Physical, Mental, Emotional and……. just because!
We Love Our Pets!
We love our pets and want the absolute best for them. Most of us spend a lot of time with our pets - taking them to training classes, researching food choices, bringing them along on trips and trying to make sure they get plenty of exercise. But is your pet getting enough playtime?
Below are just a few reasons why we need to set aside at least fifteen minutes every single day to simply play with our pets.
Improved, Long-term Physical Health
Keeping our pets fit and healthy just makes good common and even fiscal sense. We all like our local veterinarian, but let’s face it, the less we see them the better, at least when it comes to office visits. It’s becoming more and more expensive to visit the vet these days. A simple thing like playing with your pets can help cut down on trips to your pet doctor.
One of the things humans, dogs, and cats share is the need to move. Sitting in one spot for hours on end isn’t good for the body. Playing for 10 to 15 minutes a day does wonders to improve everyone’s cardiovascular health, helping maintain a healthy weight, improved flexibility, and better muscle tone. Your dog needs twice daily walks (ideally, you should spend an hour a day walking dogs) but they’ll be healthy when they also get to play. If you’re unable to get down on the floor and wrestle with your dog or cat, there are plenty of toys on the market that allow you to do less of the work and still get them moving and exercising.
Improved Cognitive Health
Frustrated because your pet continually destroys your possessions? More often than not there’s more to this problem. Most pet owners are just resigned to the notion that it’s “just my pet’s personality”. Many discover the root of the issue stems from a lack of attention and play.
Routine play sessions encourage your pets to use all of their cognitive functions, and the more your pet uses their brain, the less destructive and anxious they’ll feel. For tightly wound dogs, in addition to regular play sessions and play groups, consider feeding them using treat and food dispenser toys that have been designed to act as puzzles and brain twisters. Exercise their mind and the body will follow!
Improve your Relationship with your Pet
You will be amazed by how much closer you feel to your pet after you make play a regular part of your life. Not only will you find that both of you look forward to spending time goofing off, but you're mental and physical health will actually improve at the same rate as your pet's.
Don’t forget, just like you want to get the maximum value for your workout time, it’s good to vary the types of exercises you and your pet engage in as well. Excellent choices include:
- Wrestling matches
- Games of tug
- Hide and seek
Taking your pet to the parks is another great way to get them some different types of exercise while letting them interact with others. This type of play is healthy and fun for you and your pet. Pet Parks stimulate them mentally as well as physically so there is a double benefit and the perfect way to work out some of that extra anxiety that comes with being cooped up all day long.
Pets are people too!
“Pets are people too” - I know, maybe a little overboard, but you know we all treat our pets like people. They have feelings, fears, and anxieties that need to be worked out from time to time. Regular play sessions are invaluable when working towards that end. We’re all busy, but setting aside some time for pet play every day will pay dividends in some obvious and some not so obvious ways. Even if it’s only a couple 10-15 minute sessions a day, you and your pet will be better for the quality time you spend together.