The Importance of Playtime for Your Dog

The Importance of Playtime for Your Dog

Dogs love playing for one simple reason: it’s a blast! Many of us dog owners love playtime for exactly the same reason. However, playing is also an important factor in your canine companion’s health. Here, your Fox Chapel, PA veterinarian tells you more.

Physical Benefits

The major benefit of regular playtime is that it offers your dog physical activity on a regular basis, which is imperative for good health. Having your pet exercise helps to burn off calories, reduce body fat levels, keep the joints and tendons functioning properly, and keep Fido’s musculature toned. Every day, have your dog jog through the backyard, go on walks through the neighborhood, or romp around on the floor with a favorite toy.

Behavior Improvement

Did you know that dogs who receive regular playtime and exercise are, on the whole, far better behaved than those who don’t? That’s because dogs who play are allowed an appropriate outlet for their energy. Pets who are cooped up inside most of the time will build up energy and release it in undesirable ways, such as chewing, scratching, loud vocalizations, digging, escape attempts, and even house soiling. By having your pet play regularly, you’re saving yourself a lot of trouble!

Mental Stimulation

Hand in hand with behavior comes mental stimulation, a great benefit of regular playtime for dogs. Simply put, your dog’s playtime is also exercise for their mind; it keeps reflexes sharp and reaction times fast. Try playing tug-of-war or fetch in the backyard, setting up a makeshift obstacle course in the basement using pillows and couch cushions, or starting a training regimen for a new trick or command. Hide-and-seek around the house using a few tasty dog treats is another great option. Your dog will have a lot of fun while also using their brain!

Great Bonding Time

Don’t forget about an additional benefit of play for both you and your dog: quality bonding time. The relationship you have with your four-legged friend is not to be underestimated—it may be one of the strongest you’ll ever know! Playing regularly helps you and your dog to deepen your connection and enjoy each other’s company every day.

Does your dog need an examination? Do you have more questions about the proper play techniques for your canine companion? Set up an appointment at River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, for help from the professionals.

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