How to Entertain and Exercise a Bored Dog Cheap

Experts agree that many behavior problems with our dogs can be solved with daily exercise and play. Unfortunately, today's human lifestyle is so hectic that our pets often get short-changed on both. Here's a few tips that helped me cope with a high energy pooch when I didn't always have the time and money to give him the attention he deserved.

Don't have time to take your dog for a long walk? Do you have a few steps someplace in your house: maybe leading upstairs, downstairs or to a landing? You and your dog can both get some exercise by going up and down several times. For incentive, I throw a toy down and have my dog fetch it for a treat. Please DO NOT do this if you have steep or open steps that can pose a safety hazard for you or your pooch.

Having something for a dog to chew on, other than furniture, is important. If you have a larger dog, shank bones are great and nearly indestructible for most dogs.

Once the marrow is gone, a shank bone can serve as a vessel. People advise using peanut butter, but that's a lot of peanut butter on a daily basis, so I use canned dog food: the type without gravy; like Pedigree's Traditional Ground Dinner selections. It's now part of my dog's daily feeding regime. To make the can of food go farther I cut up carrots and mix them in; or sometimes use rice.

Great dog toys are the ones you can fill with kibble and let your dog roll it around to release the kibble. It can provide hours of entertainment, even when you are gone. (Note: I've discovered that this works great as long as you DON'T teach your dog to bring you the toy so you can empty it for him!)

Instead of expensive stuffed toys, I buy mine at second hand stores and yard sales. I look for unused or gently used items that are made well and don't have a lot of appendages or buttons that can be ripped off. Immediately throw them out when they start to deteriorate! I DO NOT recommend stuffed toys if you have small kids around who also play with stuffed toys.