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The Benefits of Play for Dogs

It’s a safe bet that your dog loves to play. Did you know that playtime is about much more than good old fun? For Fido, playing regularly is an essential part of good health! Learn more here from a vet in Carlisle, ON.

Exercise

The first benefit of playtime is that it provides your dog with regular exercise, which is essential for good health all across the board. Exercising your dog daily helps burn calories and reduce excess body fat, tone your pooch’s muscles, and keep joints limber. It helps to avoid dangerous obesity, which can in turn lead to a host of other health problems. Try playing games with your dog, like fetch or tug-of-war, to really get him moving.

Improved Behaviour

Another benefit of regular play is that it will improve your dog’s behaviour. Dogs who remain cooped up indoors all day without an outlet for their pent-up energy are likely to act out. This might manifest itself in such undesirable behaviours as aggression toward owners or other pets, house soiling, digging, chewing, or scratching, loud vocalizations, and more. While playing isn’t a cure-all for every bad behaviour, it ensures that your dog releases his energy and makes it more likely that he’ll be tired at the end of the day.

Mental Stimulation

Just as important as exercising your dog’s body is exercising his mind. Mental stimulation is very important for your pooch! Games, puzzle toys, and even homemade obstacle courses are great ideas for helping to exercise your dog’s mind; these efforts will keep your dog’s reaction times quick and the reflexes sharp, and they let your dog use his natural hunting and tracking instincts. Training your dog to follow commands or perform tricks can also be very helpful.

Bonding Opportunities

Here’s another benefit of playing with your dog that you may not have considered: by spending quality time together on a regular basis, you’re strengthening the incredible bond that you share. After all, dogs are social animals. The relationship that you and your dog have is an important one—nurture it with quality time spent together, enjoying each other’s company through playtime. Your dog will thank you!

Would you like to learn more about your dog’s exercise routine? Wondering about the best toys that suit your canine companion’s particular needs? We are here to help. Set up an appointment with your Carlisle, ON veterinary clinic today.

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