Dog Play Dates: Not Just for Puppies

If you think scheduling playtime for your dog is a foolish fad, think again. Play dates keep your pet active and mentally fit.

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Play dates give your dog the opportunity to compare his skills with other dogs and perhaps learn something about sharing toys. By: alvinspiel

The term “play date” has always seemed silly to me, probably because it didn’t exist when I was a kid. Back then, we didn’t have play dates. We just played at each other’s houses while our moms had coffee and gossiped.

But as much as I think the term is silly when it’s applied to humans, I think it’s invaluable when applied to dogs.

Now that we know more about the best ways to keep our dogs in optimal physical health, we’re also beginning to think about their mental health and selecting activities that enhance both. Dog play dates meet both those criteria — and more.

Physical Health

Veterinary experts agree that dogs need about 30 minutes per day of brisk cardiovascular exercise. Although walks and hikes do the job, so does playing vigorously with another dog.

If you have a young and/or high-energy dog that needs more exercise than you have the time to give him, regular play dates with another similarly active pets are the answer.

Don’t Miss: How to Fit Pet Exercise Into Your Schedule

Mental Stimulation

A bored dog is a bad dog. Visits with other dogs will keep him alert and expose him to new situations, which will further exercise his problem-solving skills. Older dogs will perk up when they have the chance to sniff out new yards, keeping their minds honed and sharp.

Don’t Miss: How to Socialize a Shy Dog

Manners

If your dog is young or isn’t well socialized for his age, interacting with other dogs will improve his manners. A huge benefit of puppies spending more time with their mothers is that they learn manners not only from Mom but also from their interactions with their littermates.

Watch these dogs play together (and possibly learn from one another):

Play dates give your dog the opportunity to compare his skills with other dogs and perhaps learn something about sharing toys.

Socialization

The best benefit of dog play dates is the opportunity for socialization with other canines and humans. Although I don’t recommend taking a dog who hates kids and dogs to visit your friend who has kids and dogs, you can definitely use play dates as a tool for helping your “normal” dog become accustomed to other dogs and new people, especially if he’s shy or has had a sheltered life.

Of course, you can expose your dog to all these benefits by taking him to the park, but that wouldn’t give you the chance to sit with the other moms, have coffee and gossip!

FitBark Dog Activity MonitorBest Way to Keep Your Dog Fit and Happy

Looking for a way for you and your dog to get healthy together?

Check out the FitBark 2 (affiliate link), the highest-rated dog health monitor in the market. It’s a small, colorful device that you attach to your dog’s collar.

The FitBark 2 monitors activity levels, quality of sleep, distance traveled, calories burned, and overall health and behavior 24/7. Battery life is an unbelievable 6 months, so you can worry less about recharging and more about bonding with your pup. It fits dogs of any size, and it loves the water as much as your dog does!

Learn why everyone is thrilled about the FitBark 2 here (affiliate link).

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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