Boredom manifests itself through bad behavior. A bored dog may chew on things he knows he’s not supposed to, bark excessively, or dig up your yard. A bored cat, meanwhile, tends to act aggressively, eliminate outside of the litter box, and constantly be grooming and scratching. Boredom is not uncommon in dogs and cats, but it is potentially harmful if it goes too long without being addressed. Excessively bored pets can become aggressive, depressed, or even ill.
Maybe your pet isn’t acting out, but is simply staring at you begging for attention when you really need to get something else done. Either way—there are some simple things you can do to deal with and prevent pet boredom.
Make Sure Your Pet Gets Plenty of Time to be Active
Staying active is a great way for your pet to beat boredom. Your pet should be getting lots of opportunities to play in non-confined spaces. For dogs, walks and fetch are great means for exercise and stress-relief. Cats don’t require as much activity, but a climbing tree or tower will provide some much needed freedom to roam.
Get Creative with Toys
When it comes to toys, it’s definitely more about quality than quantity. Interactive toys—such as those that require your pet to figure out how to release a treat—are awesome boredom busters. Hide toys around in the house in your pet’s favorite places for them to find. And rotate what toys are available to your pet so that their options are fresh and engaging.
Maybe you can’t adopt another pet, but if you know somebody who has a dog or a cat that gets along with yours, try bringing them together for some playtime. Your pet will appreciate getting to socialize and having a companion, and you will appreciate how much less stressed they seem. For your dog, consider doggy daycare if you’re going to be out of the house a lot.
Keep Your Pet Healthy
A healthy pet is a happy pet. Feeding your pet a healthy, well-balanced diet, always having water available, and making sure their space is clean goes a long way towards dealing with behavioral problems that may come about from boredom.
Always Find Time For Your Pet
It is crucial that you make sure you are giving your pet one-on-one attention every day. Training, playing, bathing, and belly scratching are all great ways to show your pet how much you care. It won’t cure boredom, but it will help with your pet’s health and general well-being.
Be conscious of your pet’s mood, and do your best to keep your pet engaged and active. You both will be happier for it!