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The Importance of Playtime for Your Dog or Cat

Playtime is very important for our animal companions. For one thing, it’s a lot of fun! Playing is also about much more, though. Learn more below from a vet in Jacksonville, FL.

Exercise

A pet who is playing on a daily basis is getting the essential physical exercise that they need. Obesity is very common amongst domesticated cats and dogs, so exercise is extremely important. Exercising via play helps your pet to burn off excess calories, reduce body fat, tone muscles, and keep joints and tendons in good shape. Regular exercise can add years to a pet’s life! Try romping around with a favorite toy on the floor, or playing a fun game with your pet like fetch or tug-of-war.

Improved Behavior

Did you know that a pet who plays on a regular basis is likely to be far better behaved than a pet who doesn’t experience regular play? Pets who don’t play enough tend to exhibit undesirable behaviors such as aggression toward owners or other pets, loud vocalizations, house soiling and/or urine spraying, scratching, chewing, digging, counter-raiding, and much more. Do your part to avoid these hassles by getting your pet active on a daily basis with fun playtime.

Mental Stimulation

Playing is your pet’s way of engaging their mind, so it’s very important for proper mental stimulation. Put simply, a pet who is bored will probably act out in ways you don’t want them to! For our feline friends, toys that mimic prey animals (such as fake mice or birds) are a great idea—they let your cat exercise their natural hunting and stalking instincts. For our canine companions, chew toys, puzzle toys, games, and even obstacle courses help to keep the mind and body stimulated. Obedience and command training also work well to keep your pooch’s mind in tip-top shape.

Bonding Time

Here’s another benefit of regular pet playtime: it serves as wonderful bonding time between pet and owner. Playtime is a key way of strengthening the important connection you have with your animal companion; work on that on a daily basis, because it’s likely to be one of the most meaningful relationships you’ll ever know!

Would you like recommendations on the right kind of play for your pet? Does your animal companion need vaccinations, pest-control medicines, or a veterinary exam? Set up an appointment with your Jacksonville, FL veterinary clinic today. We’re always here to help!

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