No matter their breed, our four-legged friends have one thing in common: they love attention. Whether they’re joining you on an outdoor adventure or begging for another round of fetch, dogs need physical and mental stimulation to stay happy. If your best friend suddenly loses interest in an activity, you can’t help but wonder: do dogs get bored?
The answer is yes! Dogs do get bored. It’s possible for canines to lack motivation in their everyday routine when it becomes too mundane, which may lead to behavior problems if not resolved.
Is My Dog Bored? 4 Common Signs to Look For
While we can’t read dogs’ minds, their body language and behavior will tell you if they need some extra attention. Watch for these signs.
Barking, Whining, or Crying: While these symptoms are often found in dogs with separation anxiety, excessive barking, whining, or crying may simply be ways to grab your attention. It’s important to keep track of your dog’s schedule and note how much exercise they’re getting. If your dog has spent a little too much time inactive or alone, they might use these tactics to tell you they’re ready to play.
Excessive Licking: There are many reasons why dogs lick, and boredom is one of them! Licking may temporarily alleviate boredom as your furry friend tries to pass the time. However, excessive licking can lead to “hot spots” developing on their skin. To help stop this habit, engage your dog in a different activity every time they start to lick.
Destructive Chewing: If a dog has pent-up energy and no outlet to release it, they may naturally start chewing everything in sight. If you find your pup has destroyed furniture or other items around the house, this is likely their way of telling you it’s time to make some changes to their routine.
Excessive Sleeping: It’s perfectly normal for dogs to nap sporadically throughout the day. However, if you find they have no interest in exercising or playing, this could be a sign they’re bored of their regular activities.
You may notice these signs and wonder, “Is my dog bored, or s something else wrong?” Encourage them to participate in one of their favorite activities—such as fetch or chase—and offer a dog treat as a reward. If they still don’t seem receptive, have your veterinarian check them out to see if there are any underlying issues.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained
While the solution to dog boredom may seem obvious, the reality is not all dogs find the same activities entertaining! It may take some experimentation to figure out what you and your pup will both love for a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Outdoor Activities: If you have an active dog, spending time together outside is an easy way to prevent boredom. A few different options include:
Indoor Activities: Even when the weather conditions are poor, there are still ways to keep your dog entertained! Some indoor activities include:
- Take a trip to an indoor dog park to socialize with other dogs.
- Hide some of your dog’s favorite chew treats around your home and send them on an adventure to find them. This will occupy their senses and give them a well-deserved reward.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of mental stimulation! You can engage your dog by working on obedience training together.
Play Time: Playing with your dog is a great opportunity to strengthen your bond. Whether you want to try out different variations of fetch or play a round of tug of war, your dog will find exercising more fun when it involves their favorite person.
Chew Time: Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs, and many find this to be a satisfying activity! You can encourage positive chewing habits by offering your dog a long-lasting natural chew as a wholesome surprise to keep them busy.
Now that we know dogs do get bored, you can try your best to help keep your best friend entertained and even use this as an opportunity to learn more about them! Try out a few of these ideas and see how your dog responds to their new routine.
Looking for an activity that’s perfect for your breed? Check out the best dog sports for each breed group.