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How to play with your dog | Tips & Advice

How to play with your dog

Nothing beats playing with your dog. From fetch at the park to joint activities, there is always something to do. It is important to make sure you do it safely though. Here are some playing tips for you and your dog.

Indoor play with your dog

Whether you’ve got lots of space or not so much, there are plenty of games you can play with your dog indoors. This includes brainwork, such as puzzles and playing with toys. There are some things to take into account when playing indoors to ensure your dog’s safety. Be careful with running on slippery floors. Your dog may slip during rough games and injure its joints, muscles and tendons. Make sure your home is suitable for a dog without any hazards in sights, such as glass, vases, hard or sharp objects, open fire or boiling water. Check out our blog ‘A dog-friendly home’ for additional tips on creating a pleasant and safe living environment for your dog.

Outdoor play with your dog

Who doesn’t want to take their dog out when the weather is nice? Your dog can enjoy itself to the fullest in the outdoors, but once again there are some things you need to take care of to ensure its safety. Always keep an eye out for traffic, such as cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Don’t play near a road or bicycle path to avoid dangerous situations. And then there are shards of glass and other waste that may injure your dog. Be mindful about sharp fences and barbed wire. If you’ve got a nice garden where your dog likes to play, make sure you keep it dog friendly as well. Provide some shade and remove any plants that are poisonous to your dog. Read all about dog-friendly gardens in the blog ‘Making your garden dog friendly’.

Outdoor play with your dog

Safe play with your dog

Safety first; for your pet and for yourself. Use the advice in this article to make your dog’s play as safe as possible. But keep your own safety in mind as well, with the following rules:

  • Don’t let your dog win the game all the time. Of course, your dog will love to win, but if it wins too often, this may undermine your dominant role as its owner;
  • Which brings us to the second rule: you are in charge! You decide when it is time to play, when to stop playing and what the rules are;
  • Keep a close eye on your dog’s behaviour. Some dogs can get overly fanatical and display aggressive behaviour. Avoid this by observing your dog’s behaviour and stopping in time.

Read more about safe play with your dog

Playing with children

Children love playing with dogs. But it is important to keep some things in mind, both for the safety of your kids and that of the dog. Dogs tend to view small children as subordinate to themselves in the family hierarchy. Your dog will not accept their orders and will not let them lead the game. Never leave young children alone to play with the dog to avoid dangerous situations. In addition, teach, your child to handle the dog carefully and never to pull its ears to sit or lie down on top of the animal. Do not allow your children to walk the dog on their own and teach them that the dog needs to be left alone when resting in its basket.

Safe toys for your dog

You can buy lots of different toys for dogs. And then there are loads of fun DIY tips to make your own toys for your pet. But we can’t stress this enough: be careful. Toys that aren’t designed properly or consists of fragile material, can be very dangerous for your pet. There are several things for you to pay attention to, such as the material. Dog toys are usually made of rubber or soft plastic. But with their sharp teeth and strength, dogs tend to chew these toys to smithereens. Make sure they don’t contain any toxic substances, such as certain types of dye. Plus, keep an eye out for loose parts, like bells or fringe. They can get torn off of the toy and end up in your dog’s stomach, which can be dangerous. 

People like to throw branches; this seems innocent enough but it can, in fact, be dangerous. The branch or part of it may end up in the windpipe and do considerable damage. It is best to opt for a sturdy ball or a toy made for fetch instead.

Exercising with your dog

Different types of games

There are all kinds of games you can play with your dog. Play is a great way of challenging your dog both physically and mentally. Here are some examples:

  • Brainwork: Dogs like a good brain teaser, like puzzles and treasure hunts.
  • Fetch: Throwing a ball or frisbee for your dog to bring back… fetch is an entertaining activity for dog and owner alike, best played outdoors.
  • Pulling games: some dogs love to play a pulling game with you. Use a rope or other suitable toy. Keep in mind that pulling games are not suitable for children. And avoid playing pulling games with teething pups.
  • Exercising with your dog: one way of approaching things more seriously, is to go exercise with your dog. There are various sports that you can practice together with your dog, such as agility, frisbee, doggy dancing and flyball.

Rewards or snacks during play

You will want to reward your dog while playing every now and then, e.g. with a treat. Go for small and healthy treats. Too many and overly energy-packed snacks may cause obesity. Yarrah offers tasty, small treats, such as the Mini Snack for dogs that are excellent for training as well as spoiling your pet.

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