Lonely Dogs’ Brains Shrink Due to ‘Bestial Boredom’, Scientist Warns
K9s Only recently posted a blog about dog boredom leading to anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders. Here’s another article along the same lines. Scroll to the bottom for some solutions!
Stimulation for animals, like humans, is not a luxury but a necessity,’ says animal welfare expert Charlotte Burn, who has raised concerns over shrinking brains.
By: Greg Wilford The Independent
Pet owners may envy their pampered pooches lying around the house snoring and yawning with abandon, but now scientists have warned that bestial boredom could cause animals’ brains to shrink.
Research has indicated that dogs become distressed by chronic boredom and can suffer adverse effects from a lack of stimulation. Cattle and animals in zoos can also suffer if they are kept in dull surroundings with little to interest them, it is claimed.
Animal welfare lecturer Charlotte Burn, from the The Royal Veterinary College, used cameras to observe dogs left alone in houses before publishing an essay called “Bestial boredom: a biological perspective on animal boredom and suggestions for its scientific investigation.”
She told The Times: “They often yawn, bark, howl and whine. Some sleep a lot – a sign of apathy. Some of this is anxiety but often they are just really bored.
“Boredom has long been thought of as a solely human emotion but animals suffer from it too. Research shows that being kept in barren environments without stimulation damages the brain.
“Neurones die off if not stimulated, so the brains of such animals tend to be smaller with fewer synapses.”
Ms Burn said “wild and domesticated animals are at particular risk in captivity, which is often spatially and temporally monotonous” in her paper, which was published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
“Human prisoners describe boredom as a torment and a monster that takes them over,” she told The Times.
- Doggy Daycare at K9s Only. Socializing with other dogs is THE best solution for your bored pup!
- Enroll in a Obedience Group Class or Dog Training. Small amounts of work every day keeps your dogs mind engaged and active. A basic Obedience group class starts 9/9/17!
- Get outside! A quick walk around the block will make your pup SUPER happy and he’ll discover millions of scents to keep him busy.
- Go for a drive. Now that the weather is cooling (A bit) let you pup ride with you to pick up the kids from school or fill up on gas.
- Marrow (white bone) filled with peanut butter and frozen will keep your dogs engaged and interested in something other than sleeping.
- Dog puzzles or treat balls are great for food motivated dogs. Keeps them busy for hours.