Top 3 Signs Your Dog is Bored
Dogs are very intelligent animals. They can understand words, solve puzzles, and even read human emotions. But like most intelligent animals, when they’re not in a stimulating environment, they can get bored. Like really, really bored.
The interesting thing is it’s not always easy to recognize boredom in dogs because, well, they can’t tell you. This is why it’s important to be able to read your pet’s body language and interpret their actions in a way that helps you understand their needs.
Here are a few obvious signs that your dog is trying to tell you he’s bored and he needs something to do.
Barking... A LOT
Excessive barking is the easiest way a dog can communicate, and sometimes they like to over-communicate, especially when they’re bored.
As you’d expect, some barking is normal. Barking is a perfectly natural part of being a dog, and it’s definitely a healthy canine behavior. But you can start detecting underlying issues when the barking stops indicating something obvious.
For example, there’s a knock at the door, your dog barks - perfectly normal. But if it’s the middle of the day, your dog is home alone and your neighbors start to complain that all they hear during the day is your furry companion barking up a storm for no reason, that’s an issue.
Repetitive non-indicative barking is a major symptom of boredom in dogs and it’s the easiest symptom to detect.
Think of constant barking like a dog shouting at the top of his lungs that he needs something to do. This is especially true for dogs that are alone during the day while their owners are away at work.
People can choose to fill their days with as much or as little fun as they want, but a dog’s fun is completely determined by you and whether or not you’ve given the dog something to do all day. If he’s all alone and barking at home, it’s probably because, well, you can only hang around the house for so long before you need to burn off some energy.
Sleeps Too Much
Some dogs express boredom in quieter, more subtle ways like oversleeping.
If your dog is healthy and oversleeping, that’s a problem. A healthy, active dog should be spending most of the daylight hours energized, ready to sniff, dig and explore at a moment’s notice. But if you’re noticing your dog is moping around the house dragging themselves from napping space to napping space, they’re telling you they’re bored and need some new scenery.
With nothing to fill their days, it’s really easy for your dog to sink into bad habits like oversleeping and being excessively inactive. These habits are not only bad for your pet’s mental health but they can actually shorten your dog’s life.
Inactivity is bad for dogs in the same ways it’s bad for humans. Dogs can experience muscle loss, premature aging, and poor bone density.
Finding a new, more active, routine is an excellent way to break out of a rut. So make sure you give your dog things to keep them active during the day so they don’t sleep round the clock.
This one is a biggie. If your dog is exhibiting destructive behaviors like shredding pillows, chewing furniture, or scratching up your carpet, there is a good chance that they are exceptionally bored.
When your dog is participating in destructive behaviors, what they’re really telling you is, ‘I have a lot of energy and I need something or someone to play with.’
If you don’t provide them with a way to constructively burn off their energy, they’ll find their own way to do it. Sometimes that means ripping up the sofa.
This is probably the most expensive way for your dog to communicate with you because it means frequent trips to your local furniture store. But if you listen to what your dog is trying to tell you and find a way to solve their boredom, this type of destructive behavior doesn’t have to happen more than once.
What’s the Solution?
One of the best ways to give your dog a positive outlet for their pent-up energy is regular exercise. At least one walk a day should be a regular part of your dog’s schedule and if your dog isn’t getting the type of activity they need, you can’t really blame them for acting out.
If you work during the day and you know your dog is going to be alone for several hours in a row, day after day, then hiring a dog walker is a great investment in your dog’s mental and physical health.
Not only will your dog get a chance to go outside and enjoy the day, but they’ll also get a chance to meet new dogs and have new experiences.