10 Rainy Day Boredom Busters for Dogs
Updated: Nov 13, 2022
Rainy season is officially here in Seattle, which probably means fewer and shorter walks for your dog. As a result, our dogs are getting bored and antsy stuck inside with extra pent-up energy. These boredom buster activities for dogs are an absolute must to keep your dog entertained while stuck inside or at home while you are at work.
Signs of Boredom in Dogs
First of all, you may be asking yourself if your dog is even bored to begin with. A lack of mental stimulation throughout the day can lead dogs to destructive or repetitive behaviors. Signs of boredom include:
Excessive chewing, especially on shoes, furniture, or other objects that aren't toys
Excessive digging - inside or outside
Acting antsy or over-the-top excitement
Repetitive licking or pacing
Panting without physical stimulation
While many of these are normal dog behaviors, they can become excessive or repetitive when dogs become bored. These can also lead to unwanted destructive behaviors that leave your house in shambles.
If you can't get home for a quick walk in the middle of the day or the weather is just too bad outside, providing boredom busters are a great way to stimulate your dog and prevent these unwanted behaviors.
DIY Boredom Busters for Dogs
You don't necessarily need to buy a ton of toys or gadgets for your dog to stay active at home! We utilize many DIY boredom busters for dogs at our daycare when they begin to become overstimulated or need a break from the energetic environment. You can make:
Snuffle and Dig Boxes
This will satisfy your dog's urge to dig. Simply grab a box or large box lid, fill it with crumpled newspaper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, or anything else you have around that is safe to chew on. Scatter some kibble or small treats and watch your dog search for them! Our daycare pups love snuffle boxes!
Treat Scavenger Hunt
Hide small treats around the house that are easily accessible to your dog and allow them to explore and find them. Be sure to keep them away from any dangerous parts of the house such as around electrical cords and toxic plants.
Dixie Cup Scatter
This activity can definitely make a mess, but it will keep your dog busy! Fill a large number of dixie cups with a small treat each, squish them down so the treat is contained, and scatter them around a room in your house. Dixie cups are nontoxic, allowing your dog to chew through them to get to the treats inside. This can also be done with toilet paper and paper towel tubes, but make sure any glue has been removed first.
Long lasting treats are excellent boredom busters for dogs! You can make your own by freezing bone broth, peanut butter, and soup bones for your dog to gnaw on. The choking risk for dog popsicles are low, though I would not give your dog any bones unless you are keeping an eye on them. A frozen treat will last longer than a normal one and offer a new experience!
Water Bottle Crunch Toy
Dogs love food and toys that provide a satisfying crunch. You can satisfy your dog's urge to chew without providing excess treats by putting an empty plastic water bottle in a sock or other fabric to provide a great chew toy! Be sure to remove the cap and keep an eye on your pup if they are especially hard chewers.
Our Favorite Online Boredom Busters for Dogs
If you're in the mood to splurge on a new toy that will help with your dog's boredom, there are so many to choose from! Here are some of our favorites:
We utilize so many different puzzles during daycare! There are all kinds of dog puzzles out there ranging in difficulty and length of time it will take to complete. Try to choose a puzzle that matches your dog's ability
Easy puzzle: available on Amazon
Intermediate puzzle: available on Amazon or in our shop
Difficult puzzle: available on Amazon
Multiple level puzzle: available on Amazon or in our shop
There are so many fun snuffle mats out there! Snuffle mats allow you to hide treats in various textures in the mat to stimulate your dog and help decrease boredom. They are usually machine washable and wrap up nice and small to store in your home.
Snuffle mats: available on Amazon or in our shop
Another daycare favorite! Cats aren't the only ones who can enjoy a fun tunnel toy at home. Many dogs love to run back and forth through agility tunnels, giving them some much needed exercise if they are stuck at home.
Agility tunnel: available on Amazon
Kong Chew Toys
Kongs, and other fillable chew toys, are a great way to satisfy your dog's urge to chew throughout the day. They can be filled with peanut butter, cheese, and other tasty treats. Try freezing them to make them last longer!
Kong toys: available on Amazon or in our shop
Play Tug of War
This is a classic! Pups can get their need to chew and some exercise by playing tug of war. Go old school with normal dog rope, or set up a toy that allows your dog to play on their own!
Dog rope: available on Amazon
Solo tug rope: available on Amazon
The bottom line is this: a bored dog becomes a destructive dog. This is especially true for dogs that have been bred over time to be working dogs such as Australian shepherds, huskies, boxers, terriers, and many more. Try cycling through your dog's toys rather than keeping them all out at once to keep their interest in them. Providing enrichment options both when you're at home and away can help keep your dog entertained and away from your expensive shoes!
Of course, you can always come visit our indoor dog park for some fun on one of those rainy Seattle days.