Aside from being a wonderful furry friend, a dog is also a good source of entertainment for your child. There are many fun games they can play together to bond and have a great day outdoors.
Dogs are still animals and sometimes, they can be unpredictable. So before you allow your kid to head out to play with your pooch, prioritize safety first. Never leave your small child to play with your canine without supervision and remember to take note of the following:
- Only allow your kid to play with a dog that he knows well and not just some lost dog on the street.
- A wagging of the tail may mean that your dog is in a relaxed condition, but that doesn’t mean you should throw out all other rules on safety.
- Don’t let your kid take a toy away from your dog unless the pooch will be dropping it on command.
- When you see that your dog has tucked his tail and baring his teeth, it means he is starting to feel threatened. As such, it’s time to break playtime and get your child away from the dog.
Teaching your kid how to behave around a dog is also important. Your child must also know when he is going beyond boundaries. When your child respects the dog, the dog will definitely return the favor.
Playtime for Your Child and Pet
Once you ensure a 100% safe playtime for both your child and the dog, here are some fun games they can enjoy at home.
1. Name, Recall and Fetch
Dogs have the ability to understand the tonality and sound of the human language. This means that they are able to remember a particular name for every dog toy. For your child and dog to have fun in this game, follow these steps.
- Grab a few of your dog’s favorite stuffed toy
- Ask your child to give each toy a name and stick with it
- Work on teaching your pooch those names by laying them out
- Use dog treats and ask your dog to bring one
- Take the toy from the dog but only if he brings the right one
- Once your dog already knows the drill, you can let your child command the pooch
2. Hide and Seek
Dogs adore this game as much as children do. Begin by letting your kid teach the pooch to sit. Then let your kid tell the dog to sit and wait while your child hides somewhere. Once hidden in a safe hiding place, your child will call out for your dog and wait for the dog to find him.
Hide and seek is a game that your child can play with or without your participation as a parent. It’s a wonderful bonding experience not just for your kid and pooch but for everybody in the family as well.
3. Catch the Bubbles
Dogs have the tendency to chase anything from a running car to floating bubbles. For children age three and eight years, this will be quite an entertaining game. Let your little one blow bubbles and allow your dog to catch them.
4. Tug of War
This game is best for older kids who already know how to behave well around a dog. Also, your child should only be with canines who are non-aggressive and knows your child well.
Here’s how this activity goes:
- Let your kid teach the dog not to grab the tug-of-war toy until the command.
- Once your child has the dog’s full attention, let your kid command the dog to grab the toy.
- Commence the tug of war with your child and dog pulling at each other for the toy.
- Once your kid had enough, let your kid tell the pooch to drop the toy.
Remember, canines love their toys and may not take it too kindly when your child tries to grab them. Make sure adult supervision is present before your child and pet play this game.
5. Hide dog Treats
Are you familiar with the Easter Egg Hunt? That is how this game will go. But instead of hiding eggs, you’ll be using dog treats. Simply let your child hide treats around the house and encourage your pooch to find them.
Allowing your child and dog to have fun during playtime will improve the bond between them. Above all, it teaches your kid to respect and play safely when dealing with animals.
Samantha Vince is the sales manager and animal nutritionist at Pet’s Delight. As an animal lover, Samantha has worked in the pet and equine industry for over seven years. Due to her passion and commitment to ensuring animals are fed a nutritious and tailored diet, becoming an animal nutritionist was a natural choice, and now she provides nutritional and product advice to customers on a daily basis. For nutritional advice specific to your pet, you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.