Reports indicate that over 470 million dogs around the world are kept as household pets. Their popularity isn’t surprising considering the warmth and companionship they offer their owners.
Dogs are one of the few creatures that are not only domesticated but can be trained to perform several tricks. You shouldn’t be too overzealous when developing fun activities for you and your furry companion, with safety an important aspect of any interaction. Some tips you can follow while playing with your dog include:
Don’t play rough
It’s important to consider some issues when playing with your furry friend, as some activities can lead to casualties. The first rule of playing with your canine friend is to maintain a fun and non-threatening attitude when interacting with your four-legged companion. If your dog sprained his leg or fell down badly and got hurt while playing a game of fetch or something similar, learn from the mistake and avoid doing it in the future.
OurFitPets.com mentions that dogs react according to the conditions of their environment, and if they feel threatened, they could run off or attack what they view as potential danger. It’s crucial that a dog feels safe when interacting with their owners.
Any form of roughhousing should be avoided, including tugging or yanking at the dog’s fur or ears and forcefully kicking or throwing objects in their direction. If you’re playing catch with your dog, for example, you should throw the ball with a soft lob and not like you’re pitching for the Yankees.
Inspect the environment
Your surroundings should always be considered when playing with your dog, especially when it’s off its leash. Ideally, your backyard would be a great place for playful interaction as there’s likely to be little danger in that environment.
Nearby parks are the next best thing if you don’t have the luxury of a backyard. You should also choose one location and stick to it when it comes to selecting a playground.
Repeatedly playing in one place gives your furry friend the opportunity to get used to the environment, allowing them to improve their bearing and navigation when moving around various obstacles.
Before settling on a playground, you should consider potential dangers like nearby busy roads, broken glass on the grounds and anything else that represents a threat to your pet.
Discourage playing indoors
Playing indoors with your pet is never a good idea – no matter how well behaved your dog is. There are numerous ways that you or your canine partner can injure yourselves in the process. From the sharp edges on furniture to heavy objects that could crash down, the house is full of dangerous potential.
Playing indoors will also almost definitely lead to the destruction of property in the process. Dogs don’t know how to control themselves and should they get too excited, the possibility of knocking over a vase or other items skyrockets.
Stay in control
It’s essential that your dog views you as the alpha in the relationship if you’re to maintain discipline. You should be in control during all events, deciding when the games start and stop.
If your dog insists on continuing its play when it’s time to leave the park, for example, you must stand firm in your decision despite the sympathetic looks and whimpers it gives you.
Teach your dog to follow commands
Training your dog to follow simple commands like sit and stay is essential in maintaining safety levels. Letting a dog run free without supervision can be dangerous for your furry companion, as it may unheedingly run into the middle of the road or fall down a manhole in its excitement. By exercising simple commands, you can ensure that you have better control over your dog’s actions.