11 Fun Activities To Do With Your Dog
So extra 💅
Being cooped up all day can get boring fast.
Sure, dogs might like routine, but they also appreciate an adventure now and then. And if you’re feeling bored stuck at home, there’s a good chance your dog is, too.
Luckily, most dogs are pretty much game for whatever, whenever, so you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new with them.
But even if you did want to switch things up, where do you start? The Dodo spoke with Victoria Schade, a certified dog trainer and author, to get some ideas for fun things to do with your dog inside, outside and out on the town.
Things to do with your dog at home
Doing nothing inside all day is no fun. Try these indoor activities with your dog and take a break from your routine.
Hide-and-seek isn’t only a fun game for you and your dog, but it also teaches her how to come when called — which is an important training command for your dog to know.
“Start off by keeping it simple,” Schade told The Dodo. “Disappear around a corner and say, ‘Find me!’ in an excited voice, then have a praise party when your dog gets to you.” A praise party could mean pets, cuddles, treats — basically anything she finds rewarding.
Once your dog gets used to the game, you can start hiding in spots that are more difficult to find, “like in the shower or in the closet with the door almost shut,” Schade said.
Try puzzle toys
Puzzle toys are great because they keep dogs sharp-minded and entertained. And since brain games will take up a ton of your dog’s energy, it can help her sleep better, too!
When it comes to choosing one for your dog, feel free to get creative. Schade likes “placing treats in a muffin tin and putting tennis balls on top of them.”
Or, leave dog puzzle toys to the professionals and purchase one online:
Teach your dog to “talk”
It sounds impossible, but it’s actually easier than you think.
Using “dog training buzzers,” pet parents can record their voice to each buzzer using sayings like “walk” or “food.” Then they train their dog to use that buzzer when they want to communicate each saying.
You can add as many buzzers as you like. And with some practice, soon enough you could be having full-on convos with your dog.
Try some dog yoga (aka doga!)
Dog yoga is a trend that just doesn’t seem to die down. And with good reason! It’s an excellent way to stay in the moment with your dog, stretch and relax together. (Even if your pup doesn’t quite get it, she’ll love having you down on her level and being able to explore all your poses.)
For some inspo, check out this dog that copies every single yoga move his dad does. (It’s truly the definition of doga goals.)
Things to do with your dog outside
If you need to get out of the house for some fresh air, here are some things you can do with your dog in the great outdoors.
Go to a dog park
A popular outdoor activity for pet parents and their dogs is a trip to the dog park. It’s a great way for your dog to socialize freely with other pups, and tire herself out when she has some extra energy.
But remember that dog parks aren’t a good idea for every dog. “Dog parks are wonderful in theory but they're not always a great fit for all dogs,” Schade said. “Remember, dog parks aren't the place to teach a dog to socialize — they're for dogs that are already well-socialized and know how to interact with their peers.”
But if your dog is already friendly, with a well-adjusted temperament, feel free to scope out some nearby dog parks. There’s a good chance you’ll end up making it a regular thing.
While you’re in the backyard, at the dog park or at the beach, fetch is always a good go-to.
If your dog isn’t much of a “fetcher,” Schade recommends tossing a different type of toy. “Not every dog likes balls (especially the little ones!), so try tossing a variety of toys to see if something else works,” she said.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)
SUP is definitely one of the more challenging activities on this list — but it’s totally worth it.
Dogs can find the activity a bit overwhelming at first, so proceed with caution. And be careful not to force it on your dog if she’s just not feeling it.
Oh, and don’t forget to put your dog in a life jacket while you’re out on the water (just in case!).
There are plenty of other water activities you can do with your dog if SUP isn’t your vibe. You can also bring your dog kayaking, canoeing or boating, too! (But again, remember that life jacket for any water-based activities!)
Take a nature walk
Do yourself a favor and check out all the local parks with dog-friendly trails. She’ll love the new smells, and you’ll love how relaxed you feel. It’s a win-win!
Plant a pet-friendly garden
Feeling extra stressed? This one's for you. Gardening is a great way to get outside, get some sun and boost your mood.
But before you dig in, make sure your dog knows basic commands like “sit” and “stay” and — most importantly — only choose plants and flowers that are pet-safe.
Things to do with your dog around town
Just because you’re heading to town doesn’t mean you need to leave your pup behind. Here are some things you can do together while you’re out and about.
Visit a pet-friendly restaurant
A fun way to show your dog the finer things in life is with a little wine and dine (minus the wine).
If you want to be extra, don’t just look up restaurants that allow dogs, look for the ones that accommodate them. Meaning dog menus, dog-friendly beverages, a water bowl at every table — the whole nine yards.
Your dog is clearly important, so when you both go out, go all out.
But before booking a table, make sure your dog is well-trained enough. She should be able to stay calm in crowded places, and generally like being around people. You definitely don’t want to force your dog to do anything, so if she’s feeling uneasy, stay home.
Spend the night at a pet-friendly hotel
Who doesn’t love a staycation? Or a road trip?
To find the best accommodations for you and your dog, do your research on what these pet-friendly hotels can offer you. Some places will go above and beyond to make sure you and your dog are comfortable.
Look through the pictures, read reviews from dog owners and don’t be afraid to call to confirm any perks you see online. A lot of the time, there are some extra fees hidden that you don’t want to get hit with later — so keep that in mind when calling.
Book your dog a massage
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly for you. But your dog will love it!
Yes, animal massage salons exist — and most dogs do love a good massage every once in a while from a professional. So, treat your dog to a spa day — she deserves it!
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