Is your dog’s boredom worrying you? Maybe your dog is bored playing with the same toy or tired of following the same daily routine. But it’s normal for dogs to get bored like we do, so you need not worry. We have a solution to your problem!
Dogs need to play and exercise as it’s essential for their health and well-being. Also, physical activities help relieve boredom. This is why looking for new ways to keep your dog busy and entertained can prevent them from acting out.
But it can be pretty worrisome when your dog is bored but won’t play with anything. So let’s find out how to tackle this problem!
Dog Is Bored But Won’t Play With Anything – What Might Be Wrong!
It can be concerning if you notice your dog being bored but isn’t motivated to play with toys like other dogs. But if you’re always following the same routine, like playing fetch or playing the same games, your dog can get bored. So if that’s the case, you can consider trying something new, like buying a new toy or playing a new game to pique its interest.
Or another option is to pay attention to what motivates your dog naturally, whether it’s playing chase or treats, and choose toys accordingly.
Besides, there can also be other reasons, such as
- Leaving your dog alone for several hours throughout the day.
- Your dog wasn’t socialized early.
- Your dog is bored of playing alone and needs a playmate.
- Not getting enough attention from you.
- There’s no physical activity.
- He is stressed or depressed.
- Your dog might be experiencing health problems or may have gum diseases, making it uncomfortable for him to play with toys.
Also, if you notice that your dog suddenly stops playing like he usually used to, your dog might be facing some health issues. So if you see any behavioral changes, consider making an appointment with your vet.
10 Ways How To Relieve a Dog’s Boredom
Typically, dogs enjoy playing, but it can be highly challenging if your dog doesn’t want to play with anything. Luckily, there are several fun activities and games that you can try on your dog to bring back his energy.
10 Ways to motivate your dog to be active:
- Try Playing Nose Games With Your Dog
Nose games are fun and exciting and are an excellent way to keep your dog busy searching for treats. There are many ways to play nose games, such as picking a hand, hiding food in a bowl, playing hide and seek, finding a scent, getting a snuffle mat, and more.
Since hunting instinct is quite common among dogs, using their natural ability to sniff and look for food would encourage them to remain active.
- Physically And Mentally Challenge Your Dog
It’s essential for dogs to be mentally and physically active. Challenging your dog’s mental ability by playing interactive games or engaging in a tug-of-war to burn his energy can work wonders in keeping your furry friend busy and entertained.
Though most people think playing tug-of-war makes a dog aggressive, that’s not true. It’s an excellent game to keep them active and strengthen your bond. If you don’t have a toy to play this game, you can DIY using old clothes.
Also, you can use interactive dog toys, food dispensers, food puzzles, or stuffed puzzle toys to provide mental stimulation.
- Take A Different Route While Going For A Walk
If your dog is bored and won’t play like he used to, try something different by walking in places you’re yet to explore. That way, your dog would be interested in exploring the area by smelling around and learning its surroundings, providing mental stimulation.
- Train Basic Manners
If your dog isn’t interested in playing around, use the opportunity to teach basic manners for a mental workout to keep him from trouble. Obedience training is an excellent way to keep your dog busy, and there are endless training ideas and tricks for dogs, such as rolling over, staying, jumping, climbing a ladder, crawling, and more.
- Send Your Dog To A Training Class
Sending your dog to training classes is another excellent way to keep your dog engaged and busy. There are several dog sports and activities like agility, flyball, or trick classes where your dog will not only learn valuable lessons but will get to socialize as well. So it’s a win-win!
- Take Your Dog Out For Socialization
Your dog won’t play with any toys? Take him out to explore new places and people. Usually, breeders and dog parents socialize their puppies early to encourage their social skills. But even adult dogs can benefit from socialization if they’re bored.
So why not take your dog out around the neighborhood and allow him to meet and make new friends? Meeting another energetic or playful companion may help him recharge his energy.
Another option is to plan a play date for your dog. That’s right! If your neighbor has a friendly dog, try making arrangements for them to meet nearby at a dog park and allow your dog to make a new friend. That would be helpful!
- Provide New Toys
If your dog doesn’t own several toys, maybe he’s bored playing with the same toy daily. This can also be why your dog won’t play because his toy is old and worn out, so it doesn’t excite him anymore. If that’s the case, the solution is simple. You can go to a dog store and purchase new exciting toys as a gift for your dog to bring back his playful energy and excitement.
- Build A Digging Pit
Dogs that were bred to hunt usually love digging. So if your dog loves to dig, the best option is to build a digging pit or box in the backyard to keep him busy and occupied.
You can also try burying his treats and toys to make it exciting and fun.
- Mealtime Fun
Making mealtime fun by making your dog pour its own food can be exciting to watch. If your dog devours food quickly, then this idea would be beneficial. Instead of pouring its food into a bowl, try using a slow feeder dish or a food-releasing puzzle toy and allow your dog to work for its food.
Another option would be the hide-and-seek method. Spread your dog’s meal around the house or surrounding areas and let him sniff every last crumb. Your dog will make sure that he has hunted down every kibble.
- Get A Dog Walker
If all else fails, get professional help to relieve your dog’s boredom. Or if you happen to be busy with work and don’t get enough time to spend with your furry friend, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter can help you big time.
Dogs can get bored if left home alone for several hours and develop problematic behaviors. So by hiring a dog walker, your dog could get fresh air during the day and get the exercise it needs. Or a pet sitter can help control your dog’s destructive behavior by visiting when you’re not home and refilling its treat dispensing toys.
How Do I Tell If My Dog Is Bored?
Usually, when dogs get bored, they display destructive behaviors like barking, digging a hole in the yard, or chewing shoes, socks, and furniture to entertain themselves. Also, if you notice your dog being restless or always coming to you seeking attention, it’s a clear sign that your dog is bored and wants to do something fun.
Since most dog breeds were bred to work alongside humans for centuries, they can quickly get bored if there isn’t much to do. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have to work for food and shelter, so plenty of free time can become boring in the long run.
Likewise, to prevent your dog from being troublesome, keep your dog busy with physical exercises and fun games. Dogs require interactive games to be fit physically and mentally, so coming up with activities like playing tug of war, fetch, or obedience training can keep your dog tired and busy.
But before you engage in activities, know how much exercise your dog needs. For example, small breed dogs like pugs and chihuahuas would do fine with simple activities, but energetic dog breeds like labradors and border coolies would need more time and exercise to calm down.
Do dogs even get bored? Absolutely! Besides toys and games, dogs can get bored quickly if they’re not getting enough attention from you. Moreover, dogs love socializing, so being in the house all day will bore them out, and they won’t want to play.
But as mentioned, there are several options that you can choose to help your dog get back his energy and keep him engaged. So, if your dog isn’t playful as before, try applying some solutions we’ve mentioned.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.
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Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!