The Best Types of Toys for Bored Dogs
Imagine your home from your dog's perspective: the conversations you can't understand, the strange voices coming from the TV, and that bright, pocket-sized rectangle your pet parent spends so much time looking at. While we have countless ways to pass the time, our furry friends' options are far more limited.
Dogs do indeed get bored, and they need to keep their bodies and minds active throughout the day. When they don't get this essential stimulation, many furry friends resort to digging holes in the yard, chomping furniture, and taking part in other destructive (and potentially dangerous) activities. Fortunately, we've listed some ideas that can be literal gamechangers! Keep your pooch happy, occupied, and entertained with these exciting types of toys for bored dogs.
Inspiring Creative Play Toys
Have you ever found yourself doodling or daydreaming during a mundane afternoon? Boredom often leads to creativity, and believe it or not, your dog may just be a creative genius! In fact, the canine mind is similar to a young child's. Creative Play Toys are designed to unleash that imagination with curiosity-sparking shapes, intriguing textures, and soft, flexible materials that continuously inspire new ways to play. Whether your best friend wants to shake, chase, or nuzzle their new toy, the possibilities are amusingly endless.
In addition to being some of the best toys for bored dogs, play toys like these serve a variety of important roles in your pooch's development. Playtime helps teach essential social, problem-solving, and motor skills, and incorporating these toys into your everyday routine provides your dog the tools they need to thrive.
Long-Lasting Chew Toys
Dogs love to chew! Not only is it a natural instinct, but teething, hunger, and yes—boredom, are some of the most common reasons why your furry friend seems to chew everything in sight. Chew toys provide a safe, healthy way for bored dogs to release their chewing energy. After all, engaging, flavorful dog chew toys offer a far more attractive chewing outlet than socks or shoes.
In addition to redirecting destructive behaviors, long-lasting chew toys are designed to stand up to ongoing chew sessions. You can find many options made from materials appropriate for your dog's size and strength, allowing them to chew to their heart's content! All the while, chew toys with textures like ridges and nubs help clean teeth as your pup chews to boost their dog dental routine.
Satisfying Treat Toys
Munching something delicious is a tried-and-true boredom buster! Dog treat toys are long-lasting chew toys with wells or holes you can fill with spreads, kibble, or any other dog-friendly snack you choose. These toys for bored dogs will challenge your furry friend and give them much-needed mental stimulation as they chew their way to the treat inside. There's no telling how much time will pass before they find their tasty reward!
And here's the best part: the amusement doesn't stop when your dog finally gets to the snack. Treat time turns into chew time as your pup pivots their attention to the enticing toy. Many treat toys also feature flavor throughout for an extra level of entertainment!
Energizing Play Toys
Whether the fun is happening indoors or outdoors, play toys can turn any uninterested dog into a game seeker. Sports balls and other objects that squeak, bounce, soar, or float are effective ways to keep your best friend actively engaged. Find toys that are made from versatile materials or include extra features so you can experiment with multiple play patterns.
Play toys are great for boredom and zoomies, and your pup might just tire themselves out enough to follow up playtime with a good ol' nap. That's not a bad way to wrap up the day!
More Ways to Entertain a Bored Dog
The fun can continue after your dog's playthings go back in the toy chest! Try these physical and mental activities to prevent dog boredom and spice up your pooch's schedule.
Quick & easy games: Simple activities like "find the treat" and fetch are great crowd-pleasers among furry friends! Mix in some creative dog exercise ideas to keep activity time fresh.
Satisfying jobs: Many dog breeds were bred to perform tasks, and the instinct to work lives on in canines today. Teaching your dog an easy job like bringing in the newspaper or retrieving the remote will make them feel rewarded and appreciated.
Sports: In addition to playing with sports-related toys for bored dogs, you and your pup can train for dog games and competitions such as agility and tracking. Once your dog gets the gist of each activity, up the intensity by encouraging them to work faster!
Outdoor bonding activities: Nothing clears the mind like a refreshing trip outside. Take your dog along for a run, hike, or bike ride when the mood strikes.
Routine changes: Making little tweaks to your dog's routine can have a bigger impact than you think. Take a different walk route with new sights and sounds, prepare a new dog snack, or leave the TV on when you're not home to awaken your pooch's senses to new experiences.
Boredom vs. Separation Anxiety
Although boredom is often to blame for behaviors like destructive chewing and digging, they can also stem from separation anxiety. This typically occurs when a dog feels extreme distress after being left alone for a significant period, and it is especially common in shelter dogs and dogs who have been abandoned before. If your dog barks or howls repeatedly, paces around, or tries to escape when left alone, they may be experiencing separation anxiety. Talk to your veterinarian for advice if you suspect this is the case.
Something as simple as a new toy can make all the difference for a lackadaisical pup. The best toys for bored dogs keep the enjoyment going and can turn a "blah" day into a memorable, joy-filled experience for both of you. Just be sure to supervise your dog during playtime, put toys away when playtime is over, and take toys away if they become damaged.
What about those times you can't be home to cure your dog's boredom? Follow these must-know tips for leaving your dog home alone!