Do you know what’s more adorable than one dog having a good time? Multiple dogs having a good time together. A good dog playdate is a wonderful occasion for pet parents – and it turns out that these playdates are even more beneficial for our best friends.
Dogs are traditionally pack animals, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they like being together with other furry friends. However, you may not realize that there’s more to dogs being social than just having fun and hanging out. Find out how playdates and other forms of socialization can benefit your canine companion.
The Power of Companionship
How important is it for dogs to spend time with canines and other animals? The Dog Aging Project surveyed 21,410 dogs to learn what parts of their environment impact their overall wellbeing. Fortunately for us, they shared their comprehensive survey data in the journal Evolution, Medicine & Public Health.
According to the findings there are several benefits to Canine companionship and it’s as good for your dog as it is for you. The Dog Aging Project found that dogs with more nonhuman household companions and playmates:
- Are significantly healthier.
- Are more active.
- Have significantly fewer reported diseases.
Another interesting detail that the Dog Aging Project found is that time spent with other animals is especially helpful for older dogs. While animal companionship is beneficial for dogs of all ages, older canines who live with other dogs or enjoyed regular playdates were notably healthier on average according to the research group’s data.
9 Dog Playdate Ideas
Whether you’ve got a young pup or an older dog, playdates are a great way for your best friend to stay social. Here are a variety of dog playdate ideas to keep your dog mentally stimulated, physically active, or both!
- House Visits: The best way to get your furry friends together with other dogs is to set up a house visit playdate. Do any of your friends or family members have a dog? Take them for a visit or host a get-together so that all your dogs can hang out in the house, backyard, or anywhere else that it’s safe for them to play.
- Local Park Gatherings: Looking for a reason to get out of the house? You can always organize a playdate at a local dog-friendly park. It can be an informal gathering of pet parents or a regular group playdate – either way, your best friend gets to socialize and play in a safe environment.
- Breed-Specific Playdates: Have you ever wanted to see a bunch of Pugs or some other breed of dog run around together? You’re not alone. There may be breed-specific playdates being held in your area – just check social media, neighborhood groups, or sites like meetup.com to see what works for you and your dog.
- Puppy Playdates: For young puppies, playdates can help them learn appropriate social skills and build confidence around other dogs. This is a great choice for a bunch of young dogs with a lot of energy.
- Senior Dog Playdates: Want a calmer and quieter playdate for your senior dog? Try inviting older dogs or other pooches who prefer a slower pace. These playdates can be more relaxed and focused on gentle interaction without sacrificing socialization.
- Neighborhood Walks: Walks are a great form of exercise, so why not turn them into a playdate? Arrange some group walks with a few dogs and their pet parents. This experience can help dogs walk and enjoy all the smells and sights together, promoting socialization in a different setting.
- Agility Playdates: Do you have a high-energy dog? Take your dog to a local agility course to meet some other excitable pooches or set up your own agility course and invite other dogs to enjoy some interactive play.
- Patio Playdates: Patios aren’t just for people. If you have any dog-friendly restaurants, try and set up a patio playdate with other fellow pet parents that both dogs and humans will enjoy.
- Group Training Sessions: Maybe it’s time to combine playtime with training exercises. Everyone’s dogs can take turns practicing commands and learning tricks to help bond together while learning some valuable skills and behaviors.
When it comes to setting up playdates, some dogs will be better suited for certain playdates than others. You know your dog best, so you’ll have to judge what type of socialization is best for them. Anxious dogs may prefer calmer settings and fewer playdates at first until they become more accustomed to these get-togethers. Other dogs may have no problem dealing with other dogs when they have the zoomies. The key is that your dog has a good time and has a chance to socialize with other furry friends.
Playdates Aren’t the Only Way to Support Your Dog
As a pet parent, you’re always looking for ways to keep your best friend happy and healthy. Setting up regular doggy playdates is a great way to keep your best friend mentally and physically stimulated – but there’s always more to learn.
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