Because healthy pet/human relationships are mainly developed through playtime, it's crucial to keeping your dog happy and healthy. One great way to enhance playtime for you and your pup is BarkBox. It's a monthly subscription of all-natural treats, toys, and chews to your door every month. The toys are legitimately adorable, and unlike anything you'll find at the pet store. Plus every box has a new, creative theme like Jurassic Bark or Knights of the Hound Table. Starting at $25 per month, a BarkBox subscription is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your dog through re-invigorated play.

Want to make the most out of your playtime? Here are 5 science-backed tips that most pet owners don't know.

Playtime Helps Calm Separation Anxiety

If your dog often stays by the door when you go to work, or barks or whines for long periods of time when you leave the house, studies suggest more playtime is an effective way to combat your pup's separation anxiety. Scientists Rooney and Bradshaw studied canine behavior and found a correlation between playing games with a lot of physical contact and decreased amounts of low-level separation-related behavior.

Training Your Dog Is Easier After Playing With Them

The study also found that dogs scored higher in "obedient attentiveness" after spending time playing with their owners or other dogs. Adequate playtime can help you train your dog, and help that training stick for longer!

Teach A Dog New Tricks And Give Them New Treats

Dogs like new things! You may have guessed this already, but science proves it. The scientific term for the preference for novelty is called neophilia, which helps explain why your canine pal gets so excited every time you bring home a new toy, and why they don't enjoy playing with older ones as much. BarkBox delivers new and exclusive toys every month, and each box is designed around a clever new theme to keep your pup happy and healthy.

Learn To Read The Signals

People often try to communicate playtime to their dog in ways the pooch doesn't recognize as playful. For example, the 2002 study found that most people pat the floor next to them and whisper to engage their dog in play. But dogs don't respond well to that kind of behavior! Instead, more aggressive signals, like vocalizing loudly, running towards, or away from your dog will signal that you're ready to engage in some playtime.

Every Dog Doesn't Get A Trophy

You don't have to let your dog "win" every game of tug-of-war. In fact, in some high-attention seeking dogs, "winning" will cause their attention demands to go off the rails, so they always want more and never feel satisfied. Not to mention, it's pretty hard to be around your pup when they get into hyper-attention-seeking mode.

Knowing how to make the most out of playtime helps your dog live its best life. BarkBox sends a new surge of joy to your door every month with one-of-a-kind toys, all-natural treats, and tough chews. Created by dog-lovers for dog-lovers, the BarkBox team is dedicated to making dogs be as happy as they make their owners.

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