Playing Games With Your Dog Keeps It Healthy
Having Fun With Your Dog
You and your dog can have great fun when you play together with its toys. Walks and exercise are important, too, as is healthy dog food.
For an all around happy and healthy dog, you should set aside some time every day so you can play a few games and interact in a happy environment.
Depending on what game you and your dog play you are stimulating its mind. Dogs need to be able to eliminate boredom during the day. This is especially important if you only have one dog.
Most pet dogs, no matter what breed we have, used to be bred for other reasons. All breeds of dogs have their own unique traits encoded in their DNA. Their natural instincts are still within them.
These traits include their need to dig things up and bury things. Their instincts also urge them to run after moving objects, catch them, and chew them to bits.
They love to jump around and explore and retrieve things they find and bring them back to show us.
As responsible owners, we should encourage our dogs to use these instincts during playtime. This stops them becoming bored and frustrated with their life.
Improving Your Dog's Health
When your dog is running about retrieving a ball or tearing after a toy you have thrown you are giving it added exercise both physically and mentally. Playtime helps with concentration, obedience, and self control. It gives your dog exercise that will keep its weight down and help towards a healthy heart.
Your dog wants to please you and loves your company. It will have fun playing with you and a toy while also learning. There is no better way to teach it some commands like fetch, drop, sit and stay than playtime a few minutes a day.
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What Are the Best Toys for Your Dog?
Each dog will have their own favorite toy. Your pet will soon let you know. My dog Lexie does not really like to play with balls. She finds it hard to keep in her mouth and prefers to run after the plastic bones or animals. There are loads of great toys for dogs that you can buy that will stimulate its mental abilities and give it physical exercise too.
- Balls and Frisbees. These are the most common toys bought. They are great for your dog when you want to use up its excess energy.
- Ropes are Great for Tug of War Games. They can be thrown for your dog to fetch and then used to have a pulling fight. My dog Lexie loves this game the best. The dog can also sit on its own and chew any rope toys. This is good for their teeth and helps them get their chewing tendencies out of their system. This will save you from your dog chewing on your furniture or shoes.
- Plastic Animal Toys. These are very good for your pet because you can get them with a squeaky noise too. They think the toy is alive and have great fun running after it and attacking it. Your dog's natural instinct is to run after and attack its prey. With the plastic animal toys this gives them the illusion of doing this without anything being hurt or killed.
- Fluffy Toys. By catching it and shaking the toy in its mouth your dog feels it has caught and killed it. When playing this game make sure you also catch the toy and shake it too. This way your dog knows it is okay to play this type of game and have great fun doing it too.
- Bubbles. You can buy special dog bubbles that smell of various meats, buy the bubbles made for children, or make your own. This gives them lots of fun and exercise as they jump up and down trying to catch the bubbles and then when they burst the dogs just keep going after new ones. If you have small children they too will want to join in this play.
Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. has written many books on dogs and dog behavior.
He claims that dogs have the intelligence of that of a human child of about the age two to two and half years old.
Most dogs can understand more than one and fifty words in their lifetime. The more intelligent breeds can learn over two hundred and fifty words.
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Enjoying Your Dog
So as you can see it is important for your dog to enjoy playtime with you and your family. You are providing your dog with mental stimulation and physical exercise.
By doing this in a fun and happy way you are also improving the bond between you and your dog.
My dog Lexie is a Yorkshire Terrier. She has plenty of energy and loves to stalk and attack her toys and then has great fun shaking them to death. This is what she would do if she was in the wild so it comes naturally to her.
Owning a dog is a privilege which we should all appreciate by making our pet part of the family. This means plenty of playtime and fun.