5 Reasons Playtime is Important for a Dog

April 21, 2015

playtime michaelBy Laurie Darroch

Playtime is an important part of caring for and loving your canine family member. Dogs are pack animals, and they enjoy time spent with us and other dogs. Playtime provides benefits for your dog’s physical and mental health as well. Here are 5 ways that playtime will enrich your dog’s life.

Bonding

One of the benefits of play is that it provides individualized bonding time with your dog. Some dogs enjoy playtime so much that they will bring a favorite toy to their human companion when they want to play, or stand by the place where you store their favorite toys to drop a not-so-subtle hint that they want to play. It is their way of communicating and saying, “Please come play with me now!” Playtime can become a favorite part of a dog’s day. If you have more than one dog in your home, playtime is a good way for them to bond with each other as well.

Exercise

Every dog needs exercise, whether it is walking, running, or even specific types of playtime activities such as chasing balls or bubbles, playing tug of war, digging for hidden toys or enjoying a rousing game of hide and seek. Exercise is good for physical well-being and maintaining musculature and healthy joints. Your dog burns off calories as well with all the physical activity. Good playtime gives them a healthy appetite for their favorite CANIDAE  grain free PURE dog food when meal time arrives.

Training

Playtime is an ideal time to help your dog improve the skills you are trying to teach them. Basic commands such as fetch, come, sit and so forth can easily be incorporated into different types of play, which will reinforce what you want your dog to learn and obey. For some dogs, learning advanced skills such as obstacle course running becomes a type of playtime as well. When your dog is learning skills and commands during playtime, they gladly join in the fun.

playtime ericMental Stimulation

Dogs get bored the same way we do. They need mental stimulation to keep them in a good state of mind, happy, interested, and away from trouble. Varying the types of play, and even the people they are playing with, can provide some mental stimulation which helps to keep them alert.

Behavior

A bored dog may resort to destructive chewing or act out to burn off some of their pent up energy. You may see your dog nervously pacing, jumping around or disobeying commands when they need to get the exercise and attention that comes with playtime. This individualized playtime can make all the difference in their behavior.

Vary the types of play you engage in with your dog to keep them alert. Change the toys you use as well. Use balls, tug toys, water toys, bubbles or any toy they have grown to love and enjoy. You can tell immediately if it is something they like from their excited behavior, wagging tail or increased energy.

Playtime is one way you, as a responsible pet owner, can show love and attention to your canine family member. It definitely makes them happy. Pull out a favorite ball and see how excited they get, and you will know how much playtime with you means to your dog. Go have fun together!

Top photo by Michael Gil/Flickr
Bottom photo by Eric Sonstroem/Flickr

Read more articles by Laurie Darroch

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