One of the things that I admire about one of my favorite clients is that they’re fun parents. In addition to having fur babies, they also have three small children. And they are fantastic at creating fun experiences for them.
They’re always on the floor or running around their home, playing some sort of fun or imaginary game with their kids. And I think that’s really cool.
Because when you’re having the time of your life with your favorite people, nothing else compares. Their kids will have fun and joyful memories of their parents that will carry them for many years to come.
And the same rings true if you’re a dog parent.
When you share fun-filled experiences with your dog, you create lasting memories that your dog will never forget.
These experiences will also bring joy and happiness to you as well as forge an unbreakable bond with your dog.
When you make a dog happy, you have a friend for life. And dogs have such little time with us, so why not give them the time of their lives whenever possible.
So even if your dog is currently a couch potato, I will encourage you to try some of the fun activities that follow. You’d be amazed at how just mixing things up a bit can awaken your dog’s inner spark.
It’s all about engaging your dog to see what makes them tick.
And in general, trying some of the tips that follow will help you to see how fun and easy life with a dog can be. So let’s get started!
You’d be amazed at how many companies allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. It’s not just the cool tech companies like Google anymore. It’s a broad range of companies, from beverage companies to government employers.
In my line of work as a Pet Care Professional, I see all sorts of dog parents walking their dogs in the afternoon at a nearby park and then head back into an office building, with their dog.
And the dogs love it. They get to hang out with mom or dad all day and generate a fan club at work.
Our dog Mina goes to the office with her dad, or she accompanies me on some of my scheduled dog walks. And she loves it.
She has a ton of dog friends from working with me, some of which she’s helped to train. And my client’s dogs love walking with her. Especially the smaller ones who think they’re big dogs like her.
And when Mina goes to work with her dad, she makes her rounds visiting his colleagues who keep biscuits in their offices just for her.
So not only will your dog look forward to going to work with you, but your friends at work with anticipate your dog’s next visit.
Dogs love to see other dogs on TV. It’s hilarious to see their reaction to other dogs on the screen. Some will bark or even gasp, whether it’s a cartoon or just a regular movie.
I used to pet-sit a dog who loved to watch Harry Potter with me. She enjoyed the constant movement and array of sounds and colors.
And yes, dogs can see colors; they just see them slightly different from you and me.
Another benefit of watching TV with your dog is that it comes in hand if they suffer from separation anxiety.
So if you have to leave your dog at home for an extended period until their next walk, you might want to check-out Dog TV .
Dog TV is a pretty cool company that provides visual and healing therapies for dogs. You can watch it on your TV or online on your computer.
We leave the regular TV or soft music on for our Mina. She has mild separation anxiety, so she likes some sort of sound to be on as opposed to sitting and looking at the TV.
But Dog TV is fine-tuned to filter the images to the way that dogs see color. And it filters out the sounds that tend to cause anxiety in dogs.
So it’s just another fun way to spend time with your dog at home that will also keep them calm and happy whenever you’re away. Check out a clip of how it works here:
Playing with your dog is an all-time favorite for dogs regardless of age. I care for two senior dogs aged 12 and 13 years old. One is a male English Springer Spaniel, and the latter is a female Pit-Mix.
I walk them together, and you’d be amazed at how these seniors liven up when they meet young dogs or puppies in the neighborhood that want to play.
Their tails get wagging, and they play the leash dance while the puppies like to bow, bark, and jump.
My Pit-Mix is a member of the family that I mentioned is one of my favorite clients in the intro of this blog post. Again she’s 13 but loves to play with her three small human brothers and sisters.
I’ve often arrived at their home to see my senior gal chasing her youngest sister around the kitchen.
It’s the sweetest vision when the kids play with her. So if you have small children and a dog that adores them, then get them all involved in some playtime together. They will fill your home with joy and laughter.
Here are a few fun ways to play in your home with your dog:
As previously mentioned, dogs love to play chase. They can chase you, your kids, or a home-made toy that you attach to a string. Or if you have multiple dogs, they can chase each other.
It’s a super fun way to get your dogs going and is an excellent source of exercise during the cold winter months.
And if you have a hard time getting your dog excited-think cheerleader.
Just say your dog’s name in happy and excited tones along with a short command like “Let’s go,” “Go get ’em,” or “Go find it,” etc.
Adjusting your energy and tone to playtime will signal to your dog that it’s time for some fun.
This game is an excellent way to stimulate your dog’s highest form of intelligence-their nose.
You can simply keep your dog in a separate room while you hide some of their favorite treats around your home.
Let your dog out and say, “Go find it.” Again you want to use your cheerleader voice here to get them going and some visual cues like pointing to help them out here and there.
