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Games pets play

01 Apr 2013 | by Anu Bhambhani | Posted in: Training

Remember the saying ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’? If it is true in the case of Jack, it is equally true in the case of animals, especially pets. They might be there as your pets, but they are also your companions, your friends. They are also your gym partners, figuratively speaking. Of course you don’t take your pet to the gym per say but you do take him out for walks and for play. The more you play with your pets, the more you are caring for your furry friends. Pet care games thus become extremely important.

It is important to first understand the need for playing pet care games. Your pets are animals. They have a lot of energy which needs to be channelized in the right direction. If this is not done, they might end up letting it out at home. They’ll chew anything that they can see, they’d try to destroy everything that’s there in their reach. They don’t like being holed up at home unlike us humans. To see what can a bored but energetic dog can do to your home, I suggest you watch Tom Hanks starrer Turner and Hooch. Hooch, a Dogue de Bordeaux breed dog, almost destroyed Turner’s home when Hanks’ character left him home on his own. You wouldn’t want that to happen to your home for sure. Hence the need to channelize his energy towards something positive, and what better way to do that than playing games.

The kind of pet care games you play also ensures the pet learns to obey you in time. He needs to know who the master is and for that to happen, you need to get him to obey your instructions. But instead of being a rigorous process, obedience training can be fun too. You can always incorporate this training in your games manual. Reward him for doing well in the game, lure him to do well with better rewards. Make the learning fun for your pet and the pet will start obeying you in no time.

Of course you must always remember, animals are very competitive by nature. The moment they understand they are in a game, they’d try to win. You must stop the game immediately if you see the pet is becoming too aggressive. This way he’ll also look forward to it the next time and won’t lose interest in it.

Get started

First and foremost, set a routine. Fix up any time of the day, preferably morning and evening, to take your pet to play these games. A fix time will help prepare you and your pet mentally and physically. This will also allow the pet to relax during the day and be prepared to play on a scheduled time every day. When you do start the game, let your pet take breaks often during the duration of the game. This is because as the pets can get extremely aggressive during the play, the breaks will help them relax a bit.  

Kind of games

If you search on Google for pet care games, you will end up being bombarded with online games to play with your pets and these are called girl games (God knows for what reason!). Unfortunately our sedentary lifestyle has turned us into couch potatoes doing practically everything virtually. No wonder, you see more kids these days with protruding tummies and spectacles at a young age. Anyways, you don’t have to depend on the internet to know what pet care games you can play with your pet. Just a bit of common sense and innovative streak can help you invent some.

If you have access to huge open space, you could try racing with your dog. Dogs love to run. It will give them exercise their bored limbs need and also help them get tired easily, so they won’t bother you much at home. Do ensure there is fencing around the open space lest you would want them to run away.

‘Go fetch’ is another very popular game with pets. Of course, a dog will be more receptive to it than a cat. You can throw a ball, a Frisbee, a small dog toy for them to run and fetch. It will give them good exercise in terms of running back and forth.

If you have a garden at home and you are watering your plants, you could try sprinkling some water on yourself and pretend to enjoy it. Let your pet see you do this and encourage him to chase the water coming out of the water hose by sprinkling it on him. But ensure he or she doesn’t start jumping on you in excitement. Your command should set him right. And, your pet shouldn’t be afraid of water.

You could also experiment with hoops, encouraging your pets to jump through those. This will help them focus their concentration.

Now sometimes the weather can be very unpredictable. You’d end up being at home not able to take your pet out to play. But then, that shouldn’t stop your pet from having fun. There are some indoor games you could try. Pets love food. You could try ‘sniff and search’ wherein you hide the dog food at someplace and ask your dog to sniff, search and then eat it. This will also help you have your pet finish all the food at one go instead of him leaving it midway. And, it will give him some exercise too at home. While at home, you could also try ‘leap and fetch’ in which you show them some object, hang it midway and encourage them to leap up in the air to catch it. You could do this at some empty space indoors.

This is just a suggestive list of activities. There could be lots more you could try, depending on your pet’s temperament and personality.

Keep them regular

Any pet, especially a dog loves exercise of any kind. It will do him well if you keep your exercises regular. Try and take out time every day for these pet care games but if you don’t have time then you can depute someone at home to take charge.

These pet care games and whatever else you can come up with will help you better your relationship with this little member of your family. One word of caution though. All through the game, you should not let the pet take over you. Ensure he listens to your command when you want him to stop or start or drop things. If that doesn’t happen and your pet gets overexcited, it can get dangerous. Immediately stop the game.

Other than that, happy playing!

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