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Why Playtime is So Important for You and Your Dog

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  • 20 July 2018
  • Pet Wants

Just like high quality food, play is very important element of your dog’s well-being. The importance of play isn’t just a belief. It’s been validated through scientific research. In a study of over 4,000 dogs by Bristol University, researchers found that dogs who don’t engage in a lot of play suffer from behavioral issues like anxiety and aggression.

Less play time also leads to an increase in whining, jumping up, and not coming when called. The research found that a lack of play can cause up to 22 different behavioral issues. These undesirable behaviors include anxiety, aggression, pulling while on a leash, whining, and not coming when called.

Understanding the Role of Play

Most mammals limit play to youth. However, humans and dogs are two exceptions to this rule. Play is something that both pups and humans benefit from well into adulthood. Dogs need to engage in fun activities just like humans to keep them both mentally and physically fit.

During the course of their study, the researchers at Bristol University found a strong correlation between lack of play and increased behavioral issues with dogs. Given the necessity of play for dogs to thrive both physically and mentally, let’s take a look at more insights into playing with dogs.

Making the Most of Play with Dogs

Just as dogs come in all sizes, their personalities can vary a lot in terms of energy and endurance, so the optimal amount of daily play for one dog may be quite different for another. What matters most is playing with your dog every day and finding the duration that seems ideal for your pup.

If you notice that your dog is doing tricks that seem like an attempt to lengthen playtime, there’s a good chance your dog is doing this on purpose and extending your playtime session by even a few minutes can ensure your pet is happy and worn out.

Make the most of playing with your dog is by trying different games. Playing in a variety of ways can help you identify which games your dog enjoys most. Then over the course of a week, you can easily rotate through those games to keep your dog fully engaged.

One other tip to keep in mind is you can always add a little playtime on to the beginning or end of a walk. Making play a regular part of your routine will keep your dog very healthy and happy!