A bored pooch can never be a happy pooch. Research has proven that dogs who spend majority of their waking hours alone doing nothing but wait for their pet parents to return home and spend some time with them are highly susceptible to behavioural problems like aggression, separation anxiety, irritability and destructive tendencies. Here’s how to keep your pooch occupied and happy.
Dogs are ‘pack animals’ by nature and virtually thrive on attention from their parents or other members of the same species. Here are few ways you can keep your dog happy:
- Kick-start your doggie’s day with a good walk/run followed by a power-packed breakfast to keep them energetic and happy throughout the day.
- Set a daily routine for your dog, especially if you stay out of the house for most of the day. A familiar routine instills confidence in a pooch and takes away the stress of dealing with new surprises every day.
- You don’t necessarily have to shower attention all the time – just let them rest on your lap or sit by your side while you do your work.
- Give him an occasional pat on the head. This way, your buddy will feel reassured and will probably not freak out when you are out of sight.
- Spend some quality time with your doggie, which can include play activities, obedience training and going for walks or runs together.
- Make sure that your pooch eats and sleeps at regular hours so that he is not tired or irritable when you get home.
- Employ a ‘pet-nanny’ who can feed, bathe and walk your baby on time so that you and your pooch can spend
all the remaining hours on fun-activities!
When you are away…
While you are away, indulge your best friend in any of these fabulous five pass-time activities to beat the blues and the boredom:
1. Toys and Playthings: Canines love their toys but can easily lose interest when made to play with the same toys for long periods of time. Stock your best buddy’s play pen with a variety of toys – all of different textures, sizes and shapes. Balls and stuffed dolls are all time favourites. Make sure that the toys are safe for your dog and do not cause injuries or choking hazards. While some dogs switch their pet-toys every few days, others are content with a single all-time favourite. Most dogs can keep themselves busy and entertained with playthings for as long as you would like them to.
2. Bones and Chews: Large-sized chew treats are excellent pass-times for hyperactive dogs and teething puppies. Make sure that the treats are not small enough to choke the dog. Raw-hide bones come in different sizes and are ideal for dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages. They are inexpensive and can keep a pooch engrossed for hours. You may hide the chews at times and urge your dog to look for it.
3. Outdoors and Physical Activity: Dogs are little bundles of energy and can get cranky if they don’t get to spend their calories effectively and regularly. A daily walk is an absolute must for your pooch’s physical health and mental well-being. Adequate physical activity prevents restlessness and irritability in dogs and also improves their sleep patterns. If you plan to go out for a few hours, it may be a good idea to have a rigorous play exercise with your pooch to tire him out. Your pooch will most likely go to bed early and will have lesser time to feel lonely or bored when you are not around. If you happen to have the luxury of open space, it would be a great idea to spare a little digging space where your pooch could wallow and play in the dirt (dogs love to do that during summer). If the idea of getting your well-manicured lawn dug-up does not appeal to you, consider getting a portable sand box and fill it with your buddy’s favourite toys. Inflatable swimming pools can also be set up in the garden for a nice game of splash.
4. Frozen Favourites: A great summer idea is to freeze your doggie’s favourite treat (a piece of chicken or a vegetable) in a block of ice. Keep a corner of the treat exposed so that your pooch is tempted to lick off the ice to get to the ‘hidden’ treat. This little exercise is mentally stimulating and helps cool off your pooch during the awful summer months. You may also replace the edibles with your dog’s favourite toy.
5. Television and Music: Many dogs love watching television. Though pooches do not understand what’s going on behind the screen, they are certainly fascinated by the moving objects and the flashing lights. Any activity that stimulates their senses is bound to grab their attention – if only for a while. If you plan to leave your pooch home alone for a while, play some soothing music so that your buddy does not feel overwhelmed by the deafening silence inthe house.