Petbarn Hervey Bay manager Mel Cox with one of the number of beautiful cats awaiting adoption.
Petbarn Hervey Bay manager Mel Cox with one of the number of beautiful cats awaiting adoption. Annie Perets

Pet boredom busters: Fun to get their paws and claws into

THERE is no doubt leaving your pet at home can give you the guilts, but have you ever stopped to think about the long-term effects boredom is having on your fury friend?

We all love our pets on the Fraser Coast but the manager of a popular pet supply business says it's really important to have boredom busters to prevent destructive behaviour.

"If you're at work all day and your pet doesn't have anything to keep occupied the animal will find it's own way like digging," Mel Cox from PETstock Hervey Bay said.

"Getting something like a rubber kong with food rewards inside will keep your pet entertained," she said.

It comes after Pets Training & Boarding examined the effects boredom can have on the life of your beloved canine companion.

Senior dog handler Kirsten Lambros said bored pets can become destructive and gain obsessive habits which can sometimes be difficult to reverse.

"At least 50% of all dogs, under the age of three, are brought to our centre for problematic behaviours stemming from boredom."

Ms Lambros said prevention depended on the type of breed and energy levels of your dog. However, utilising a good dose of exercise, training and routine was important.

"To prevent boredom, introduce hardy chew toys, a play mate, arrange play-dates with similar tempered dogs (through a walking service), take your dogs for long walks early in the day and engage with them at a good pace."

While cats are pretty independent and like to sleep most of the day, Ms Cox said it was important to have toys at home for your cat too. 

BOREDOM BUSTERS

  • Puzzle toys and treat balls - only use these when you leave the house and remove from your dog's environment when you return. Also ensure you take the biscuits from your dog's daily diet or you may end up with a happy, overweight pooch.
  • Rotate toys - purchase toys that are only for when you leave the home and remove when you return. Then change these up daily.
  • Training - can provide simulation and help with destructive behaviours.
  • Specialised alone toys - They can be chew-balls or plastic bones.
  • DIY - Think about things your dog would like to do when you are not home. .


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