Watch out for this dog "killer": boredom
Dogs are dogs, even though many people insist on treating them like humans. We are all for loving animals and giving them a special place in your heart and home. But if you go to the extreme, a dog could forget about or neglect doing “dog things”, and boredom happens.
Dog things are what make their lives interesting and keep them alive and happy. Not doing them can lead to something that’s very dangerous for dogs: boredom.
What things should your dog do to prevent boredom?
A dog should do what their instinct and nature tells them to do, even unconsciously. Here are some:
- A dog needs to run. Running releases their anxiety and stress and boosts adrenaline. A dog, big or small, needs to run. It’s cute to take your dog around in a baby stroller, but remember that you’re taking a right away from him when you do that: the right to move.
- A dog needs to dig. To us dog owners, digging is annoying. You’ll probably have give him a bath afterwards, and that’s a hassle. However, it’s something that his instinct tells him to do. Forbidding him from doing it would be taking part of his personality away.
- A dog needs to roll around. Have you seen your dog rolling around on the floor after playing with you or running? Maybe you don’t like it. But, have you noticed how happy he is when he does it? It’s part of who he is; let him roll around.
- A dog needs to smell other dogs. Nobody likes seeing their dog smelling other dogs’ behinds. But it’s actually a necessary part of their body language. It directly influences their relationships with other member of their species.
- A dog needs to have sex. It’s normal for a male dog to run after a female dog in heat. They have the same sexual needs as we do. And it’s normal that a female dog wants sex when she’s in heat. While it’s understandable that you don’t want puppies forever, you should allow your dog to have sex at least once before spaying or neutering them.
These and many other things can help prevent boredom in your dog. They’re normal things that all dogs do and should keep doing. Remember that boredom is a killer.
How boredom can kill your dog
How can boredom kill your dog? It’s obvious that we aren’t talking about physical death, but rather spiritual death. Your dog could stop being a dog and instead become something that he wasn’t born to be. That said, physical death could also result if you don’t take good care of your dog. Boredom can cause many health issues in pets.
These are only some of them:
- Sadness. When we keep our dogs from interacting with other dogs because we don’t like them sniffing their behinds, or if we’re overprotective, we’re actually robbing them of opportunities to be with others of their species. They want friends just like we do. Let’s be realistic; your dog loves you, but you aren’t enough to fill his life completely. Let him interact with other dogs or else he may get sad.
- Depression. When a dog can’t do what he wants to do, he could get depressed. He may not want to do anything except lie down and sleep all day. If you’ve ever been depressed, you too probably wanted to sleep and sleep so that time would pass more quickly. Be careful and prevent depression in your dog because if he stops eating and drinking, he could even die.
- Stress and anxiety. A bored dog who is scolded for everything he does could become stressed and anxious. That in turn could create behavioral problems that will make life difficult for both of you.
So love your dog like you would another person. But please let him be what he is: a dog! Don’t let boredom kill him.