When pets are left at home alone for long periods of time they can easily get bored. And a bored pet can lead to unwanted behavior. If you were stuck at home all day you’d probably get incredibly, unbearably bored too. You’d turn on Netflix and cycle through a dozen possible choices before tossing the remote in frustration or search the refrigerator even though you aren’t really hungry. Boredom has a way of gnawing at us and sending us scrambling for something—anything!—to help us feel engaged and entertained.
Now imagine that you have that feeling, but you can’t turn on Netflix or go outside for a run. You’re just stuck in the house with no one to play with and nothing to do. The need to do something is boiling up inside of you.
When you think about it this way, it’s much more understandable what happens when pets are left home alone. Your pet’s boredom might mean that you come home to couch cushions torn to bits or trash strewn all over the house. There aren’t many outlets available to a bored pet left at home and your beloved possessions often take the toll.
The best way to deal with unwanted boredom behavior is to nip boredom in the bud. Here are four ways to keep your fur baby entertained—and your stuff safe!
1. Busy Toys
You can’t always be home, so there will be times when your pet is left home alone. Before you leave, make sure your pet has toys that are safe for chewing and cannot be easily destroyed. The best ones are toys that will keep your dog entertained for long periods of time. You can try problem-solving toys, like mazes, that offer a treat when solved. Other toys have a hard chew in the center that is difficult to reach. For the best results, mix up which toys you leave out so that there is always something new on hand.
2. Stuff a Kong
Your dog’s natural instinct is to play and to chew. When they’re left alone and get bored, that instinct can lead to chewed up shoes, furniture, and more. Instead of fighting that instinct, Sweet Dreams Pet Services recommends leaning into it! Kongs are designed to give your dog a healthy outlet for chewing and playing.
You can also freeze food in a Kong. This gives your pup the mental stimulation of trying to get the food out, keeping them occupied for hours. We love freezing chicken broth and kibble in a Kong, or peanut butter and apples. But don’t feel limited to those combinations! There are plenty of things you can freeze in a Kong to keep your dog guessing about what treats they’ll get next!
3. Get a Dog Walker
You can tire your pup out all you want on the weekends, but what about while you’re away all day during the week? If you’re going to be away for long stretches, call in some reinforcements to get your pet the stimulation he needs. Finding a trusted dog walker, like Sweet Dreams Pet Services, can get a bored pet the exercise he needs when you’re busy. We become an extended family for your pooch so you can come home to a happy pet. You’ll be getting puppy love at the end of the day instead of an anxious pup—and a destroyed house.
4. Stay Connected
Technology is advancing in just about every area of human existence, and our furry friends aren’t getting left out of the equation. Why not equip your house with cameras and speakers that let you see and talk to your pet while you’re away? Connect the devices to your phone so that your pet never has to be alone for long.
Keeping your pet entertained and engaged isn’t just a way to keep your stuff from getting shredded. It’s a necessary component of being a good pet parent. Beat the boredom and provide your pet with the mental and physical stimulation necessary to stay happy and healthy today! At Sweet Dreams Pet Services, we help keep your pets happy with our dog walking and pet sitting services.