Boredom Busters for Dogs

Are you looking for ways to keep your dog entertained and happy? Well, you've come to the right place.

Bored dogs tend to find their own fun...and fun for a bored dog might include destroying things, getting into the bin, digging in the garden and even escaping their home. That's why keeping your pooch mentally and physically active is so important. Great ways to keep Rover entertained include scheduling regular walks and playtime, doing training exercises, plus giving them fun activities and appropriate toys to destroy.

Read our list of pawsome activities and toys to keep your dogs busy and happy, below. 

Toys

Buster cubes

Buster cubes are plastic cube-shaped toys that you put food and treats into. As your dog moves the cube, bits of food fall out for your dog to eat.

Kongs

Kongs are tough rubbery toys that you can fill with yummy treats for your dog to get out. These can also be filled and frozen, then given to your dog for a great 'cool' treat.  Extra tip: Fill with cheese spread, peanut butter and treats.

Surprise boxes

Dogs enjoy exploring and finding small treats and toys – so make your dog their own 'pass the parcel'. Start with a small box or toilet roll and place dry food in the centre, and seal the ends. Then, put this into a bigger box, scrunch some newspaper in with more treats, and seal it again. Then place this all inside another bigger box and repeat. These surprise boxes can keep dogs entertained for hours. You will end up with some paper rubbish, but that is better than the sprinkler system!

Toy changeovers

Remember to change your dog's toys over regularly – every two or three days. (You don't like doing the same old thing day after day for entertainment, do you?)

Activities

Hide-n-seek

Hide your dog's toys around the garden, or use a snack trail to lead them to hidden toys. 

Sand or dirt pit

Give your dog a specific area where they can dig, scratch or bury their things. A kids shell pool filled with sand is a fun and easy option for your pooch.

Frozen treats

In warmer months, freeze some dog food and water in a big ice cream container or freezer bag. And voila, you have a big frozen treat that will occupy your dog and help keep them cool.  Remember: always remove from the bag or container before giving to your pet. 

Exercise

This might include walks, fetch, jogs or dog play groups. Tip: an early morning walk is a great way to prepare your dog for a day left at home.  

Play and training

The mental stimulation of fun play and training sessions will leave your dog feeling good. Think about how tired you are after a day of learning. Teach tricks, join a training class, or set up a doggy obstacle course – these ideas can be fun and even improve your bond with your dog. 

Chew time

Leave your dog with appropriate things to chew on or destroy. Most dogs have an inherent need to chew and safe and interesting toys are better chewed than your favourite pair of shoes.

New places

Take your dog out regularly to new and exciting places – even the biggest backyard gets mighty boring after a while. 

Extra tips

Dog proof

Dog proof your home and garden to make sure precious items are placed out of reach. Look around your house and yard and assess from a dog's point of view – for dogs, a cushion can be such fun to pull apart! Sometimes with a new or young dog, you may need to fence off out of bounds areas until they've learned what appropriate toys are.

Be patient

Be patient as your dog learns right from wrong in a human world. See our 'Home Alone' handouts for more ideas