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6 Tips for the Perfect Doggy Playdate

 by michelle on 25 Jul 2014 |
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If you want to set your dog up with a furry friend but don't know where to begin, here are some simple tips to create both a fun and safe environment for your dog's playdate.

1. Set the playdate up in a safe, neutral environment

This could be a dog park, dog-friendly beach, nature reserve, or any neutral environment for a first meeting. The most important thing is that both dogs will feel comfortable in the environment. For an initial play date, it may not be the best idea to hold the play date at someone’s house as some dogs may feel their space is being invaded.


2. Choose your dog's date wisely

To ensure no bullying goes on during the playdate, it’s best to set up dogs who have the same temperament and energy levels.
Matching a senior dog with a puppy probably won't be fun for either dog involved. It’s also important to make sure the dogs are similar in size incase playing gets physical. 

3. Let the dogs greet each other and see how they react

Compatibility can be determined within the first few minutes that two dogs meet. With the dogs leashed, allow the dogs to sniff and interact while paying attention for any sign of aggression. If aggression is shown, separate the dogs for a few minutes and try again. If once again the dogs don’t get along, the play date should end. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. The more toys the merrier

Put out a variety of toys to make play time more interesting for your dog and their companions. Whether it’s throwing a ball and having the dogs race to catch it, or providing a rope for a tug-of-war contest, toys are sure to add even more fun to the date.

5. Supervise the playing

Keep a lookout to make sure both dogs are enjoying themselves and are comfortable with one another. If playing gets too aggressive or you think one dog is bullying the other, it may be time to break things up. 

6. Provide breaks, water, and shade

It’s important to break up play every so often to let the dogs have a quick cool down. The best ways to do this are to call your dog enthusiastically, or bribe them with a favorite toy or treat. If the playdate is going on outside, make sure to keep your dog hydrated and cool in the shade during the breaks.

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