Playing is important for dogs. It’s not only a pleasurable pastime, but it’s an essential ingredient in the total wellbeing of most animals. Dogs thrive on interaction with their human friends as well as other pet companions. This sociable act serves many purposes, and play should factor into your dog’s daily routine. 

Playing keeps dogs active, healthy, and happy. This is why Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to spotlight this wonderful aspect of spending time with your four-legged pal.

5 Great Reasons Why Playing Is Important for Dogs

Along with how much of a joy it is for you to share some playtime with your bestie, there are excellent benefits in doing so for your dog. Dogs are naturally curious. They enjoy doing a variety of things, from playing fetch, sleuthing out new scents, and running after their favorite toy.

It is a no-brainer that dogs like to play, but what advantages can they gain from this simple act?

  1. It’s good for their health — Playing is a crucial part of your pet’s exercise needs. Most forms of playing expend energy, build muscle mass, and encourage cardiovascular health. As a rule, dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to maintain good health and stay fit. Those who are high energy breeds probably need more time engaging in fast-paced activities, like fetch, running, and agility training.
  2. Your dog will be better behaved — A bored dog is a naughty one in many cases. So, by giving your pup lots of enrichment and activities for enjoyment, you can keep them focused and engaged. Giving your pet the right outlet for their energy curbs the tendency for them to exhibit bad behaviors. You should see less whining, chewing, and getting into things they shouldn’t. Consider your pet’s fitness level, age, and what games they really get into to promote good doggie behavior.
  3. Playtime equals happy time — Just like when we are able to move and engage in enjoyable pursuits, your dog will totally appreciate the pleasure of play. Play is a wonderful way to elevate your dog’s mood and overall emotional and behavioral health. Even 15 minutes a day of playtime can go toward improved quality of life for your furry loved one. It can also help in areas of anxiety, stress, and depression in dogs.
  4. You will form a stronger bond — Interacting with your pet increases the bond you share. Because you are both engaged in something fun, there will be a sense of togetherness that your dog will certainly feel. Exercising with your pet reduces stress and gives them a sense of ease and comfort. This translates to mean: whenever they are with you, they are safe and happy! You will also feel the same emotions when connecting closely with your beloved Fido.
  5. Play reinforces training skills — Through training, you can introduce new commands that are challenging and entertaining for your pet. Trick training and agility training are both wonderful ways to increase your canine Einstein’s mental and physical acuity. For our senior citizen dogs, this form of play (using command training or puzzles and games) can bolster cognition.

What sort of games and activities does your dog respond to best? Playing is important for dogs of all ages and, as you have read, has great advantages in the areas of health, behavior, and wellness. 

If you would like more suggestions on playtime activities for your pawed friend, please do not hesitate to speak with your vet or call us.