We took them in from the wild and ‘tamed’ them. However, we should not let them forget their wildness and rather encourage it in creative ways! Play can do that!
From when your pet was a pup or kitten they learnt a lot through play with their mom and furblings. Play helps stimulate your pet’s mind, natural instincts and confidence to become a well-balanced furry member of your family. Some pets require more stimulation and play depending on the kind of breed they are. If your pet is not getting enough play and attention, then boredom sets in and the results can be quite destructive.
Some of the health benefits of play
- Play helps young dogs and cats to learn
- Play keeps them fit and healthy and prevents obesity
- Play keeps their brain stimulated. Just as with humans, this is important to prevent mental health issues such as dementia later on in their lives
- Play helps to bond you with your pet as you play, have fun and exercise together!
- Play prevents boredom and destructive behaviour and keeps your dog or cat stimulated and happy!
How to tell your pet is bored?
1. Destructive Behaviour - Excessive chewing, barking, digging, getting into the rubbish bin – these sorts of destructive behaviours are often caused by boredom. If you’re not giving your pet things to do they’ll find ways of entertaining themselves. And that includes habits like chewing up shoes and digging up the garden; things us humans aren’t too keen on.
You can rather try giving your pet safe & durable toys to play with like the:
- Hunter Dumbbell for Dogs – durable enough to withstand hours and hours of hardcore chewing and biting!
- Squeaky Jumbo Rooster – The rooster is perfect for all sizes of dogs.
- Safari Blesbok – The blesbok has a middle piece of tie rope perfect for tugging and chewing. A squeak speaker inside this toy makes it really amusing for your pet.
- Dogs vs Aliens Admiral Zokbur – These tough alien like dog toys can withstand any chew.
These kinds of toys are safe enough for your pet to enjoy both when you are around or not.
Motion toys for dogs like the:
- Jump Jump Bat Dog or
- Jump Jump Wooferine can be really fun to play with your pet and the family as they are motorised and have all sorts of exciting noises and movements.
The above are just some of our personal favourites but you can choose from our wide selection of safe & durable dog toys.
2. Attention seeking – Does your dog bark and whine all the time? Some dogs don’t even bother with the whining or barking; they’ll get right up in your face (or onto your lap) if they’re bored. These are attention seeking behaviours, and they’re a good indicator that your dog is bored and looking for something to do.
3. Following you around - Does your pet follow you around everywhere? It may be due to boredom. We’re our pets (especially dogs) main source of entertainment, we make all those big decisions like when it’s time to go to the park. So when we get up to go and do something our dogs are inclined to check it out.
Some pets just enjoy being close to their owners, and some dogs have been bred to be dependent (lap dogs). If your dog is calmly following you around it’s nothing to worry about; it’s up to you to decide if you find it endearing or if you’d rather encourage independence. You can try using a natural remedy to calm your anxious pet like PetCalm.
Do cats require as much playtime and attention as dogs?
Because cats are easy-to-keep pets, many people assume cats don’t need as much attention as dogs do. But as any cat owner knows, that’s simply not true. Cats benefit from consistent interactive play and activity as much as dogs and people do. Playing with your cat, or interactive play, is a great way to get your kitty moving every day. Especially if they are an indoor-only pet, your cat will benefit both physically and mentally. While kittens and young adult cats tend to spontaneously play and entertain themselves, older and overweight cats may need you to help find their inner kitten.
Ways to have a really fun playtime with your cat
Cats love playing with toys that image a mouse or bird (catnip is an added bonus). They tend to awaken their natural hunting instincts which make them feel confidently good about themselves.
Below are some of our favourite cat toys:
- Happy Cat Stress Free Toy (with valerian) – This cute mouse with added valerian will calm your anxious cat.
- Motion operated interactive mouse toy - If you and your cat are both seeking amusement try this fun cat toy.
- LED interactive pointer with mouse silhouette – real fun for hours with your cat!
- Pestages mice with catnip – great for dental health too!
- Pet droid motion wobble feather toy for cats – Your cat will love this as much as you!
Your pet’s diet contributes to their energy levels
Pets that are fed correctly and are not overweight tend to want to play and engage more instead of lazing about. We recommend a raw diet of either Doggobone or Vondi’s frozen meals (available freshly frozen from our store – Unit 6, Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake, Cape Town). If raw food is a bit too complicated and you would rather order online we recommend our NEW Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Freeze Dried Dog food that ticks all the same boxes as raw food in terms of essential nutrients and vitamins for your dog’s daily diet requirements. To ensure your pet’s health and well-being try adding Vondi’s Spirulina Sprinkles to your pet’s meals.
Pets like to be rewarded for their play and exercise efforts with healthy treats like:
It is your job as a pet owner to ensure that your pet’s mental and physical needs are always taken care of to the best of your ability. What you ultimately sow you will reap from your pet with loads of love, kisses and a long lasting friendship in return.
For any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you in the best possible Feelgood Ppet way.