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Playing With Your Dog

March 16, 2023

Did you know that playing is very beneficial for dogs? It’s great physical activity, and also keeps your canine companion happy and entertained. While playing with Fido isn’t exactly rocket science, there are some things to keep in mind. Here, a Kitchener, ON vet offers some advice on playing with Fido.

Choose The Right Toys

While Fido may be delighted to see you pull any new plaything out of a box or bag, dog toys are not one-size-fits-all. One pooch may love running after a Frisbee, while another may just want to play Fetch with a plushie toy. Offer your furry buddy a variety, and see what he likes best. 

It’s also important to choose toys that are the right size. Your four-legged friend could get seriously hurt playing with something that’s too big or too small for him! Tennis balls are a good example of this. They can make great playthings for some pups, but can be choking hazards for larger dogs and aggressive chewers.

Make It Routine

Fido may have an adventurous streak, but for the most part he’s a creature of habit, and feels safest on a set, structured schedule. Try to play with your canine pal regularly and, if possible, at the same time each day. 

Keep It Polite

Some dogs get a bit too worked up about playing. This can be dangerous, as it can trigger aggressive tendencies. If Fido gets too into games like Tug O War, stick with other options. You may also want to consult a pet behaviorist.

Customize It

Not all types of play are suitable for every pup. Many large breeds should not be encouraged to jump or stand, because of the stress it puts on their hips. Brachycephalic dogs, on the other paw, lose their breath quickly, and shouldn’t be encouraged to run or jump. Fido’s age, size, and health will also factor in here. Do some breed research, and ask your vet for more information.

Choose Safety

Always put your canine buddy’s safety first. Take care not to overexert, aggravate, or distress your cute pet. Also, always choose safe areas to play in. Avoid spots near potential hazards like pools and fireplaces. (It’s probably best to stay away from your grandmother’s antique teapot collection as well.)

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Kitchener, ON animal clinic, anytime!

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