Bad dogs are just bored dogs, and bored dogs are usually a little on the...chunky side. It can be said that dogs are a lot like their owners. Or, maybe that goes the other way around?
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Boredom is a big problem with dogs. When your dog is bored he displays destructive tendencies, gets anxiety, feels stress and even depression. Sometimes this comes out in hyperactivity, or even the opposite...couch dog.
We obviously don't want a bored destructive dog. Anxiety can lead to cruising the counters for snacks, over eating and gaining unwanted pounds. Before you know it, fido is head first into the bag of kibble and he'll finish it off by eating the bag itself.
But, I've got five tips to keeping your dog engaged and stimulated so they'll feel less stressed, anxious and depressed. Let's help them feel entertained both when you are around and when they're alone...so they don't eat the draperies.
Please remember this is dog advice:
- Daily Exercise! Dogs need daily exercise to be stimulated. It's no surprise that physical engagement leads to mental engagement. A busy body is a busy mind.
- Spend Time Together. They want to be included in play. Play games together, spend time together and include them in activities.
- Provide Puzzles. Providing toys and puzzles (like words with friends) gives them something to keep their mind busy. When fido has a brain game, he is less likely to think about the bag of kibble...it is a 20 lb. bag after all.
- Hire A Professional. If your dog needs added attention from a professional by all means use that resource. Whether you need a sitter for when you're not there, a walker when you can't go to the park, or a trainer to teach your dog a new skill...bring in the professionals to help your dog be all he can be.
- Participate In Community. Getting engaged in the community is great for our four legged friends. Taking part in a walk for charity, or getting out to the dog park is important for socialization and meeting others.