Indoor Enrichment Ideas to Reduce Pet Boredom
Some pets aren’t exactly demanding when it comes to their environment, but they still enjoy and benefit from having interesting things to do. Other animals require consistent activities to keep destructive or dangerous behaviors at bay. Wherever your pet lands on this spectrum, it is crucial to engage them every single day. Otherwise, pet boredom may start to creep in.
Only Have Eyes For You
The best place to start is prioritizing your time in order to play or exercise with your pet at least once a day (twice is better!). Set aside a minimum of 20-30 minutes to spend quality time moving around with your pet, teaching them new skills, or taking them to interesting places. If they have the opportunity to create or deepen the bond with you, they are less likely to become bored when you’re not home.
Agility training can be an excellent endeavor for both pets and people alike, but obedience training and socialization are also key to pet wellness.
All They Can Be
Creating and maintaining your pet’s indoor environment is vital to their development, and helps keep them mentally and physically fit. Additionally, it reduces any stress, anxiety, boredom, or frustration. What you’re working towards is a happy, healthy pet that doesn’t worry or pace when they’re alone. In fact, by giving them the right tools they become well-adjusted, and can handle the ebb and flow of your household with confidence and security.
It’s About Well-Being
Despite the fact that many pets get their daily walks, they are still probably spending the majority of their time inside (especially indoor-only cats). Spice up your pet’s indoor environment in the following ways:
- Food-based enrichment, like licking mats or Kongs.
- New toys or games (rotated every week or so) can be great distractions, but be sure they are safe for use when you’re not supervising.
- Sensory items that focus on their five senses.
- A catio can give cats the best of both worlds.
- Set up a bird or squirrel feeder just beyond the other side of your pet’s favorite window.
- Add new cardboard boxes, hiding spots or perches to the environment on a regular basis to keep it fresh.
- Install new scratching posts, ladders, or stairways to keep them climbing.
- Schedule some time at our dog daycare to shake things up.
No More Pet Boredom
Pets are creatures of habit and they depend on their routine. They anticipate meals, play time, outdoor opportunities, and sleep times down to the minute.
That being said, however, pet owners are tasked with keeping the day-to-day routine fresh and interesting. Without addressing a pet’s daily mental and physical needs, pet boredom can quickly come into focus. Behavioral problems, like soiling, destructiveness, escape attempts, and pacing/crying may end up being harder to reverse.
If you have additional questions about pet boredom and their behavioral needs, please give us a call at (630) 665-1500. The pet experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are always here to help!
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