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Playtime is a Necessity, Not a Luxury for Dogs

man and dog playing with KONG box dog toy

While fetch and tug-of-war are fun for humans and dogs alike, games are more beneficial for your dog than you may think. From physical wellness to good behavior, the benefits of playtime will help your dog be their happiest and healthiest selves. So, before you skip out on that game of frisbee, learn about the reasons why playtime is a necessity.

Playtime Strengthens the Owner-Pet Bond

It’s no surprise that spending quality time with your dog, such as playing games, is a great way to bond with your pup. Unlike most mammals, dogs love to play well into adulthood, whether it’s socially with others or with their favorite toy. Dogs’ playfulness is also shared by humans, explaining why it’s so effortless for you and your pup to have a great time together.

A study by the Anthrozoology Institute, School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol suggests that playfulness in dogs is a trait selected during domestication and is a big part of the emotional bonds between canines and their owners. So, if you’re looking for a way to become closer with your dog, playtime is your chance to show your dog you care. You can’t go wrong with a friendly game of tug-of-war with Fido’s favorite KONG toy. Do you have questions about how to strengthen you bond with your pet? Look no further than KONG Club for access to beahaviorists, nutritionists and veterinary experts.

Playtime Improves Physical Health

Whether you spend more time on your couch or your feet, you’re likely aware of the primary benefits of exercise. From improving your health to managing your waistline, there is a variety of positives from paying some extra attention to your figure and activity. Similar to humans, dogs also need their fair share of play.

Some breeds require rigorous exercise while others only need a short stroll, but all dogs must exercise daily. It’s good for their physical well-being and helps maintain strong muscles and healthy joints. A good workout also helps combat anxiety with a good dose of endorphins. If they aren’t active enough, your four-legged companion could get in trouble or turn to bad habits, such as excessive chewing, to pass the time. Even if your pup isn’t a hunting or herding breed, being given a job, like catching a frisbee, lets him act on his instincts. With a little bit of playtime each day, your dog will quickly tire with a big smile on their face.

Playtime for Mental Stimulation

Along with a frolic through the park, dogs need mental stimulation to boost their brainpower. Mental stimulation is a critical for part of your dog’s emotional wellness.  Toys that hide a treat, like the iconic KONG Classic or bounce in unpredictable directions are a great way to take your dog’s playtime to the next level. Not only are brain games enjoyable for your companion, but they’ll also decrease behavioral issues. Why would your dog tip over the trash can when he can have fun with his toys? To ensure your canine can stay focused and active throughout the day, check out KONG toys and treats. Our cognitive toys can help Fido learn new skills, stay healthy and have fun!

Playtime as a Way to Train

As puppies, canines quickly learn basic manners from socializing. If they’re too rough, they’ll likely receive a nip from their littermate or mother. From then on, they’ll have a better understanding of how to behave while playing. While owners may not respond the same way as a puppy’s mom, dogs still learn from their humans. In addition to gaining social information from their own experiences, they’re able to observe and pick up on social cues from their owners and third parties. Playtime with your furry friend is a perfect way to train and promote good behavior. With interactive games like tug-of-war, pups learn to control their impulses and be more gentle when using their mouths. In no time, your furry friend will rule with the dog park with good manners and friendly play strategies.

No matter your dog’s age or activity level, a little extra playtime goes a long way. At the end of the day, a dog simply needs to play to live a happy and healthy life. To take your games up a notch, work with the trainer sand behaviorists with KONG Club!