She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. ― Zelda Fitzgerald
What are you up to this Sunday afternoon? We are experiencing record heat temps and orange air alerts here in our nation’s capital, so we are laying low today.
When I want to lay low, the animals in our home often have other plans, so I have to be prepared.
Our dog and cats get bored easily. They also have a lot of energy, despite their ages, so, If I want to relax, and not worry about them resorting to attention seeking behaviors, I need to invest my time in providing plenty of mental and physical exercise for them throughout the day.
Often Hocus and I go for adventures in the forest near our home, or I take the cats on a “walkabout” around the perimeter of our house. These activities allow us to get out of the house, have individual time together, and maintain our powerful bond. They also come with an added bonus: They are all happily content and healthfully tired afterward.
However, when the weather isn’t safe or comfortable to venture out in, I have to provide plenty of mental and physical enrichment activities inside. This is where I get creative.
Give Them a Job.
There are way too many “unemployed” dogs in homes all around the world. Unemployed dogs get into trouble. Dogs need to be doing something positive and fun (with you) to occupy their time, to channel their energy, and to stay mentally and physically healthy. One of the ways that we give our dog a job to do is by having Hocus forage for treats! This helps to mentally challenge her, and to also channel her energy into something positive. Rather than just offering a special treat like a pig ear, trachea, or bully stick, she has to work for it!
How We Do This
I gather a few safe, nontoxic, cardboard and paper recycling items and get to work. It only takes me a couple minutes to hide the treat, but the time it takes her to work for the treat is time well spent! You can see the video here.
By the time she’s finished, she’s ready for a short nap, and I can have some down time for myself!
The result is Life with my animal companion, improved.
So the next time your pets are driving you nuts, think about how you can help them, (and yourself).
What can you create that’s safe, fun, and mentally challenging?
Need some more ideas? Check out the links below.
Boredom comes from a boring mind. ― Metallica