12 Games for summer days to enjoy with your pet

By Valdette Muller| March 26, 2015 | Blog

dog with toyPlaying active games with your pooch is a fun way to stimulate your pet’s mind and give them a healthy workout. It is also a great way to prevent yourself from turning into a coach potato!

Now, don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you do sprints with your pup, but a little bit of activity goes a long way to drain their energy reserves.

Here are 12 of our favourite pet games that you can try at home:

  1. Food dispensing toys – We want to ease you into playing, so the first game won’t let you break a sweat. But stuff a food dispensing toy with dry dog food pellets or delicious dog treats and your fur-child will be entertained for hours as they try to pry the treats from the toys.
  2. Tug of war – This is an easy one that you can play almost anywhere, so summer showers won’t rain on your doggy-playdate parade. Take a soft toy, thick rope or other object that your pooch will be able to grip with their teeth. Let Fido take the bait… and pull! You’ll get tired first, but you’re guaranteed to smile and relax while you play.
  3. Fetch – Does this game ever get old? Not in our books! Grab a ball or a toy, go outside and make sure your pet sees you throwing it. He’ll dash after it and all you have to do is teach him to return his new prized possession to you after each throw.
  4. Tag – This game requires another human to play along. The two humans must each have tiny treats in their pockets and stand a few meters apart. The distance will depend on the age, size and breed of the dog. Human number one calls the dog’s name, dog will run to said human and get a treat. Yay! Happy dog. Next, human number two calls, dog will run to number two and get a treat. This could be a lot of fun for the whole family!
  5. Teach a trick or two – Check out British trainer Kay Laurence’s videos on YouTube and teach your pet a new trick or two. It will stimulate him mentally and physically and you’ll see an immediate improvement in his behaviour.
  6. Invite a friend – For your dog, not you! Make sure the dogs are both well-socialised and that the environment is dog-proof – this is going to get rowdy!
  7. Hunt – Instead of dumping his food in his bowl, hide small piles of food around the house and then release him to hunt for his lunch. Make the piles easy to find at first, but increase the difficulty of the game  as he gets better at it.
  8. Hide and Seek! – This game will hone your pet’s mind, body and recall skills. Family members should stock up on treats and take turns to hide throughout the house and call the dog. When she finds the person, reward her generously and then signal for the next person to call her.
  9. Obstacle course – Create obstacles with crates, boxes, chairs and anything else that won’t threaten your or the dog’s safety, and guide your dog through each obstacle. Try to build up to go faster each time and reward your pet with praise and treats every time she gets through the course.
  10. Take the stairs – Start at the bottom of the stairs and throw a toy to the top. Let your dog dash up the stairs as fast as he can to retrieve the toy, while you cheer him along. Let him come back down slowly to avoid injury. This game is only suitable for dogs older than a year as younger pups may strain their joints.
  11. Simon Says – For dog who already know the basics, you can teach and play at the same time. Grab a few treats and test your pet’s ability to perform commands like sit, stay, lie down, roll over, shake, etc. Mix up the order to keep him on his toes.
  12. Swim – Many breeds love playing in water but even if yours isn’t a natural water baby, swimming together can be loads of fun. Like with kids, safety comes first, so never let your doggie swim alone.

Remember to use toys that are of high quality and are safe.


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