Dog with twig in mouth - playing with owner

Benefits and Ways of Improving Your Pet’s Interest in Play

Not unlike humans, pets need physical stimulation to keep them happy, in good health and to prevent boredom. As many who work with children can attest, through play, we not only stimulate our minds, but we also learn a lot of valuable information about ourselves, as well as about the world in which we are immersed. If you aren’t sure how to play with your dog or cat, here’s a clue – do whatever feels fun and light hearted for both of you!

Start Early

The best time to start playing is right now! From the minute you take ownership of your new member of the family, get to know them, and see what they like and don’t like – stretch their imagination with new games and interests. This will also alleviate them from the opportunity of picking up bad habits to self soothe and alleviate their own boredom (which can lead to destruction of property). This will assist in bonding between the two of you.

Increase Brain Activity for Good Health

Playing with your pet is an important part of fostering your relationship and physical dexterity, while, at the same time, building on their brain function in the areas of memory and motor function, as well as staving off old age. Similar to humans, pets can also tend to start ‘winding down’ if they do not get enough stimulation to keep their minds and bodies active, which can then lead to other physical ailments and diseases.

Stretch Their Senses

Through play, you have the opportunity to expand your pet’s world and stretch all of its senses. If in doubt, join a forum, or use your imagination, and visit a pet or toy store for ideas. Different games will excite different animals. For cats, the old bell on a piece of string is a great way of stretching a few of their senses – sight as well as hearing. Hunting for treasure is a great way of stretching your dog’s sense of smell.

Training and Development

For both dogs and cats, training and developing their skills through play will assist in making your relationship more pleasant, especially if there are tasks or commands that would make your relationship more harmonious. The use of treats is encouraged as a means of inspiring their interest in learning new behaviours as well as in learning new tricks. There is a variety of different clicking games that will assist you in training your dog through play, so check out an online forum or do some extra reading.

At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage owners to make the time to spend some quality play time with their pet prior to bringing them for a stay, as this often assists them to feel more secure in your absence.