Having a healthy and happy dog in the family: The importance of play.
When you have a pet dog, there are so many things to think about.
Right from the start it can almost be like having a newborn baby, as there are similar things like regular feeding and waking up in the night that will happen.
Then, as you start to get into the swing of things, there are many other things to consider about making sure you have a healthy and happy dog in your family.
Some of these are the importance of play, are they eating enough of the right foods, and are they getting enough exercise?
We often forget that part of their exercise should be playing with us, their owners, but how much and how often should you play with your pet dog?
Here are some ideas of what will be most beneficial for your pet dog.
Knowing how much and how often does depend on your breed of dog and also their size.
Most dogs should have at least one walk out per day, but play should be a separate part of the day from the walks.
Play should be around twice a day if possible, for around fifteen minutes each time.
You might have a busy schedule where you need to schedule in the time to play, and that is completely fine.
For others, it might be more spontaneous. However it happens, just make sure that it happens regularly.
Teach your dog.
As part of the play process, you can teach your dog new skills aside from the usual sit and stay.
These include how to fetch things and to drop things, both of which can be used in everyday life.
When you are out on walks, you could ask your dog to fetch a ball or a stick for you.
The command to drop something is useful if they’ve managed to put themselves at risk by getting into something that is dangerous for them.
So, play is not only fun, but it will actually help your dog in their life, and the training will help you to learn new skills.
Join a group.
We can all play fetch, tug of war or hide and seek with our dogs, but after a while, it might become a little tedious.
In that case, it would be good to look into some agility groups, where your dog can learn to jump up and down, over obstacles and run through hoops; literally!
This is especially important for the more active and intelligent breeds such as the collie and german shepherd.
Any precautions to take?
There are no set precautions to take when it comes to playing with your dog.
However, it wouldn’t be good to play with them when they are feeling unwell.
Likewise, you might not want to get on the floor and play with your dog, or allow them up on your furniture if they have ticks and fleas. This could lead to a very uncomfortable situation for yourself as well as your dog.
Everyday grooming and care, as well as a supplement like advantage multi for dogs will reduce the chance of them getting fleas or ticks – or help to get rid of them if they are already infested.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your pet dog?
I’d love to hear about it!