One of the most enjoyable parts of being a pet owner is playing with your new friend spending time in those light-hearted moments that do so much to bond us and lift our spirits. But there is a serious side to play as well. Play is fundamentally good for your pet’s welfare – and yours. It has physical, social and cognitive benefits which improve the welfare of your pet and makes them much happier and well-behaved in turn. Plus, it’s a brilliant stress reliever for both of you! Need more convincing? Here’s why embracing play is a great idea…
Getting A Physical Exercise Boost
If you’re a dog owner, then you will probably have noticed the difference in your companion’s behavior and mood after a good long walk. Dogs need physical exercise each day, and if they don’t get it you may see bad behavior such as chewing things around the home and other destructive habits. It’s important to ensure that your dog gets enough physical exercise, and if you work outside of the home all day make sure you can fit in walks before and after your job or hire a dog walker to make sure those needs are covered. Add to their routine with playtime at home using Wood Bird Toy Parts to build something engaging. Or simple things like playing fetch and frisbee can do really well. Cats are more self reliant for exercise, but it may be worth investing in a cat toy laser pointer or squeaking toys or a ball to chase.
Strengthening Your Bond
As a pet owner your bond with your animals is a beautiful thing. Play is one of the keys to creating and cementing this bond, because you’re spending quality time together where you are just focused on your pet. The playfulness that humans, dogs and cats share is a joy and a huge part of what makes these relationships so special and enduring. Bonding with your pet is a really great experience, so playing and having fun together is key. Research suggests that a playful nature is a selective trait that was favored during domestication, so it’s a big factor in forming the attachments we make.
Providing Mental Stimulation
As highly intelligent animals, dogs and cats can be prone to boredom if they don’t get the mental stimulation provided by exercise. Brain games can help to enrich the lives of our pets and add a layer of meaning and a little challenge to their day. Because these activities combat boredom they also reduce the likelihood of destructive behaviors and excessive barking or clawing things in cats.
Making Training Fun
Play is also a great tool for working on basic training and manners. It’s a way that puppies and kittens start learning the boundaries – if they start playing too roughly you can chastise them and nip it in the bud. Interactive games like tug of war help tp teach impulse control to dogs and show them how to be gentle, which is especially important if you have children in the house.