The new year might remind you it’s time to file your taxes, but for your pet, it means just one thing: Spring is coming! Warm weather beckons for walks, runs, and games outside; three-day holiday weekends beg for fun-filled adventures and one-on-one time, and the air has a feeling of excitement and energy.
But preparing your tax return can derail those good times and pull you away from your steadfast dog or cat, at least for one long, tedious afternoon. The simple solution: Upload your tax docs to H&R Block’s Tax Pro Go, and you’ll get matched with an expert who specializes in your unique tax situation without ever leaving home. Each H&R Block-certified tax pro is trained to find every deduction and tax credit you deserve, so you’ll know you’re getting the best possible refund. Once they’ve completed your return, they’ll even send it back for approval before filing it for you.
Better still, with the time you’ve saved on the filing process, you can reward yourself with a real treat: spending that reclaimed time with the friend you love most — Here’s how to make the most of it.
GO ON AN ADVENTURE
Set the tone for a spring of epic outdoor pursuits with your pet by hitting up your local national park for a dual hike or trail run. If you live in the Pacific Northwest (or are willing to travel there), you could also take to the woods with an alternative mission: hunting for truffles with your pup! You can find basic truffle-hunting video how-tos online for teaching your dog to dig up the prized mushrooms, or the two of you could go all out and take an actual truffle-hunting course — and get the reward of enjoying decadent truffles on your food without the steep price tag.
And if you prefer the cool breeze and endless skyline of the open water, look for a nearby pet-friendly kayaking class — it’s a real thing! — like the aqua adventures offered by this San Diego company.
WORK IT OUT (TOGETHER!)
You need to exercise. So does your pet! Why not check both boxes at once with a bootcamp or high-intensity interval class that caters to you and your four-legged pal? You can find outdoor and indoor pet-and-owner classes at boutique fitness locations nationwide.
If you prefer a slower workout with plenty of stretch and nuzzle time, try Doga (yoga with your dog, naturally). Classes are offered nationwide at specialty yoga centers, or you can teach yourself the basics with a simple online Doga course. (From one of the charming reviews: “Roxy was a very high-strung pup, and doing Doga with her has calmed her down so much!”) As another option for the mat, cue up Pup Pilates, a video workout that teaches you how to stretch and strengthen with your dog, and was developed by Pilates expert Cassey Ho and her Pomerian mix, Sir George.
For a functional, fun class that will give your pet (and you) important life skills, check out a local canine swim session, like the ones offered by these facilities in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Florida.
TAKE PLAYTIME UP A NOTCH
Even better than having your own backyard obstacle course is designing one to race through with your pet. Check out this DIY agility course primer that teaches you how to easily create ramps, tunnels, tables and seesaws with ordinary household items.
If your pet is less interested in jumping through hoops and more about good old-fashioned tug of war, learn how to craft a (nearly) indestructible dog toy from a few of your old shirts. Have a kitty? You can keep the repurposing idea going with this how-to video on making fun cat toys with things around your house.
And we all know from America’s Funniest Home Videos that there’s no more entertaining way to belt out a tune than to harmonize with your favorite feline or canine. Invest in a karaoke machine and crank up Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” for a duet with your pet.
Just because you want to go out for a meal doesn’t mean you need to leave your pup at home — there are restaurants across the country with specialty dog menus so your pet can order along with you. (One pupcake cupcake, please!)
When you’re feeling like a drink, these nine dog-friendly bars ensure your pooch will have as good a time as you will: Picture backyard patios with “agility equipment” for dogs to play on while their owners imbibe; a pub filled with leather couches that you’re encouraged to lounge on with your dog; and offerings like a $15 “Brew and Bath” -- the former for you, the latter for your very good doggo.
If you’d rather stay in, you can indulge your culinary side — while spoiling your pet — by making your own dog or cat biscuits. These DIY pet treats are made with whole foods and natural ingredients, and good enough that you may want to eat one, too.
Finally, there’s no sweeter way to relax than to give your best friend a therapeutic massage. You can get a quick tutorial online, or if you’re ready for a deeper dive into how to release tense muscles, sign up for a virtual course.
There are plenty of ways you can make tax time more pet friendly, and thanks to the time you’ll save by using H&R Block’s Tax Pro Go, this year it’ll be easier than ever.