Dogs are social creatures, just like we are, and they love to interact with their families. While your dog might get excited about car rides, walks, or visitors, few things are likely to make them as happy as a rousing play session with their favorite person. Playing with your pooch is good not only for them but you, too, and the benefits go far beyond mere pleasure. You might be surprised to discover the biggest benefits of playing with your dog.
1. Learning new skills
You don’t have to choose games to play with dogs based solely on their training value. However, playing with your dog can offer valuable opportunities for learning and training. Whether you are incorporating scent work into hide-and-seek or working those muscles in the obstacle course, you can keep your dog’s skillsets growing while reinforcing good behavior. Switch things up from time to time to keep your dog excited and engaged and their brain active and sharp.
2. Burning off some energy
Everyone needs exercise to stay healthy, and dog games can be a good way for both of you to get more activity in your day. Tug-of-war, flirt poles, catch, and Frisbee are all great ways to burn off that energy and keep your bodies moving. Playtime should not replace a daily walk but can be a great add-on, especially for those high-energy dogs, like terriers or herding breeds.
3. Promoting good behavior
We know your dog is the best boy or girl, but bored dogs can get into all kinds of trouble. When a dog does not have enough mental or physical outlets, they tend to devise their own entertainment. That could mean trash rummaging, digging, chewing, barking, paw licking, or even running away. If your dog has picked up a few bad habits, it might need something fun to do. Rotate your dog games regularly to keep it fresh or schedule a visit to dog daycare to mix it up.
4. Combatting stress
Stress can trigger anxiety in dogs and humans alike. Fight back against stress with playtime. Take a time-out from the worries of your day-to-day life just to kick back with your pup. Playtime with your dog cannot just calm your mind but also alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Schedule in some extra fun games to play with dogs, such as bubbles, treat hide-and-seek, or the shell game for a powerful mood booster.
5. Building bonds
You love your dog, and your dog loves you. What better way to demonstrate that love than with some high-quality playtime? Playing with your pup is not only fun but it builds the connection between the two of you and helps reinforce a healthy routine. Depending on your playtime strategy, it might even help you build bonds with others, too, especially if you schedule doggy playdates with friends or at Playful Pack doggy daycare.
Visit Playful Pack Dog Daycare today to give your dog a change of pace.