Chris Shaughness

author, speaker, animal lover

Behavior Problems,  All Articles

Help! I’m Bored!

I wrote this article in December, as the holidays were approaching. With all of the hectic activity, your pets may not receive as much attention or exercise as usual. During this time, their behaviors may change – for the worse. Less attention or exercise may increase your pet’s anxiety and boredom. When smart pets are bored, they find their own entertainment. Dogs may dig, chew, counter surf, and bark at the least little noise; cats start to scratch furniture, spray for attention and generally act restless. The dog who never jumped on you for attention may begin to do so.

To prevent holiday stress, take a few minutes in the morning and evening to practice some obedience commands with your dogs or teach them new tricks; it uses their brains and tires them out. Playing fetch is a wonderful thing for some dogs; others prefer a game of hide and seek. Try it! At night, turn off the lights in the house, have your dog stay in one room, then go hide somewhere in your house. Call your dog then watch the excitement when she finds you! Dogs also love the Kongs toys, hollow cone shaped rubber toys that let you stuff them with treats or peanut butter. Getting the treats out of the Kong is a challenge for most dogs.

For cats, take time every day to for a game of chase with a birdie on a stick. Hide and seek may be something your cat may like to do too!

Most of all, ensure you take some time every day for a petting session with your pets. It will help to reduce stress not only for your pets but for you too!