How to solve puppy boredom

Dogs really are man’s best friend and we’re theirs too. They love to be around us, but we don’t always have the time to play with them as much as they’d like and keep them entertained. Unfortunately, bored puppies can become destructive puppies as a way to keep themselves occupied. Left to their own devices can mean that before we know it, they’ve dug up the garden, chewed through our favourite socks, or ripped up the furniture! But there’s hope. The key to maintaining a happy puppy (and home!) means giving your furry mess-maker frequent physical and mental exercise.

And PupStart is here to help you get going.

How do i know if my pup is bored?

If your puppy is not getting enough stimulation, it will try and make its own fun as an outlet for all its energy. Signs of a bored dog include:

  • Digging
  • Chewing
  • Barking
  • Licking

How can i keep my puppy stimulated?

Rest assured, there are ways to keep your pup entertained, helping you keep your home, garden and belongings safe.

Physical exercise

Taking your puppy on their routine walks, keeping up with their training and putting aside some time for playtime together can help make sure they remain stimulated and content. The exact amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on their breed and age but making sure their daily walks offer more than just a toilet break and taking different routes will help keep them on their toes.

Mental stimulation

Even if they’ve had their daily walk or a game of fetch, they still need to be kept entertained throughout the day. Don’t forget that pups and dogs love to use their nose and you can use this to your advantage in your quest to keep them busy. Things like puzzle toys, snuffle mats and scent training can be great ways to ensure your puppy gets all the mental stimulation they need.

Puppy destroying a cushion

Ideas on how to keep your puppy mentally stimulated

You know your pup best and will have a better understanding of what might keep them entertained but here are just some ideas on games and toys for your pooch.

Out with the old

Your dog is likely to get bored of playing with the same toys every day so why not get them something new? If you think your puppy has enough playthings, then introducing a rotation of toys might do the trick.

Make your own

It’s easy enough to make your own toy to help ease your pup’s boredom (perhaps yours too!). Add some treats into an empty toilet paper roll and fold down the edges so your puppy has to figure out a way to reach the yummy goodness inside. You could also use a cupcake tray, a handful of treats and enough tennis balls to cover each hole on the tray to create a sniffing game.

New tricks

Training is an important part of growing up for pups and it’s how they learn how to behave in the world around them. Why not have a go at teaching a new trick? This can provide some entertainment for you while providing plenty of stimulation for your pooch.

Scent work

Scent games allow dogs to use their noses while enriching their minds. From the cupcake tray game mentioned above, to hiding treats in empty cardboard boxes and dotting them around a room, your puppy will have great fun trying to find the delicious hidden treasure.

Scent work also allows you to adjust the difficulty of the game based on your pup’s ability and experience, so this boredom-breaker will never get dull.

Making feeding fun

Instead of serving your dog’s dinner in a bowl every night, you could try using a slow feeding bowl or treat-dispensing toy to turn mealtime into easy entertainment.

The importance of human companionship

We all get lonely sometimes and the same can be said for our canine companions, especially if they don’t live with another dog. Spending time with your puppy and providing them an enriching environment with plenty of opportunities to explore, play and socialise will help keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

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