hear about them. Just comment on our Facebook or mention it the next time you are in for a checkup with your pup.

If you would like more ideas about how to keep your dog busy, or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to call us.