The hustle and bustle of the holidays has come and gone, but even though your daily life seems to be returning back to normal, there may have been one element that fell victim to the holiday madness: your dog.
With holiday parties, shopping, traveling and the like—not to mention colder, wetter weather that keeps you indoors more—cutting time out for your pooch was/is probably one of the last things on your mind. As a result, you may have noticed a change in your dog’s behavior. Did your being busy cause your family dog to become bored?
HERE ARE A FEW SYMPTOMS OF BOREDOM AND SUGGESTIONS TO REMEDY:
Symptom #1: DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
Lately, have you been coming home to chewed up shoes, carpet, curtains, pillows and furniture? Has your normally obedient and respectful pup become a chewing machine? DON’T GET MAD! This may be a tale-tell sign that you’ve got a bored dog on your hands. A bored dog is a frustrated dog and one who will take his frustrations out on anything it can get its paws on.
REMEDY: MENTAL STIMULATION!
Give your dog appropriate toys to stimulate him mentally. Problem-solving toys or long-lasting, high-performing chew toys keeps your dog’s mind occupied (and his teeth off your shoes).
Symptom #2: ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR
Is your dogs whine or bark the first thing you hear in the morning and the last thing you hear as you head off for work? Does your dog follow you from room to room when you’re home to the point that he’s being clingy? This is your pups way of letting you know you don’t spend enough time with him.
REMEDY: SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIM!
Seems easy enough, but it bears emphasizing: dogs thrive on feeling like they belong to someone. They need to feel like they matter to you! The way to show that is to make time for them. It’s as simple as that.
Symptom #3: APATHETIC BEHAVIOR
Conversely, is your dog so “over it” that he won’t even respond to you calling his name? Does he fail to notice or acknowledge when you enter the room? This might be an indication that he has given up trying to vie for your attention. (It might indicate a medical issue however. Be sure to consult your vet if you note this kind of behavior in your dog).
Dogs forgive fully and frequently. Just because you and your dog appears to have disconnected doesn’t mean you can’t rekindle your friendship. Take him out on walks on his favorite trails, play his favorite games, cuddle up on the couch together, and in no time, your pup will go back to being your pal again.
To sum up, just because you’re busy getting ready for the New Year ahead doesn’t mean your dog should have to get the short end of the stick. Dogs need love, stimulation, motivation, and your presence to thrive. So just be there for them—and they’ll ALWAYS be there for you!