Did you make a list of resolutions this year? If so…did spending more time with your dog(s) make the cut? For many years I’ve written “walk dogs more” on my goal sheet. Guess what? This is the first time I’ve been really happy with the amount of exercise my poochies have received! Exercise isn’t enough, though. Not in my opinion. While I do plenty of cuddling, petting, and kissing, I want to make sure my dogs have satisfying lives.
19 ways to spend more time with your dog:
1. Let’s start with the obvious: Take your fur baby on a walk. This one is easy! Strap that leash on and go. Kill two resolution birds with one stone and turn it into a jog. Be careful, though. If you’re dog isn’t used to long runs, start out slow.
2. Cuddle up together for a nap, or just a bit of “Netflix and chill.” This is a great opportunity to squeeze in some sweet caresses, too.
3. Play together! My dogs love a good game of chase. There have been times that we’ve run circles around the couch or dining room table for a good 15 minutes. It’s seriously the cutest thing. Especially when my cat freaks out and starts swatting. ha! If it’s a nice day out, play fetch out back.
4. Go for a swim. There are places available where you can take your dog for a swim, or maybe you live near a body of water, or have a friend with a pool! One of my fondest memories was when I encouraged Buster to go swimming for the first time. A very proud moment indeed. Don’t be surprised if your dog gets cold tail on those first few swims.
5. Speaking of swims, take a trip to the beach! Letting you dog run around off leash is pretty exciting at the beach. Sometimes they go crazy digging holes. This would be best during the off season…your dog should always be on-leash in public for the most part.
6. Sunbathing is a restful activity to partake in, too. One of my dogs loves laying in the mid-afternoon sun. There have been times that I’ve thrown on a bathing suit, grabbed a towel, and lay down right beside her.
7. Explore somewhere new. Instead of going on a walk in your own neighborhood, go into a neighboring area. Let your dog take in all of the new smells. Driving somewhere further away is also an option.
8. Visit a park! Take your pooch to a dog park allow them to socialize with the other dogs and humans. I can’t take mine anymore due to anxiety and/or old age, but it used to be a pretty fun activity. Especially because the one near me has a kiddie pool. So cute to watch the dogs splash around in there.
9. Car rides are so much fun! Definitely keep the window up on freeways, but if it’s safe, let them hang those big ol’ tongues out. A car ride isn’t a replacement for a walk, and if you are running errands, don’t leave your dog in the car. That’s just plain mean.
1o. Set up a play date with a friend. You can catch up with your human friend while your dog gets to play with his/her dog friend. Watching dogs play is adorable.
11. Teach your dogs new tricks. Some dogs love learning! Especially bright dogs that want a “job.” Osa surprised us all when she eagerly brought us a beer from the fridge. Best party trick ever!
12. Instead of going on a walk, hit up a state park and go on a hike! The new terrain will be fun for your dog, and if you stumble upon a stream, even better! Make sure you’ve brought enough water with you, though – just in case.
13. Take a roadtrip! Even a day trip. This might take a little research if you are planning to stay in a hotel, but I bet the whole trip will be more fun with your sweetie around. PLUS you can probably save some money on a dogsitter!
14. Go camping. It would include a lot of listed items already! A super fun weekend that will surely load up your dog’s senses. Swimming, sunbathing, exploring, hiking…etc etc. 🙂
15. Here’s something I’ve never done and really want to do: Take your dog on a boat ride! Or even canoe! That would be so much fun! You could even dive into the water and cool off a bit.
16. Meet new animals. Sure, your dog gets along with other dogs…but have they ever met a cat? A rabbit? Hedgehog? Be very careful if this option sounds appealing. My dogs were incredibly curious when we first adopted our kitten, but gradually they calmed down and got along.
17. Bath time. Instead of dropping your dog off at the groomer, do it yourself. It is usually a lot of fun. 🙂 If you have a smaller dog they can join you in the shower, but for larger dogs [like mine] I throw on some workout attire, put their leash on, and grab the hose. They love it in the summer!
18. Visit a pet supply store. There are so many smells, it might be overwhelming at first! But watching your dog choose a toy is extremely adorable.
19. Hang out at an outdoor cafe. Make sure dogs are welcome [call in advance]. You can get some work done while people watching with your pooch. 🙂
I love my babies so much! What kinds of activities have you done with your dogs? I want to keep adding to the list!