Have you ever wondered what your pet does when you’re not around? Many of us think they can keep themselves occupied all day. The reality is that when pets are alone and without stimuli, they can get bored and even develop behavioural issues.
How can you tell if your pet is bored?
Signs of boredom can include:
- Over-eating: Pets can have the same instinct as humans - to eat when there is nothing to do. If you find your pet may be gaining excess weight, it could be a sign of boredom related eating behaviour.
- Excessive barking: Barking can be a sign of many things, but if your pet becomes bored, they may bark excessively because they are unhappy.
- Excessive grooming: If your pet is bored, they may groom themselves more than usual. When continued for a long period of time, this may cause irritation on your pet’s skin. Overgrooming is often seen as loss of the hair coat in areas that are easy for your pet to reach.
- Getting into things they shouldn’t: As your pet is looking for a source of entertainment, they may begin looking in places like cupboards and rubbish bins.
- Chewing on items other than toys: If your pet is bored and you are not around to monitor their behaviour, shoes can become chewed, pillows scratched, or furniture becomes a midday snack.
I think my pet is bored, what should I do?
If you have seen some of the signs listed above in your pet, we have 4 tips that you can use to help ease their boredom.
- Be an active pet parent when you’re at home
Ensure that you are designating time to interact with your pet. Play fetch with your dog, take them on walks regularly and provide your cat with mental stimulation through various toys and scratching posts
- Toys, toys, toys!
Provide your pet with plenty of toys that can keep them entertained for long periods of time. Toys can include puzzle treat or food dispensers. Mix it up and swap toys from day to day to keep them interesting.
- Keep the curtains open
Cats are naturally curious creatures. By giving them a window to look out of, they can watch the world fly by.
- Another furry friend.
Another solution to curing your pet’s boredom is to adopt a second pet. Most pets usually play well together.
If you think your pet is bored at home and becoming destructive, you can contact our clinic for further advice.