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Bored Pets? Here Are Some Solutions!

Pets show boredom in different ways, but a few creative solutions can help both you and your pet.
Pets may not experience boredom to the same extent as we do, but numerous studies have proven that dogs, cats, birds and other favorites enjoy being engaged.

The biggest reason is fairly simple: pets almost universally are born for activity. They may no longer hunt for survival, but deep inside nearly every pet has a desire for activity that reflects those instincts. Even non-predators like rabbits have an ingrained need for movement. At one time, if they didn’t move, they died.

What Do They Want?

Learning to reading your pet is a good place to start. It’s not only good for the pet, it can help you avoid coming home to a ripped up pillow, shredded toilet paper or worse.

Dogs are often the most transparent when it comes to exhibiting signs of boredom. Rare is the dog owner who hasn’t seen that longing look that says, “Are we going out now? Playing in the backyard? Going for a ride?”

While “reading” dogs is fairly easy, it can be difficult to tell if they just need a little attention, a long walk or more. Dogs, like most pets, are creatures of habit, so you can do both of you a lot of good by scheduling walks or other activities at a regular time each day. In between, a toy that makes noise or provides other stimulation can go a long way as well, helping you with times when you have something else to do.

Feline Frustration

Cats often get shorted in this area. Cats are in fact very self sufficient, but because they tend to be nocturnal we don’t always see their boredom. Like dogs, a few stimulating toys are a good idea, although every cat owner has likely experienced the frustration of buying an expensive toy only to have the cat prefer playing with the box it came in.

Both cats and dogs are unpredictable in that way. Many owners have a closet or box filled with toys that “sniff” test. For whatever reason, the toy simply did not excite the pet or grab it’s interest. Short of being a true pet whisperer, it’s unlikely you’ll ever figure this out. However, you can learn by noting what your pet likes and look for similar items. In many cases, it won’t be the most expensive or complicated. Dogs will often favor something as simple as an old towel and cats are famous for playing with rubber bands or hair ties.

Everyone Needs a Break

And finally, don’t forget a big favorite of your pets is you. It can be hard to find time for your pet, especially with the stresses and time drains that are common today. Just remember, a little fun with your pet is probably what both of you need!