When Dominic Wilcox was asked to create the first ever interactive art exhibition for dogs, his #1 priority was that it actually be fun for the dogs.
Pet-loving insurance company More Than commissioned the exhibit from Wilcox as part of their #PlayMore campaign, which encourages pet owners to play with their pets on a more regular basis to promote their overall well-being.
“Humans have so many art and design exhibitions to visit nowadays, it seemed only fair that dogs should get to see an exhibition created solely for them,” Wilcox wrote in an email.
The exhibition took place on Aug. 19 and 20, 2016, in London and was attended by dogs and their humans of all shapes and sizes.
Studies show that dogs don’t just love playtime they get real mental and physical health benefits from it, too.
A 2014 study conducted at Bristol University involving 4,000 dogs and their owners found that when owners increased the amount of regular play sessions with their dogs, the dogs were less aggressive, less depressed, and had fewer signs of anxiety.
Just like how humans often feel better after doing something active (especially if it’s also fun), the same seems to be true for dogs.
For dog owners who don’t always have time to provide their furry companions with a variety of activities, Wilcox’s interactive museum gave both humans and canines an opportunity to see and do new things.
Like any good art exhibit, Wilcox made sure the dogs had interesting paintings to look at at their eye level.
When it came to the more interactive exhibits, the dogs could enjoy classic dog things like sticking their heads out the window in the smelly breeze…
…and running through a water fountain in the grass…
…and watching a frisbee on TV.
Wilcox even built a giant dog bowl ball pit, which was a big hit with dogs who like playing fetch (aka most of them).
All in all, the dogs seemed to have a pretty fabulous time.
And their owners had a great time too! (I mean, who wouldn’t?)
When humans play with their dogs, we’re improving our own lives just as much as the lives of our dogs.
When dogs (and people) are left without stimulation for long periods of time, however, they can suffer negative emotional and physical side effects, just like humans. So even though it’s tricky sometimes, it’s important for dog owners to make time for playtime.
Of course, not every city is lucky enough to have such a cool interactive exhibition, but dogs and their humans could simulate the experience by exploring a new park or playing with a dog-walking group or taking a drive to a lake or ocean and playing on the beach.