If you regularly find yourself feeling that your dog is "naughty," you may need to take a closer look at the real situation. Dogs that regularly chew up household items, dig out of yards, or make an overall mess of things typically have on thing in common - they're bored. A bored dog is going to find ways to entertain herself, and those ways are often not what you'd want her to do.

Dogs are quite intelligent, and many breeds need quite a bit of stimulation in order to remain happy and healthy. When they are bored, they're stressed, and that can increase the destructive behavior even more. So what can you do? Here are some tips to combat boredom that just might put that destructive behavior to rest.

1. Exercise Is Key

For dogs, exercise equals stimulation, so the next time you're tempted to skip that morning walk, remember that doing so will make your pet bored and increase unwelcome behaviors. Aim for at least a 45-minute walk every morning to wear your dog out.

2. Consider Doggy Daycare

If you're gone all day and your dog is home alone, a visit to a doggy daycare may be a good fit. This will give your dog the chance to socialize and get some exercise at the same time. While you may balk at the investment, think of all the money you're spending replacing items he's chewed up. That may help you to see it as a wise investment.

3. Use the TV

Believe it or not, there are channels dedicated to stimulating dogs, so consider leaving the TV on when you leave for the day. DOGTV is a great choice, and it's available on Roku and Amazon Fire. Animal Planet can provide similar benefit.

4. Use Food-Stuffed Toys

Finally, consider adding food-stuffed toys to your dog's life. These toys are given to the dog at the start of the day, and stimulate chewing and licking behavior that rewards the dog with a tasty piece of kibble, and some used-up energy.

Remember, Patio Pet Life takes care of your pet's toileting needs while you're gone, but if you neglect to take care of his need for mental stimulation, you may still come home to a mess.