Although we know that play is an important part of being a happy, healthy human, we often don’t make it a priority. Play is not only important for humans, it is also important for animals. If play is important for both humans and our furry and feathered friends, why not play together?

Play has many benefits. Play can lead to stress relief, exercise, mental stimulation and when we play with others, it can increase our bond. It is often easy to allow our animal companions to play with other animals. Dogs may play with other dogs at the park or may play with a resident dog or cat. Horses may play with other horses and birds may have cage mates that they play with. Although this play is good, it is also important that we (the humans) play with our animals.

Sometimes it may be difficult to find a game to play with our furry or feathered friends. If your animal is a little shy, you may want o start by training some simple tricks that can turn into a game. Your play may include toys, such as ball, Frisbee, food dispensing toys or tug toys. In some cases, you may need to train your animals how to play the game, like find it, or hide and seek. If you are creative, the options are endless.

When you start having fun with your furry or feathered friend, you will find they are more likely to want to spend time with you. You also may find that they get in less trouble or have fewer behavior problems. If your play is more physical, your animals may lose weight or get into better physical shape. In some cases, your shy animal may become more outgoing and less fearful.

The sky is the limit on what you can do. The only requirement is that you and your animal have fun!

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