Most of us dog owners enjoy playing with our dogs because it gives us a lot of fun, and we’re sure that our dogs get the same level of pleasure from it. However, there are some bigger reasons why we should all be playing with our four-legged friends far more often:
It’s Good for Their Physical Health
Just as us humans need to stay active if we are to maintain a healthy body, so do our dogs. In fact, many breeds of dogs need even more exercise than the average human because they have been bred to be active for hundreds of years.
As well as helping dogs stay trim, regular physical play can help to keep joints lubricated, and ensure that your dogs have a good level of balance and co-ordination, especially if you’re playing games like catch and tug or war with them.
It’s Great for Their Mental Health
Playing games that have more complex rules that your dog will need to work out and follow in order to win, are fantastic at keeping your dog’s brain healthy and his mind sharp. There are lots of puzzle toys you can buy for dogs which will do this, but you can get creative and improvise if you would like!
It Improves Their Social Skills
It’s really important that our dogs have good social skills. So that they can play nicely around other humans and dogs alike. Playing with your dog helps her to learn basic rules, and this makes it easier for her to act properly when it really matters. If you can get a group of neighbourhood dogs together to play at a young age, they will be much happier around other animals, and the same goes for having them play with lots of different people too.
It Helps Them Sleep
Dogs with sleeping problems often have not been active enough during the day. This leads to them being too restless to sleep well. So if you want your dog to get a good night’s sleep so that you can get a good night’s sleep too, a good game of tug of war followed up by a few rounds of fetch is sure to help. If it doesn’t, you may want to rule out other, more serious causes of his insomnia.
It’ll Build Your Bond
Perhaps the most important benefit of playing with your dog as often as you can is the fact that it will help to strengthen the bonds you share. They say that dogs are a man’s best friend, and this is certainly true in most cases, but if you play together daily there will be no doubt that your dog would do anything for you and vice versa.
It’s Good for Your Health Too
Yes, taking time to play with your dog every day is likely to be good for your health too. Spending time with dogs, and other pets, has been shown to have a calming effect on humans, with some studies suggesting it could help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression too. Not only that, but if you happen to play physical games like chase or frisbee throwing it could be good for your physical health too.