Dogs are extremely emotional beings, highly attuned to the emotional states of those of us in their “pack”. They want us to be happy, and usually just being with ones’ pet puts our minds and hearts at ease.
But dogs need to know that they are a wanted and loved member of the family. A lack of mental stimulation and loving attention will often lead to boredom and, eventually, misbehavior. The same goes for humans. Getting out on a hike or in the water with your dog is an easy and beneficial remedy for all involved. Seek out new areas for them to sniff around; offer them different tastes and textures of treats & food; play mind & body stimulating games with puzzle toys, “hide the yummy”, and, of course, the intergenerational favorite: Fetch! You can also use these games as training opportunities to reinforce basic commands such as “sit", "stay” and “come”.
If you are short on time, consider dropping them off at a daycare a couple of times a week to play with other buddies. The key is to provide a variety of experiences to keep our pets happy and engaged. It is often quality over quantity when it comes to how satisfied our pets feel at the end of the day. If you provide an attentive heart in all that you do for and with them, they will reciprocate with good behaviors.
If you have a pet, remember to give them the love and attention they desire and deserve by following some of these suggestions. If you do not have a pet, I hope you will visit one of the local shelters to be introduced to the wonderful animals there in need of a loving home. You (and they) will be happy you did!