If you are working from home, your dog is surely happy to have you around - but is your dog getting bored? Or are you feeling a little guilty when you have to shush him or her away from your work area?
Here's a list of 20 ideas to keep your dog busy and relieve dog boredom so you can focus on work.
10 Things For Your Dog To Do On His Own:
1. Nose Hunting.
Hiding treats around the house is a fun way to add mental stimulation to their routine. It’s one of the most versatile games you can teach your dog. It can be played anywhere, with toys or treats you already have.
2. Interactive Dog Toys
Using food dispensing toys, such as the Kong Wobbler and Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser, are an easy way to give your dog some more mental stimulation and relieve dog boredom at the same time.
3. Frozen Peanut Butter Kong
Frozen Peanut Butter Filled Kong. Read that again. It's genius. Kong + peanut butter can keep a dog engaged for a long tasty time.
(Other healthy options for filling a Kong - see long list at end of post!)
4. DIY Snack Hider
Put snacks into an empty cardboard tube. Fold and tape the ends shut. Perforate the tube a little with a fork or knife and give your dog a fun Challenge. This is especially rewarding for dogs who like to tear things up!
( Please note that Vitanibs is NOT a snack! It is a daily multivitamin with everything that your dog needs for all their systems to work at optimum. )
5. Digging Box
Do you have a yard or outdoor area? Make your dog their own personal digging box! Bury toys in it and let them find it; some dogs love digging so much this can keep them entertained for hours.
6. Get Your Dog a Jolly Ball
Any big ball toy can be a lot of fun, but jolly balls just tend to be more durable. Some dogs love playing with these all by themselves, but of course you can always make it more interesting by playing with them.
7. Kiddie Pool.
Many dogs love a good swim – not just Labs. It’s an amazing exercise for dogs with arthritis since it’s low impact.
You can float toys or frozen treats (try making cubes out of yogurt, or broth) for a fun attention-getting challenge. Keep a few in your freezer and you can toss a new one in the pool as needed.
8. Give The Something to Chew On
Chew Toys, Bones, or Bully Sticks. Most dogs love chewing, but be sure to keep an eye out for their safety. If they start to break them into pieces they become a choking hazard.
9. Make it a Chore.
Working at home WITH kids? Well, then: here's something that can go on the chore list. It's a win-win and your kids probably won't hate the idea of playing tug of war of walking the dog.
10. Give them a View.
Some dogs are content to just sit at the window and stare. It is their nature to be inquisitive, social, and protective. Dogs like to know what’s happening outside so give them a chance to scope out the yard. A lot of dogs love napping in the warm sunlight in front of windows.
A very simple thing to do is to make sure a window is accessible: move a couch or chair under the window so your dog can easily get up there to survey their world.
10 Things to Do During Work Breaks:
It's good for your back to get up and stretch!
1. Give Your Dog Some Extra Attention
Dogs are social creatures, so a nice belly rub, massage, or grooming session is an easy way to create a meaningful interaction with your dog. It’s a great way to bond and keep your dog occupied at the same time.
2. Play Some Tug of War With Your Dog
Take a break and play tug. Go at it good and hard, and it will work wonders for tiring out your fur buddy. Contrary to myth playing tug of war with your dog will not make him aggressive.
3. Give Your Dog a Job
Have them help out with your chores or everyday routines or just make them a part of it. My dog walks down the country road to the mailbox every day. We practice his sit and stay commands. He enjoys the routine! Other people go further- teaching their dog to pick up dog toys and put them in a basket!
4. Work on Training Your Dog
Clicker training your dog can be used for training new behaviors and rewarding ones you didn’t even ask for. It’s a way to clearly communicate with your dog the exact moment they perform a desired behavior; all the extra mental stimulation makes for a tired doggie. Dogs are always learning from us – just teaching them where to sit while you prepare dinner is mentally stimulating and enforcing good manners.
5. Practice Some Free Shaping Games
Shaping is building a particular behavior by using a series of small steps to achieve it. Letting your dog make their own choices burns an amazing amount of mental energy and helps your dog develop learning behaviors. By using positive training techniques such as shaping, you help your dog learn to make better decisions in the future. Here is Dr. Sophia Yin’s excellent video demonstrating free shaping.
5. Toss the Ball or Frisbee!
Playing fetch is one of the simplest ways to engage with our dogs.
6. Make a Flirt Pole for Energetic & High Drive Dogs
It’s a rod with a lure on the end and many dogs love chasing after them. You can make your own with PVC pipe, bungee cord, and a toy for the lure. Word of caution; flirt pole chasing can be really hard on a dogs joints so keep sessions short and don’t play with dogs under 1 year of age to avoid growth plate injuries. Vitanibs provides joint and hip support for dogs of all ages.
7. Make a Simple DIY Puzzle Toy
One simple way to relieve dog boredom is by making a DIY puzzle toy for your dog. If you’ve got a muffin tin and some tennis balls you can make yourself a dog puzzle right at home.
8. Make Your Dog Work for His Food
When it’s time for his meals you can use a treat dispensing toy or simply make him do a few tricks to work for it. Dogs prefer earning treats to simply being given extras. It goes back to the fact that dogs have been bred to work alongside us; working is not only something to keep the occupied – it gives them a purpose.
9. Change up Your Walking Routine
Daily walks can get boring if it is always the same route. Try a new route. Explore new neighborhoods. Allowing your dog to smell their surroundings adds mental stimulation. They’re not just visual creatures – they learn a lot from all those interesting smells. Giving them the opportunity to sniff around adds a lot of great mental stimulation.
10. Make Your Own DIY Agility Course
Another fun way to relieve dog boredom is by making your own DIY agility course to. It’s a good way to brush up on some basic obedience and teach them some fun tricks at the same time. Weave poles, a ramp, tunnel, or just a simple jump.
Here’s a list of healthy treats you can use for Kong stuffing:
- Apples (no core, stems, or seeds)
- Baby Food (natural)
- Blackberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Blueberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cheese (watch for fat content)
- Cottage Cheese
- Flax Seeds
- Green Beans
- Honey (in moderation due to high sugar content)
- Oranges (in moderation)
- Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin (canned)
- Rice (cooked)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Watermelon (seedless)
- Yogurt (plain, lowfat)