Anyone who has ever had the privilege of living with dogs knows that they can be a little… much. They are so energetic, demanding of your time and attention, and sometimes their incorrigible antics leave you shaking your head. They can be dirty, smelly, and seemingly at odds with household rules, but you know what? They’re sweet, smart and oh-so-lovable, too.
The good news is that by keeping dogs busy you are helping them find – and enjoy – their place in the household. In other words, an engaged dog is happy, and we’ll help you guys get there.
Out of Trouble
Most dogs love having their people home all day, every day. But between kids, school, work, and chores, it’s not always easy for your dog to stay out of trouble. Sure, they may find things to do with their time and energy, but unless you want a giant hole in the backyard you have got to direct your dog toward more productive, less destructive, activities.
Easy and Good For All
Quite possibly the easiest approach to keeping dogs busy is keeping them going. Without a doubt, dogs that work out every day are generally better equipped for chilling at home. Dogs not only benefit from the physical exercise, their mental state of mind is much better off after a long walk, jog, or hike.
If your dog appears bored by the same old route, shake it up a bit. You can also work on training them to run alongside your bicycle.
The Power of the Ball
There are some dogs that don’t care at all for fetch, chase, or tug, while others really, really love to play. Keeping dogs busy at home can be as easy as playing a good round of fetch or frisbee with them. Whatever they prefer, be sure to provide water and rest breaks – never allow your dog to keep going beyond exhaustion or hydration points.
The Kong Factor
Dogs love a good challenge, especially when there is a food reward at the end. Kongs provide just the right balance of mental stimulation paired with a tasty reward of your choice. While most products are high quality and close to indestructible, it’s still a good idea to supervise your dog’s Kong experiences, and remove the toy when they’ve finished their snack.
A Note About Chewing
Contrary to popular opinion, chewing is not just puppy behavior. Keeping dogs busy with appropriate chew toys is an essential part of dog ownership. Again, it’s best to watch over your dog so they don’t choke on or ingest bits of their chew toys.
Keeping Dogs Busy, a Full Time Job
Another worthwhile endeavor is to train your dog. Obedience and/or agility training are great experiences for keeping dogs busy mentally and physically.