"Dear Gladys" Offers Ideas for Bored Pets

Dear Gladys,

We are worried about our dog, Trevor.

We give him good food, a comfy bed, lots of affection, play dates with his dog friends and walks around the neighborhood every day. At home, he used to love to play with his balls and stuffies. Now, he just seems bored.

What can we do?


Worried in Wisconsin

Dear Worried,

I am so glad that you wrote. You sound like loving pet parents. But, even the best pet parents can sometimes miss the obvious. It sounds like Trevor’s toy basket needs a makeover – he needs some new toys.

Dogs just want to have fun

Scientist have found that play is important to dogs in building relationships and practicing their natural hunting skills. Ragged stuffed toys are just not that much fun and are often ignored. Also, they can potentially become harmful. If your dog likes to chew, he may accidentally consume fabric or stuffing and get sick. 

New toys support physical activity

On the physical side, there is nothing more joyous to watch than a dog with a new toy – tossing, hiding, fetching, and snuggling.

New toys support mental activity

You might be amazed at what your dog is can do. Some dogs, studied by the Genius Dog Challenge, can learn and remember the names of their toys and fetch the correct toys on command.

Save your furniture

A bored dog is going to look for something fun to do. Your furniture might just become his favorite chew toy. Toys and chew treats are a good distraction.

Keep your dog fit and trim

Toys, especially a brand new toy can be a good substitute for food treats. Non-food rewards have an added bonus -- once your dog has had his fill of food treats, they are no longer a reward. Toy treats, however, provide positive feedback without filling his stomach.

Ease stranger anxiety

Some dogs love everyone and some dogs are shy with strangers. As a later part of the introduction process, a stranger with a treat or a tempting new toy can become your dog’s new bestie.

Save the planet

As you know, I am the spokesdog for Glad Dogs Nation so I simply must mention our wide selection of stuffies. Many of our stuffies are former children’s toys that have been saved from landfills and given new life as pet toys.

Save money

Upcycled stuffies from Glad Dogs Nation cost less than new toys. This means your dog can have more toys for less money.

Celebrate a milestone

I’ll be honest, this tip is more for the hoomans than the pets. You can buy a birthday gift basket for your dog or cat, give one to a friend with a new puppy or kitten, or give them as holiday gifts. Toys are always a great way to celebrate.

So, Worried in Wisconsin, I hope this helps. Be sure to let us know how Trevor is doing.

Love and kisses,


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