We know: Playing with your dog is so much fun! And we totally agree! The stress of a hard day melts away while you and your pup build your bond.
However, your dog benefits from alone time as much as you do. Here are 4 reasons why solo play is important for your dog:
Unfortunately, we can’t take our dogs with us everywhere all the time. Your dog needs to be comfortable being alone on occasion, and encouraging solo play–like with a food puzzle–is a great way to do that.
If your dog relies on you for every decision, he may not build up the confidence to take on a new situation where you might not be present, like if he needs to go to the back room for a test at the vet’s office, or an appointment with a groomer. Solo play helps him learn that he can be on his own and be OK!
Dogs can be innovative, creative thinkers… if only they’re allowed to be! Yes, training is fun and rewarding, but your dog needs some time to let his mind wander. Make sure he has access to appropriate toys for an independent play session.
If your dog feels happy and confident playing alone, when times are stressful–say, a bustling Thanksgiving dinner or a visiting friend with lots of rowdy children–your dog will know he can go off by himself and still have fun.
Start off with short solo play sessions with lots of enticing, enriching toys to help your pup build up the comfort level with playing on his own. Then, simply mix in independent play times to your weekly routine!