Anyone who has a dog knows that it can be difficult to entertain them all the time. While they are sometimes happy to take a nap, the rest of the time they often need constant attention and entertainment. They’re like toddlers in that respect. And, like toddlers, if you don’t entertain them, they will destroy your house.
Whether you’re on a walk together or your dog is home alone, you need to provide things to do if you want to prevent them getting bored. Coming up with ways to entertain them isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve had a long day and your dog has a lot more energy than you do. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to keep your dog entertained, even if you’re too tired to move.
The most important rule of entertaining your dog is to make sure you offer variety. You would get bored of doing the same things again and again, and so can your dog. You don’t have to make huge changes, but it’s a good idea to mix things up now and then. That could mean taking a slightly different route next time you go for a walk or switching around which toys you take out of the toy box. Having a few different activities you can do together will make sure that neither you nor your dog gets bored. It’s not exactly fun for you to do the same things over and over either.
Using Treats for Entertainment
Most dogs will do anything for a treat, which is why they’re great for entertaining your pooch. You can use them for all sorts of things, from hiding them so your dog has to find them, to putting them in a puzzle ball your dog has to figure out. Of course, the treats you give your dog are added to their daily diet. So it’s important to take them into account when you consider how much you feed your dog. If you’re worried about giving your dog too many treats, another idea is to use their regular food. You can easily use pieces of dry food in place of treats, and even wet food can be used for some activities.
Encouraging Solo Play
One problem a lot of dog owners have is trying to entertain their dog while they’re out of the house or busy doing something else. Getting your dog to entertain himself can be difficult, but it’s essential. You can’t dedicate every moment to playing with your dog. Fortunately, there are ways your dog can play alone. One possibility is to use an automatic ball-thrower, which you can see among some of the best toys for dogs at Fast Dogs. These are excellent for when you’re at home, but you’re busy doing something else. However, they’re not ideal for if you’re away from home because they really require supervision. When your dog is alone at home, consider some interactive toys she can have fun with.
Hire Someone Else to Look After Your Dog
Sometimes, leaving your dog home alone isn’t very kind to them. Some dogs get separation anxiety, while others get incredibly bored with no one to play with all day. If you’re worried about your dog getting bored and lonely, hiring someone to help look after them is a good idea. If you want to leave them at home, you can have someone drop in to walk them or play with them. Another option is to choose a doggy daycare so they can enjoy the company of people and other dogs all day.
Learning New Tricks
Teaching your dog tricks is fun for both of you, and it’s a great way to make them more disciplined. Some dogs are more susceptible to training than others, depending on breed, as well as age and personality. There are all kinds of things you can teach, from basic commands like sit and stay to more complicated ones. However, it’s important that you can be patient if you want to teach your dog some tricks. It can take a while for them to get the hang of something. You might find that clicker training works because it helps your dog associate a desirable action with the clear noise of the clicker.
Teach Your Dog to Be Your Helper
Teaching your dog to roll over or beg is one thing, but what if the tricks you teach them could actually be useful for you? If your dog is your constant companion, you can sometimes find that he gets under your feet when you’re trying to do things. If you can put him to good use and have him do something that will help you, you can have fun together. Try teaching your dog to fetch things for you or hold things for you. He’ll be proud of himself for doing what he’s asked, and you’ll be keeping him entertained.
Expending Their Energy
Some dogs are lazier than others or don’t have a lot of energy due to age or illness, but many dogs are full of energy all the time. Making sure they can expend that energy in a healthy way that doesn’t destroy your house is essential. If you have a backyard, it’s easy to run around with them in the garden. However, some people will need to walk their dog regularly to help them use up their energy. If you’re an outdoors person or you love to keep fit, getting your dog involved is a great idea. Take them hiking or even on a bike ride to tire them out at the weekend.
Enjoying a Change of Environment
Being at home all the time isn’t fun for anyone. You can go stir crazy, and so can your dog. A change in environment is good for both of you. Just getting out to your nearest dog park is a good idea. However, if you go there all the time, you might want to try somewhere else for a change. Choose a different route to go for a walk or perhaps take a drive to find somewhere new to explore.
Give Your Dog a Challenge
Challenging your dog is an excellent way to stop them getting bored. They are intelligent animals and can learn over a hundred different commands. If they don’t have things to do, it can leave them down in the dumps. There are lots of ways you can challenge your dog to use her brain. There are puzzle toys they can play with, or you can try some fun hide and seek type games. Get them to come and find you when you hide, or hold a treat in one hand and get them to guess where it is. You could give them a physical challenge too, like an obstacle course in your yard or even inside the house.
Have a Grooming Session
Entertaining your dog isn’t always about being high-energy. Spending some time giving her cuddles and fussing over her is important too. A good grooming session helps your dog to relax and keeps her healthy too. Grooming can involve just brushing your dog’s coat, or you can take care of things like nails and teeth at the same time. Regular grooming reduces shedding all over your home, and it’s super relaxing for your dog too. While not all dogs are enthusiastic about grooming, many of them are happy to be fussed over for a while. You can also go to a grooming service, which is fun to do together.
Go to School
If you have to get an education, there’s no reason your dog shouldn’t too. Dogs can learn a lot, and classes can help to stimulate them. You can go to obedience training or consider some agility classes if you have an energetic dog who doesn’t get too distracted. You can take your dog to classes to learn to scent and search, or just to socialize them with other dogs. Aside from those traditional options, you might find it interesting to explore things like doggy yoga. Or you could take your dog to a swimming session, which is great to add to their exercise routine and good for recovering from injury too.
Meet Other Dogs
Not all dogs are great at meeting other dogs. Some prefer to keep to themselves and play with humans instead of fellow canines. But many dogs do like playing with others, especially if they have a chance to meet in a safe environment before they’re let loose together.
If you think your dog could do with some friends, consider meeting up with some friends, who are also dog owners. However, it’s best to check that their dog is suited to yours first. You don’t want to lose a friendship because your dogs don’t get along. You can also for dog meetup groups, which allow you meet up with other dog owners, and you can go to classes and clubs.
There are many ways you can keep your dog entertained and make sure you have lots of fun too. Make your dog happy by introducing lots of variety into his life.