It’s a fun way to stimulate their senses and see how good they are at locating the treats. And your dog will naturally love it because the game involves you + food, their two favorite things in the world.
Similar to how you would play outside, fetch is also a great indoor game if you have a long hallway. Simply toss the toy or ball down the hall and reward your dog with a great big hug or lots of happy tones to let them know they’ve done a great job.
This is another fun way to get your dog some exercise during the cold winter months when you have to limit their time outdoors.
Tug of war is teamwork in the animal world. Have you ever seen the discovery channel when the animals work together to tear the tough hide of their prey? They accomplish this by tugging in opposite directions until the animal hide tears apart.
You can play tug of war in a similar fashion. You can either work together and rip a toy to shreds, or you can take turns, allowing whoever pulls the hardest to win. The name of the game here is teamwork, so just play fair.
And if your dog has a Bark Box subscription, they’ll be the envy of all of their friends.
Bark Box is subscription toy service for dogs. It’s great for dogs who love to play or are destroyers and enjoy dismembering their toys like it’s a daily project.
So if your dog has a toy box full of goodies, she’ll love a playdate. Dogs love playing with other dog’s toys. And playdates are excellent for your dog’s socialization, and as always, playing is a great way to get your dog some indoor exercise.
Dogs thrive naturally outdoors, so this list is a bit more expansive. The sky is the limit here based on your lifestyle. So here are just a few fun activities that you can do with your dog.
Some dogs absolutely love the car, while others do not. I have one client whose dog is ready to jump into any car because she knows it means she’s going on an adventure.
But some dogs associate the car with going to the vet because that’s the only time they get into a car.
So mix it up by heading out for a road trip with your dog once in a while. This way, your dog won’t have a negative association with the car. Especially when they see that you’re stopping to explore a fun hiking trail instead of the vet.
But before you head out, you’ll need to pack a bag with your dog’s essentials. You should also have plans in order for when and where you’ll make stops for their bathroom breaks along the way.
Here is a great article that provides some great tips for going on a road trip with your dog.
Staying at a pet-friendly hotel is another fun way to spend time with your dog. It’s also a fantastic way to compliment your road trip.
If you’ve always wanted to check out a new town or even just getaway for the weekend, there’s no need to leave your dog behind.
Save money on the pet-sitter and put those funds towards accommodations at a Marriott Hotel instead.
And of course, it doesn’t have to be a Marriott, the point here is that you can stay at any dog-friendly hotel.
I’m suggesting Marriott because it’s a great hotel. In addition to being dog-friendly, they’re clean and provide excellent customer service. And you can accrue points.
Except for travel that requires a flight, we always make road trips with our Mina, and we stay at Marriotts whenever we do.
You just have to select the filter under amenities to “allows dogs.” Sometimes they charge an additional fee or deposit. But it’s always best to just call and confirm the details of their pet policy so that your check-in can be seamless.
And if hotels are not for you, there are a ton of Air BnBs and VRBO’s that have pet-friendly homes and apartments. Again just filter for pet-friendly and follow up with the owner to confirm their pet policies.
Going wine tasting with your dog can be another fun compliment to your road trip or weekend getaway. Again, there’s no need to leave your dog at home because there are countless dog-friendly wineries. Some even have their own resident cat or dog on site.
Again, you just have to do a little planning when you travel with your dog. Just get online and see if your winery of interest is dog-friendly.
Naturally, your dog can’t partake in tasting the wine. Still, they will enjoy the outdoor patio and can do a little biscuit tasting instead. As many of the dog-friendly wineries usually have treats for the dogs that visit.
Cork Hounds is a cool website that helps you locate dog-friendly wineries. Just plug in a winery of interest to see if it’s dog-friendly and add it to your weekend itinerary.
This is a fantastic way to give your dog space just to be a dog. You may witness an entirely different dog if you’ve never taken your dog hiking before. But this is a great thing.
They’ll roll around in the dirt, sniff, run, climb, walk much longer than usual; it’s just a great outlet for your dog to release their energy because most dogs love being in nature.
So plan a hiking trip with your dog. And small dogs can hike too. Naturally, they may tire faster than a hunting or working breed, but the K-9 Sports Sack is to the rescue.
It’s a safe backpack designed for taking your dog on adventures. Just click the link and use your unique coupon code for being a reader of The Dog Care Guide.
It’s named after our special girl and you will receive 10% off your next order.
And it’s perfect for those in-between sized dogs who are small, but not small enough for those doggie shoulder bags.
Again, just make sure you pack your dog’s travel essentials, especially before heading out for a hike so that you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
Taking your dog to a dog park is another way for your dog to let loose and release some energy while also getting some exercise.
