A condition that affects all of us from time to time is boredom. Fortunately, for most of us, it’s something that tends not to last too long, as we have countless ways of alleviating it. Consequently, it’s something that we don’t really consider a serious problem. Pets, too, can be bored. Unlike their owners, however, there’s not much they can do about it except suffer it in silence, or, at the opposite extreme, tear up the house, as more than a few dog owners have found to their cost.
Pets depend on us to provide them with a quality of life that not only ensures they are physically healthy and mentally alert, but also happy and comfortable. Comfort is easy to manage. Pets need a warm environment, with good ventilation. Electric heating systems maintain a constant and ideal temperature for them, and many pet owners consider them a good investment for this purpose.
Dogs need to be walked. For the dog, a walk is an adventure filled with challenges and prizes. Physically, it’s getting essential exercise. Mentally, it’s a tremendous lift for the dog. The scenery is constantly changing with a hugely expanded horizon; completely different from the stuffy confines of its home. Objects lying on the ground are checked out one by one, until the dog’s curiosity is satisfied. A simple walk is probably the greatest and healthiest stimulation a dog can have. It’s not such a bad activity for the owner, either.
Cats are less needy in this respect. They’re independent, and would probably look at you in disgust, if you suggested taking them for a walk. Cats that are allowed to roam should, ideally, be able to come and go via a cat flap, if possible. That’s a definite convenience, not only for the cat, but also the owner, who needn’t be at the cat’s beck and call. The old saying that “dogs have masters and cats have staff”, certainly seems to have a ring of truth about it at times.
Cats at home should have various toys to provide distractions. Owners should make a point of playing with their cat. It may or may not respond to their invitation, but that’s how cats are. They let you know, when you’re needed.
Smaller pets, such as hamsters and caged birds, should have distractions built into their cages. Everything needs to be on hand at all times. Don’t forget about them. Interact with them. Talk to them. Even if they’ve no idea what you’re talking about, at least you’re providing a distraction Many pet owners leave a radio on all day, when their pet is at home alone to provide some feeling of activity.
Exotic pets, such as tropical fish, lizards and spiders, need controlled temperatures. Electric heating systems are needed for maintaining the correct conditions for creating mini tropical environments.
Finally, keep in mind that bored pets can become depressed, obese and increasingly unhealthy. Happy pets, on the other hand, are usually healthy and long-lived.