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Top Boredom Busters for Dogs

Could your dog be bored? It is quite common for dogs to be left alone in the backyard or inside the home for long stretches of time during the day while you are at work or running errands. Without anything to occupy themselves, your pooches may find themselves in mischief to stay entertained.

Signs of boredom can include:

  • Barking / Whining
  • Digging
  • Chewing or other destructive behaviours
  • Following you around when you are at home

Lots of problem behaviours can be avoided by providing your dogs with something to do while you are away. Make sure that you mix it up with different toys and games to keep their minds working! Advice from animal behaviourists and dog trainers is to rotate their toys daily (don't leave them all out) as otherwise your dog will get bored with all of them!

The Dog Miracle Puzzle is a versatile dog puzzle game and you get multiple challenge games in one.

This moderately difficult puzzle game comes with a variety of stackable pieces that have treat compartments, so you can hide as many treats as you want for your dog to find. Stack and position the pieces in any way you want: the combinations are endless! 

The Nina Ottosson’s Dog Miracle Puzzle will keep your dog engaged in mentally stimulating activities, perfect for those cold and rainy days!

RRP: $39.95 at

When it’s time for a meal, why not use a treat dispensing toy or simply make your dog do a few tricks to work for it? If you feed kibble you can also try hiding pieces around the house. Studies have found that dogs prefer earning treats to simply being given extras. Working is not only something to keep them occupied, it gives them a purpose.

The Dog Pyramids (Soft and Quiet) are fun activity toys to be filled with dog treats. They wobble, rock and randomly throw out pieces of treats when your dog pushes it around with its paws and nose to play. 

This is fun brain training for your dog due to the fact that the pyramid has irregular movements.

Made of soft and strong TPE, a material similar to rubber, for quiet play inside the house but it can also be used outdoors. 

Available in Medium or Large.

RRP: from $18.95 at

The Busy Buddy Squeak n Treat Booya is essentially a treat dispensing toy with a built-in squeaker for stimulating play. Perfect for small kibble and dry dog treats. 

The patented treat meter randomly dispenses treats during play keeping your dogs actively engaged, while redirecting potentially destructive chewing behaviour. The squeak adds to the excitement, giving extra play incentive. 

Made from natural rubber so the Booya is dishwasher safe.

Chew strength: Medium (not for heavy chewers). Available in Small, Medium and Large.

RRP: from $11.99 at

The Home Alone range from Aussie Dog Products is designed to entertain your dog whilst at home alone. The hanging bungee ball toy provides hours of tug-of-war fun in the backyard and may help prevent boredom, barking, separation anxiety and the destruction of your garden

This toy is made up of a sturdy plastic ball with an internal rattle and a durable loop for pulling. This is mounted onto a thick rope and bungee strap that springs back when pulled and released. Simply hang in a sturdy/safe place, place dry food in the ball (optional) which will rattle around and be dispensed during play.

Available in 5 sizes from Mini to Extra Large. 

RRP: from $57.40 at and from online resellers.

The Kong Bounzer compresses when grabbed and then bounces back to its regular shape to encourage play. It also features a handle for easy throwing and games of fetch.

You obviously achieve more interesting bounces if you throw the Bounzer around for your dog but we’ve seen our dogs happily pick it up by the handle and drop it all by themselves so they quickly understood how to obtain maximum fun.

It has handled the jaw pressure of our Malinois for months so this is certainly one tough dog toy! Available in Medium, Large and Extra Large from pet retail stores and online.

For details, please visit

The Crazy Bounce is an unpredictable bounce and retrieving toy that is sure to keep your dog entertained with its erratic bounce design and all natural rubbery chewiness. 

Made in the USA from Puppyprene 2.0, SodaPup's all-natural proprietary rubber compound which provides durability without sacrificing chewiness. Best suited to medium to extra large dogs.

While no dog toy is indestructible, the Crazy Bounce's solid rubber construction holds up to the strongest chompers. Help your dog fight boredom with this fun new toy.

RRP: $24.95 from

Long lasting chewy treats are great to keep your pet occupied when they're alone. Rather than buying plastic, synthetic toys you can now easily find a wide variety of natural alternatives both in pet stores, at your local markets and online!

Featuring Chewy Brutes (Large Size)
Looking for a cruelty free alternative? Dog antlers are naturally shed, meaning they fall from the deer without any human involvement.

Unlike nylon or rubber alternatives, they're packed with nutrition: dogs get protein and minerals (zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium) from chewing on antlers. 
Chewing is a natural stress reliever and most dogs find antlers irresistible. They are odourless, non-messy and they also last a very long time! Seek advice and select the part and size appropriate for your dog's breed and chewing strength.

RRP: from $12.00 from

The BECO Bone is one of a range of toys made from a revolutionary new Rice Husk Rubber. It is 100% natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly and completely safe for the most enthusiastic dogs! This means however much your dogs chew they can't taste anything toxic.

The BECO Bone is also vanilla scented. The extra bouncy rice husk rubber makes the BECO Bone great for fetch! 

It comes in Blue or Pink and two sizes: Small or Medium.

RRP: $18.99-$34.49 at

The PetSafe® Automatic Ball Launcher is a new interactive way of playing fetch with your dog(s). This water-resistant launcher is great for both indoor and outdoor use. 

You can train your dog to return the ball directly to the launcher.

Multiple built-in safety sensors keep pets and people safe while playing fetch and the automatic rest mode (after 15 min) makes sure your dog does not get overworked. 

RRP: $199.99 from

Digging can be a self-rewarding behaviour and as dogs find it so enjoyable, digging can prove difficult to control or stop. If you want to prevent unauthorised landscaping efforts in your backyard, maybe you could create an approved digging area?

Photo Credit: Pampard Dalmatians
If you're terrible at DIY, clam shells are usually sold in pairs so you could use one side as a splash pool and the other as a dedicated sand pit. You can fill the area with loose dirt or sand or a combination of both.

To encourage your dog to use his new sand or dirt pit, hide and bury some of your dog’s treats, or toys just below the surface. You may need to show your dog how to uncover one or two hidden items and then reward your dog with praise when he uncovers a treat by himself...  

New garden bed safe so now!

This suggestion is probably more to do with alleviating your own boredom and separation anxiety issues than your dog's!

The Petcube Camera allows you to watch, talk to and play with your pet using your smartphone, no matter where you are in the world.

Featuring a wide-angle (138ยบ) camera along with real time HD video so you can see your pet easily. You can also talk to your pet as the camera has a built-in microphone and speaker. With the unique laser pointer toy - cats love it ! - you can play with your pet from your smartphone.

The Petcube app also allows you to share cute photos of your dog - taken from your phone or by the Petcube Camera – on social media networks.

RRP: US$149


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