Purposeful Pet Playtime:
The Primal Guide

Purposeful Pet Playtime: The Primal Guide Purposeful Pet Playtime: The Primal Guide
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Your pets are somewhat limited in their ability to provide or create their own stimulation. While they can certainly whip themselves up into an adorable frenzy, and perhaps even sustain a few minutes of frantic “zoomies” without any help from the outside world, these instances of completely solo play are often short-lived. To engage in truly purposeful playtime, they will often need a person, a toy, or a playmate, as well as a loose structure of interaction based around their natural instincts. Playtime is a great way to bond with your pet, let out a bit of energy, and provide both mental & physical stimulation!

In an effort to lend our pet parents a helping hand, we’ve boiled down the most basic information into the Primal Guide to Purposeful Pet Playtime.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of games and activities you can play with your pet. That being said, most of all of them fit under five broader categories: chase, fetch, hide & seek, tug-of-war, and general exercise. Below, we will discuss the general outline of each playtime activity, popular variations, and those pet play types most likely to enjoy each activity, including chasers, wrestlers, tuggers, body slammers, soft touchers, loners, and cheerleaders.

  • Chase

    Often confused with fetch, games of “chase” involve a more deliberate cadence of pursuit, catch, and release. Many variations use a “flirt pole,” which attaches a toy or street to the end of a slender pole.

    Those Who Love It Most

    Chasers are driven by chasing and running, so the name really does say it all.
    As is often the case, Wrestlers enjoy this activity more with a fellow playmate.
    Tuggers might need a stronger pole for pulling, but they generally adore this game.

  • Fetch

    Perhaps the most well-known activity on the list, “fetch” typically involves an object being retrieved after being thrown or launched. To add another layer of difficulty, you can switch to a frisbee and try for a mid-air retrieval.

    Those Who Love It Most

    Once again, a Chasers natural instinct to pursue makes this activity an instant hit
    Body Slammers often love to play fetch with another pet, as it provides moments for non-aggressive contact.

  • Hide & Seek

    As popular with younger humans as it is with your pets, hide and seek simply requires something or someone that is hidden to be found. When the thing in hiding is an object or treat, this activity is often called “Hidden Treasure/Treat.”

    Those Who Love It Most

    Soft Touchers love these games due to the many opportunities for nuzzling and tentative touching.
    Loners enjoy the “Hidden Treasure” iteration of these activities most, as it affords them the chance to play and explore at their own pace.
    Chasers might struggle a bit with waiting for their quarry to get hidden, but they will pursue them excitedly.

  • Tug-of-War

    At its heart, a game of tug-of-war is all about resistance—providing your pet with a force to overcome through sheer exertion. Most variations of this activity rely on a rope or toy, and they are often used to teach commands like “drop it” or “take it.”

    Those Who Love It Most

    Tuggers are completely at home with these games. You’ll likely get sick of it long before they do.
    Cheerleaders enjoy this game as the “third wheel,” as they often find ways of dropping in and out of the tugging process.
    Body Slammers love this game with a playmate because it means lots of close-quarters roughhousing.

  • General Exercise

    This category encompasses those periods of exercise that take things a step further than simply walking or running. This includes your pet’s hiking, swimming, and agility training.

    Those Who Love It Most

    Adaptives can find the fun in any type of play, which is why they tend to love these more open-ended activities.
    Many of these “games” possess some component of a pursuit, meaning Chasers can often stay on task and excited.
    Loners tend to enjoy activities that provide them with solitary challenges and one-on-one time with their pet parent.

Keeping in mind that no two pets or play styles are ever the same, where do your pets land on the playtime chart?