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Are you afraid that your dog might get bored when home alone?
Sure, you’d love to be around your dog all day long. But unfortunately, that’s simply impossible for most of us.
So, it’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t get any stupid ideas just because he’s bored.
In this article, you’ll get 11 tips to keep your dog from being bored when home alone. But first, let’s understand if that’s even something you have to be concerned about.
Are dogs bored when home alone?
You know that it’s important to make sure that your dog is getting a healthy amount of daily stimulation. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog!
But while some of the best ways to exercise your dog require that you are with him in person, there will be moments where that’s not possible. It’s inevitable that your dog will need to spend time home alone!
Unfortunately, that alone time can result in boredom. Your dog wants something to do, but if you’re not home to provide him with something to do, that can cause problems!
Bored dogs tend to get into trouble and become destructive. But there’s a lot more that goes into boredom than just having something to do.
Before we talk about that, make sure to check out these related articles on dog boredom:
- Is My Dog Bored? 7 Symptoms of Dog Boredom (And Help!)
- My Dog Is Bored What Can I Do? Feat. Boredom Busters!
- Is My Dog Bored or Tired? Or Maybe Just Lazy?
Dogs don’t need to be entertained 24/7
So you don’t have the time to play with your dog all day long. The good news is that you don’t have to!
While it’s really important to make sure that dogs is getting enough stimulation throughout the day, they don’t need it constantly.
It’s all about balance! You don’t need to make sure that your dog is being entertained 24/7. It’s best to sprinkle in periods of activity with periods of rest, or of letting your dog do his own thing.
Dogs need a lot of sleep
Dogs sleep—a lot. You may have noticed your dog lounging around your house and napping, or even just resting.
Adult dogs need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep every 24-hour cycle. Puppies will need even more sleep than that, since their bodies are working hard to develop!
That means that your dog really does not need to be stimulated constantly. It’s important to make sure he also has plenty of time to rest and relax.
Having a solid schedule can teach them to sleep when home alone
One of the best things you can do for your dog and for yourself is to set up a daily schedule. This schedule will help both of you for a variety of reasons.
First, it helps to make sure that your dog knows what’s happening and when. This will eliminate a lot of anxiety for him.
You can also use the routine as a training tool. Training your dog to nap and relax during the parts of the day while you’re away will help make sure he’s getting the rest he needs. It will also prevent him from getting bored!
11 tips to keep your dog from being bored when home alone
Knowing how much rest and stimulation your dog needs is half the battle. If you’re looking for some ways to prevent dog boredom while you’re away from home, here are a few tips.
1. Make sure he gets enough physical stimulation when you’re home
One of the best ways to prevent boredom while you’re away from home is to make sure you’re tiring him out while you are home.
There are lots of really great ways you can give your dog the exercise he needs. Taking your dog for long walks, playing tug with him, or a few rounds of fetch are all fantastic options.
You can also consider signing up for dog sports. These are fun ways to burn some energy, and they’ll help strengthen your bond with your dog.
2. Play brain games (when you’re home)
Physical stimulation isn’t the only thing that your dog needs. He also needs to exercise his mind every once in a while, too!
If you’re looking for ways to do that, you’ll want to check out these 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.
One of the best things about brain games and mental stimulation is that you don’t need to do a lot of these kinds of activities to tire your dog out. They’re also extra rewarding for you and your dog!
3. Set up a solid routine to help him sleep when he’s home alone
As I said before, a schedule is helpful for you and your dog for a number of reasons. If you don’t already have a schedule or routine in place, then now’s the time to start one.
As your dog adjusts to his routine, you’ll find it much easier to leave him home alone for extended periods of time. Your dog will get used to the idea that when he’s alone, it’s time to sleep and relax.
4. Give him a chewy
Dogs are mouth-based creatures. Their mouths are how they check things out and get to know the world around them.
Giving your dog something to chew is a great way to keep him busy. When you leave, you can give him something like a bully stick to work on for a while.
Another benefit of giving your dog something to chew on is that it makes his brain release serotonin. This is a hormone responsible for leveling out mood and maintaining feelings of wellbeing.
5. Fill a Kong toy and freeze it
Kong toys are fantastic ways to keep your dog’s brain and mouth busy. You can fill his Kong with treats and then use tasty peanut butter to seal them in.
This is one option. But if you want to make his Kong last even longer, freezing for a few hours or overnight is a great way to do that.
You may also want to consider filling your dog’s Kong with some of his regular meal instead of just treats.
6. Turn on dog TV (unless he’s a barker)
Your dog has super sensitive hearing. You can use this hearing to your advantage while you’re away.
Dog TV is a great way to keep your dog’s mind stimulated while you’re gone.
However, if your dog tends to bark a lot, then this might not be your best bet. It might encourage more barking, which your neighbors probably won’t appreciate!
7. Get an indestructible food puzzle
When you leave your dog for the day, consider setting him up with a food puzzle to work on while you’re gone.
Food puzzles keep your dog’s mouth busy as well as his brain. There are lots of great options available. It might be a good idea to invest in a few so you can switch them out to keep things fresh for your dog.
8. Hire a dog walker
Walking is a really great way for your dog to exercise his body and brain. He’ll get in some physical exercise while he’s walking, which is good for his body.
He’ll also get the chance to sniff and check out everything going on outside. That’s really great for his brain.
While you may not be able to walk him while you’re away, hiring a dog walker can be a huge help. Your dog will be able to get out of the house for some exercise for a while which will help ensure he’s getting enough daily stimulation.
9. Take turns with other dog moms/dads
Do you know other dog parents? Take advantage of this and consider teaming up to help prevent all your dogs from getting bored while they’re alone!
You can take turns visit each other’s dogs while they’re alone and making sure that they’re getting the stimulation they need to stay settled.
Not only is this a fantastic way to tire out all of your dogs, but keeping up with good socialization habits is also super beneficial.
10. Crate train him
If your dog has trouble staying home alone even with enough stimulation, then it might be a good idea to crate train him.
Crating your dog while you’re away will help keep him safe and prevent him from getting into any trouble while you can’t supervise him. His crate will also give him a designated place where he knows to settle down and relax.
If you haven’t crate trained your dog yet, this is your opportunity to get started. If you have no idea where to start, check out how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.
11. Provide a toy bucket
Does your dog love playing with his toys? Giving him access to his toys while you’re away can help him have fun on his own until you get back.
Set up a toy bucket for him somewhere accessible in your house. This will give him the chance to grab a toy and play with it while you’re away.
Giving your dog enough stimulation will help prevent boredom. That said, don’t worry about having to entertain your dog non-stop all day long. Dogs actually need a lot of sleep and rest. And training your dog to rest while he’s home alone is a great way to make sure he gets it!
But if your dog still tends to get bored while he’s home alone, there are lots of great things you can do. Give the above tips a try and see the difference they make for your pup!