Dogs need more than just love and care. Long work days when your dog is alone at home, rainy days, or just another stay-at-home day can make your dog restless and bored. When not entertained, dogs find ways to entertain themselves that can cause trouble or are just plain annoying. Non-stop barking, chewing on rugs and furniture, and getting into the garbage are just a few types of behavior associated with boredom and restlessness [source: ASPCA].Here are some ways to keep your dog happy and entertained.
- Physical exercise Take your dog out for some exercise. Exercise together and bond with your dog as you jog or play fetch. Dogs need 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day to stay healthy [source: ASPCA].
- Mental stimulationDogs need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise to be happy and healthy. Play hide and seek with toys and treats, as well as other interactive games, like chasing, and returning and dropping a toy. These are good indoor games, as well as opportunities to teach your dog [source: ASPCA].
- Chew toysMake sure your dog has appropriate toys to play with while you're away from home. These toys should be safe, to avoid choking and swallowing hazards. Keep a variety of toys on hand, and hold your dog's interest by switching toys once a week. Look for toys made from hard rubber and rope, and avoid toys that require constant supervision, like squeaky toys [source: HSUS].
- Edible toysGive your dog tasty chew toys or toys stuffed with broken-up treats, like food-puzzle toys. Dogs need to chew and play with the toy a lot before they can get to the treats inside, so this can keep a dog entertained for hours [source: ASPCA]. Check with your veterinarian about what treats are safe for your dog [source: HSUS].