Having playtime is important for children’s physical and emotional development. Surprisingly, this is also true for pets – not just for dogs, but also for cats, and other pets!
In 1964, a study found out that rats raised in an enriched environment -where they had been regularly stimulated by play – had bigger brains and so we’re more likely to successfully find their way through mazes, which indicated a link between play and learning. Unfortunately, in our busy schedules, it’s easy to overlook the importance of stimulating our pets regularly and scheduling time for them.
Pets that don’t have regular playtime suffer from a wide range of behavioral issues including depression and anxiety. With less stimulation, disobedient behavior increased such as pulling on the lead, ignoring commands, unwanted jumping up, and destroying objects at home. On the other hand, those who can play have their motor skills stimulated and increase their bonds with owners and other pets in the household.
One common misconception is that we can give our pets a toy and leave them to it. Research highlights that it’s the type of play that is important. The right kind of play involves us, as owners, spending time with them – providing personal, interactive stimulation to truly engage them. There isn’t, though, a universal rule about how much time it’s necessary, as this varies according to the breed and the age of your pet. The important thing is the quality.
Another option is to find a responsible doggie daycare facility where your friend can interact and socialize with other friends! Hollywood Houndz offers a half-day or a full day of fun. All interactions are supervised and dogs are rotated to guarantee that they have a safe and fun experience.
As owners understand their pet’s routine better than anyone, it’s up to them to determine the ideal time for fun. It can be either a walk early in the morning, running late in the afternoon, or playing in your backyard in the evening. Pay attention to your friend’s “body clock”, which will help you determine which time of the day he’s more receptive.
As all animals love toys, go and shop for some! Select with care and make sure any toy you give them is suitable. Be careful not to introduce too many toys at one time and be sure not to overcrowd enclosures. For dogs and cats, the classic game of fetch is ideal, however, some balls and frisbees can damage their teeth. Instead, choose a rubber or natural latex toy that will be kind to teeth and gums but durable enough to withstand some rough and tumble. Always supervise your pet when playing and inspect toys regularly for damage.
We would like to hear from you about your furry friend’s playtime! If you have questions, please come and talk with us and we’ll be happy to share our experience with you!