But if you’ve never taken your dog to a dog park before, just observe how they respond to the experience. Some dogs don’t enjoy the dog park, and some dogs prefer people instead. So the dog park is not going to be their thing.
But if they love it, then it’s another thing to add to your fun things-to-do list. They get to run wild, bark and play with other dogs. And some parks have pools and sprinklers, which is excellent for your water-loving dogs.
Just always be present and aware when you’re at the dog park. It’s not a time for messing around on your phone. -The Dog Care Guide
I generally avoid the dog park if it’s too crowded because things can quickly escalate from play to fight if one dog is not playing fairly.
And it’s hard to break up unfair play when the dog park is overcrowded or when the other dog parent is not paying attention.
So just use your judgment to keep you and your dog safe before you decide to hang out at the dog park.
Here is a short clip of Mina and her buddy Wally having fun playing at the sprinklers at the city parks:
Dining out is another fun way to spend more time with your dog. Particularly during the warmer summer months when the restaurants have outdoor seating and will allow you to dine outside with your dog.
When we’re out and about on the weekends, we always bring our Mina. She loves it when we stop to eat. It’s her favorite pastime. She also enjoys it because it gives her some time to just relax after a few miles of walking.
And most dog-friendly restaurants always bring her a bowl of fresh water, and we supply the special treats that we give her while we eat.
Not much planning is involved here. If you’re just out and about and see a restaurant with outdoor seating, just ask one of the waitresses if it’s okay to dine outside with your dog.
You’d be amazed at how many clothing stores and boutiques are dog-friendly. The best way to find out is to just ask or call in advance if you have to drive to the location:
While it’s a way for businesses to attract more customers, many of them are true dog lovers and love it when people come in with their dogs.
And after you’re finished shopping, allow your dog to do some shopping of their own at their favorite pet store to pick out a bone!
They will love you for it! Bringing your dog along while running errands is just another way to have an amazing time with your dog.
Before you decide to do a more strenuous work out with your dog, I would encourage you to first check out my article on exercise for dogs.
You just want to be safe and make sure that your dog doesn’t have any health conditions like exercise-induced collapse. But if your dog has a clean bill of health, then you should be good to go.
And if you’re a runner and your dog is well conditioned for running as well, then you can just go online and search for any upcoming races in your area. Here is a list of 10 upcoming competitions that you can register with your dog.
Many years ago, I entered a 5k run in a local park with my friend and her dog at the time. It was so much fun. It was also funny to see some of even the smallest dogs just glide right past me as I struggled to cross the finish line. Totally an experience worth trying and a nice opportunity to laugh at yourself.
While I’ve never taken a bike ride with a dog before, I must say that it looks like a lot of fun.
But my concern here is safety. I’ve seen it done with people and dogs that were well experienced. And they also had the proper equipment for riding a bike with their dog.
So as a safety precaution, I would first read up on what you need and how to do it right. Here is an article that provides some great tips for getting your dog cycle ready.
But if you want more of a joy ride, then there are some cool bike attachments like pet bicycle trailers where you can trolley your dog along for a fun experience.
And some dogs are more bike-basket dogs, like your smaller breeds. But again, safety is vital because you don’t want to risk hitting a mysterious bump in the road while riding your dog in a bike basket.
So here is another opportunity to give the K-9 Sports Sac a try.
The K-9 Sports Sac is safe because your dog is secured and attached to you.
You can purchase a booster if you have a very small dog, but you’d like them to enjoy a bike ride with you.
And the sac is forward-facing, which is a nice touch. This feature prevents people from trying to distract your dog from behind because most back packs have the dog facing the opposite direction of their parent.
And people will sometimes approach your dog from behind without asking. But that’s very hard to do when you’re both facing forward. So again, it’s one of my favorite sacs for taking your dog along for an adventure.
Don’t forget to use your Unique Coupon Code: Mina10 at check-out to receive 10% off your purchase.
Last but not least, we have a good old fashioned dog walk. So many people undervalue just how fun it can be to take your dog out for an enjoyable walk. The keyword here is fun.
So you’ll have to think outside the box a bit and do something a little different than your normal routine.
So as you can here, creating fun experiences for you and your dog is not that hard to do. The sky is the limit.
It’s just a matter of mixing things up a bit by looking at your lifestyle and seeing how you can include your dog in on the action.
Sometimes it takes just a little research and planning, or it can be as simple as just asking if your best bud can tag along.
In any event, making quality time with your dog a priority, will put a smile on their face and in their hearts for many years to come.
If you enjoyed this post, I would highly appreciate it if you shared it with your fellow dog parents and dog lovers!
Any fun tips you’d like to share? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below.
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