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Top 5 games to play with your dog

A lot of people focus on ensuring their dogs are getting enough physical exercise, but mental stimulation is just as important and playing games with your dog will tick both boxes simultaneously. As we all move towards a new normal, it is important to continue to bond with your dog. This will help reduce anxiety when you go back to work. Playing games with your dog, (even if short bursts of time) will really help keep them excited, engaged and stimulated. We have rounded up our top 5 games to play with your dog.

1. Play tug of war

If you are time-poor but you have an active dog, tug of war is a great game to play as it is a very intense form of exercise and you can play a quick game. You can also play inside or outside. Some people associate this game with aggression but the opposite is true. Tug of war strengthens your bond with your dog (although make sure you let them win too). It teaches great impulse control and it is a wonderful way to reinforce some obedience training.

Expert tip: make sure you stop the game when your dog mouths your hand, even if they are just being playful this will set the right boundaries and show your dog that when they mouth you, the game stops. They will learn quickly not to do this.

2. Hide the treat

Hide the treat is one of our favourite games to play with your dog. It is another way to help harness their problem-solving skills. Hide the treat is simple, all you need is an object or place that is difficult to get to and a delicious smelling treat. Make sure you leave a trail of scent using the treat to help lead your dog to the hiding spot. Take this game a step further by using the expression in your commands. For example, if you say ‘cold’ when your dog gets further away, make sure you say it in a calm voice, likewise if you say ‘hot’ say it with excitement to let your dog know they are on to a good thing.

3. Fetch

An oldie but a goodie – fetch has been proven to help relieve anxiety in dogs. When your dog is tired, they are happy to relax and sleep. Fetch will help strengthen your bond with your dog too, allowing you to enjoy each other’s company and have a lasting impact on your interactions throughout the day. Fetch is good for you too, playing fetch with your dog will increase your endorphins after a long day at work, it helps you practice mindfulness and be in the present moment with your dog, rather than on your smartphone.

4. Puzzle toys

Let’s be honest we do not always have time to shower our dog with 100% of our attention – this is when a puzzle toy might come in handy. It encourages problem-solving and keeps your dog entertained for longer periods of time. If they are happily playing with their toy in your company, they will also be happy to play with it when you leave the home, further alleviating anxiety ad keeping mental stimulation high! We recommend using one of these toys and adding some of our Healthy treats – your dog will thank you later.

5. Create an obstacle course

If you are feeling extra enthusiastic, you could try to create a dog obstacle course. These aren’t just reserved for show dogs – there is plenty of DIY ideas and you can make use of some items you have lying around the house. Consider spaces for your dog to navigate such as hoops, ramps, tunnels, and weaving objects. Dogs are motivated by treats, so make sure you have a bunch at the ready. We recommend our smaller size treats like Chunky Beef Liver or Roo Trail Mix – these will fit in your pocket and give your dog the quick reward they need.

We always recommend rewarding your dog with healthy treats. All our treats are 100% Australian made and handcrafted with no fillers, grains, or artificial preservatives. Explore the range here.