How to Entertain Your Dog for Hours
If you’re a dog owner, you know that a bored dog is not good. When dogs are bored, they can become nervous, anxious, or destructive.
But you must leave your dog home alone sometimes, right? How to entertain your dog for hours is an important consideration if you’re going to work or even if you’re going to be running errands for a while.
Luckily, entertaining your dog is today’s topic of discussion. Look below to find suggestions on how to entertain your dog for hours.
How To Entertain Your Dog For Hours When You’re Away
As much as we may want to, we can’t spend every moment with our pets. There are times when you have to go to work or visit friends or family that may be less dog friendly. In these instances, it’s a great idea to keep your dog entertained.
If you’re trying to learn how to entertain your dog for hours, here’s a list of activities you will be able to leave for your dog.
Give your Dog A Treat They Have To Work For
If you’re trying to find a way to keep your dog occupied while you’re gone, a treat they have to work for is a great choice. An easy way to do this is to leave treats around the home.
If you take some treats and strategically hide them around the house. You can even give your dog a treat as you are leaving. This will give your dog a positive association with you leaving. They will learn that you leaving them is something to look forward to. And if you give them a small treat when you leave, you can help kick off their treat scavenger hunt.
Another treat dogs will have to work for is a treat filled Kong. Kongs are hollow rubber chew toys, so they are a great way to have your dog put some work into getting their treat. Fill a Kong with some peanut butter so your dog will take some time trying to lick every inch. For an even greater challenge, you can freeze some peanut butter in a Kong. Not only will this give your dog a nice treat, but your dog will have to take their time slowly melting the peanut butter before they can lick it up.
This freezing trick works well with other toys too. You can freeze a rawhide or other chew toy partially in some water. This will allow your dog to get a small taste of their treat, but they will still have to work at it if they want to get the whole thing.
Occupying Your Dog’s Mind While You’re Out
Another trick you can use when you run out, as much as you might not want to, is to leave the TV on. Put on some Animal Planet for you dog and they’ll be able watch some of their furry “friends.”
And speaking of watching some friends, you can try to leave your blinds open. This allows your dog to see the outside world and let that occupy their mind, rather than turning your new sneakers into their new chew toy.
Another tip if you need to keep your dog occupied is to get them a friend. Most dogs don’t like to be left alone. If you can get them a companion, they will be much happier. This is of course a personal choice as taking in another life is a big decision. But you will be helping an animal in need, and you will be helping to occupy your dog.
Entertaining your Dog Outside
Keeping your dog from becoming bored is a hard-enough task while you’re out of the house, but what about when you step into the backyard?
Dogs are usually happy just smelling the fresh air and possibly chasing birds or squirrels, but there are activities you can do with your dog to tire them out so they will be less bored once they come back inside. Some activities include:
Catch and Tug-of-War are easy games to play with your dog. Just take a pair of clean tube socks and tie the ends together and knot the ends. You can even fill the socks with treats if you want to give your dog a greater challenge.
Take your new dog into the yard and toss it around with your pup. Most dogs still have an instinct to give chase, so they’ll love playing catch. A good game of catch can also lead right into a game of tug-of-war as well. Once your dog has the toy, have them bring it to you and give it a good tug to see who’s stronger. You’d be surprised how even the smallest dog is able to take a toy away from an adult.
Just make sure that when you initiate tug of war, you do it correctly. You always must let your dog “drop it” in front of you so you can initiate the game with a “take it” command. This keeps you in charge of the game. If you are loose with the rules of the game, your dog might think you are being aggressive or trying to punish them by taking away their toy. Also, you must stop the game if your dog’s teeth contact you. Following these simple rules will let your dog know where the line is and will make the game more fun.
Swimming and Digging for Fun
Entertaining your dog for hours with swimming or digging is easy enough to do. Just remember, if you are going to have your dog swim, they must always be supervised and only do it if you know your dog already loves water.
Some dogs can’t get enough water and will love the chance to jump and swim after a floating ball. Some breeds however will not be successful in the water. For this reason, it extremely important you do not push your dog to swim. They should already have a love of water if you are going to use it as a form of exercise. Swimming can be extremely dangerous if your dog is not prepared to swim.
If your dog does like swimming and you have a pool, chasing a tennis ball in the water can be a great way to wear them out. If you don’t have a full-size pool for them to swim in, a kiddie pool can still be a fun way for them to get some energy out. A few inches of water can help cool them down on a hot day, and even some treats like fresh fruit or veggies make a fun game of catch in the water.
If your dog is a digger, fill a kiddie pool with sand instead of water. If you hide some dog bones or other treats in the sand, this can make for fun physical and mental exercise.
If you’ve been wondering how to entertain your dog for hours, this list should get you off to a great start. Your dog will enjoy getting their energy out, but best of all they will love bonding with you during play.