Imagine the picture – you pop out for a few hours and return to a scene of devastation. Food bowls upended, ornaments knocked over, furniture chewed or sofas scratched!
No, you weren’t burgled. But your beloved dog decided to let you know just how bored they were when you had the cheek to leave them for a bit.
The best thing to tire out any dog is as much regular and energetic exercise as they can take. If your lifestyle – or your legs – don’t lend themselves to mammoth treks several times a day, there are plenty of toys on the market like tennis ball launchers or rope balls to throw and get them moving about more on the daily walk.
Cats have a lesser ability to cause chaos, mainly because they can take themselves outside and create their own entertainment if they want. But if you have a house cat, give some thought to how you can stimulate them.
Teasers and chasers are great motivators for your cat as are catnip filled toys that will keep them entertained for hours. House cats are also likely to be missing out on the natural stimulus and habitat of the outdoors so those toys and scratching posts are useful to have before your curtains become the focus of their claws!
For dogs and cats, it’s not just about physical energy – it’s about exercising their grey matter as well.
There’s fun in working for it
Toys which allow you to hide food, like a Kong, can keep your dog amused for hours while they try to work out how best to release the tasty treats you’ve hidden inside.
Pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and mice aren’t immune to the onset of boredom either, although they are less likely to be able to cause as much destruction as a bored Beagle or a fed-up feline.
An outdoor run and a few toys can be a great way of allowing them to get out of their hutch and stretch their legs and imaginations. To protect them from predators, do make sure it’s properly protected on all sides.
Above all else, spend a bit of time exercising your grey matter coming up with different ways to stimulate theirs!