Dogs playing outsideNot many things are better than grabbing some quality playtime with your four-legged friend outside in the fresh air. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have the outside space or neighborhood to play with their dogs in. That just makes it more challenging to get in your bonding time. With a little creativity you’ll be able to find the perfect game both for ­your space and your pet’s exercise needs.

The importance of playing with and socializing your dog is comparable to playing with a child. If you want your pup to grow into a loving, happy-go-lucky dog, quality playtime is essential. We love to play different types of games with our pets to keep them active, well-behaved and happy. The next time you’re trying to think of a game to play with your dog, why not give one of our fan favorites a try:

Water dog

1. Doggy Treat Hunt. If you ever looked for easter eggs or hidden matzah when you were younger, remember how much fun it was? For dogs, there’s a yummy version of these games that you two can play year-round. Grab one of your dogs favorite, smelly treats. Give them a good whiff of a treat under their nose, and then put them in a room while you hide a few around your home. Once all the treats are hidden, let your doggy loose. Hold your hand to your pup’s nose so they remember what smelled so good– if you have to, lead them to the first treat to help them get the hang of it. Be careful not to use too many treats or do this game too often, you don’t want to make your furry friend fat!

2. Stair Play! This one’s also a great exercise outlet for dogs that don’t have access to big backyards. Make your dog sit and then stay at the bottom of your staircase. Then, throw a ball up the stairs and let your dog run up to get it. ** NOTE: No puppies allowed! Don’t play this game with your dog until its limbs are fully developed.**

Dogs in life jackets3. Water Fetch. It’s no secret almost all dogs love water, and there’s a bunch of water lovin’ breeds out there: Labrador retrievers, Irish setters, English Setters, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Newfoundlands, golden retrievers, standard poodles, springer spaniels, Portuguese water dogs, the list goes on. Nothing’s more fun then watching your little buddy frolic in the water like there’s no tomorrow—not to mention it’s awesome exercise. If you have a puppy who’s going swimming for the first time, you might want to put a tiny life vest on them (it’s cute and safe!).

4. Obstacle Courses. One of our absolute favorite things to do with our dogs is to set up an obstacle course and watch them run through. You can take set up your obstacle course a bunch of different ways, let your imagination guide you. Put up some blankets in high piles to create a barricade for your dog to jump over. Have them go through it by inspiring them with treats. Give them praise when due. Dogs absolutely love obstacle courses, and it’s super fun watching ’em go through them!

Get creative with your dog’s exercise regiments and playtime! It’ll help you to become a more active, better pet parent and your dog love you for it. More tips to come in two weeks!

Till next time,Heart paw
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