There is no better friend and companion for many people around the globethan a dog. You likely won’t find a human friend who wants to ride along with you to the city dump or who enjoys hopping into the middle of activities like breaking down cardboard boxes. A dog will happily run alongside you to get your daily latte or sit at your feet while you have lunch on a restaurant patio.
We’ve talked before about the fact that you can’t let your dog consume trash, coffee, chocolate, and several other things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t head off to have a coffee and go somewhere your pet will enjoy. Just remember to bring along a bottle of water and a bowl so you can hydrate your pet while they exercise and have a blast spending time with you.
When you spend time doing activities with your dog, it gives them mental and physical stimulation, but it also helps you create a stronger bond between pet and owner. Each of these things can lead to better health for your four-legged family member. Whether you have an older dog, a brand new puppy, are pet sitting for a friend’s dog or want to add new fun to the routine for any dog, there are plenty of things you can do.
The best thing you can do is to be creative about what excursions you take your dog on with you. However, we also want to share some of the activities that can make a great start to spending more time together. If you’re ready to make some memories and maybe even take some adorable photos for Instagram, check out the ideasbelow. Don’t worry, most of them can be done while you have a macchiato in hand. Just keep it away from your doggo!
Head to the Nearest Starbucks to Your Home
Sure, Starbucks may not be considered a specialty coffee shop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t serve some tasty drinks. While many different cafes in the world allow dogs, even if that means out on the patio in front, not all of them offer a menu that your pet can enjoy with you. Starbucks is the exception here. While you sip on a frappuccino or a pour-over brew from one of the largest coffee houses in the world, you can order your dog a puppuccino. Don’t stress, this drink has no coffee content whatsoever. It’s just a small cup with whipped cream inside. As long as your dog doesn’t mind dairy, this is a great excursion to take together.
Teach Your Dog to Balance Treats on its Nose
Looking for something you can do right at home that can be fun for you and your dog? An adventure doesn’t have to mean leaving your house, especially if the weather outside isn’t cooperating with your plans. If you spend much time on Instagram, you may have seen dogs that can hold treats on their snout while their owner records or takes photos of them. Your pet could be the next dog to get in on this exciting sensation. Start slowly by adding a treat or two and teaching your dog to leave them where you put them. This can be a lot of fun and might even boost your social media engagement at the same time!
Walk Around Your Neighborhood
It might sound boring to take a trek around your neighborhood, especially if you’ve lived there for quite some time already. However, when you bring a dog along, you can sip on your morning coffee and get some exercise while you take in things you might never notice on a typical day. If you want to go above and beyond, you can find where the most pet-friendly destinations are in your city so your pet can get some extra attention and treats as you walk around.
Head Out to the Lake or Swim in a Pool
Almost every dog in the world enjoys the water, so giving them access to that is something you can do to make things more exciting on an average day. If you have a pool, this can be as simple as taking your dog out to swim with you. If you want to go further, you can invite a few friends and their dogs to make it a real party. Those who don’t have a pool aren’t left out though. You can also visit a nearby lake or beach. Before you do so, make sure dogs are allowed and bring along life vests made for dogs so everyone can be safe.
Try Out an Obedience or Agility Training Class
Some dogs can get a little crazy, and having a goal they can work toward can help with that. When you choose to take part in obedience or agility training, your dog can learn new things and gets the chance to show off in front of other dogs and their owners. Even if it turns out your dog isn’t very good at the activity, you can spend time together and work on your bond. Sip a coffee while your dog learns new things and takes part in new experiences. You never know, there might be a trophy to put on the mantle when everything is said and done.
Bring Your Pet to Work for a Day
While not every job is dog-friendly, some are, and that gives you a chance to get close to your dog during the hours when they might usually be home alone. June 24th is the official day to bring your dog to the office, but if you are somewhere that is pet-friendly, you don’t have to dedicate your time to only that day. If you have a low or medium energy dog, having them around can help beat some of the stress of the workday. You can even step out to have your coffee break with your dog right there with you.
Introduce Your Pet to a Gourmet Meal
Those who are lucky enough to have a gourmet restaurant that allows dogs can make a night of it and enjoy a great meal with their pet. However, this isn’t always possible, which means you can do the whole thing on your own. The best part is that you already know what flavors and foods your dog tends to enjoy so you can create recipes that use those components. The great thing about the Internet is you can find all sorts of dog-friendly vittles from homemade dog biscuits, to chicken jerky and peanut butter cookies.
Implement Some Puzzle Toys into Your Dog’s Routine
If you have a dog that isn’t super active, puzzle toys can be an excellent way to get their brain and body working on a more regular basis. Puzzle toys are usually made of plastic or rubber and contain treats or other foods that dogs like. However, these toys make it a bit more challenging to get access to that food. Some have holes in the end so your pet can shake, roll, and nibble on the toy to bring the food out. These toys offer the chance for a pet to learn patience and problem-solving skills, all of which can make their quiet time easier to handle. These toys also let the dog do a lot of licking and chewing, which is shown to be calming for them.
Let Your Pet Use Their Instincts to Hunt for Dinner
One of the other ways you can let your dog’s instincts shine is by letting them hunt for their next meal. This can be done using the food puzzles above or only hiding kibble in various places around the home. If you are leaving your pet home alone, this gives them a chance to roam around and have fun while finding a meal, so they do not get overly bored. If you want to try this outside, that’s possible too. Scatter the kibble around the yard and then let your dog work through the grass to find a bite to eat. Most dogs will love this game!
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Incorporate Plenty of Chewing Time
No matter how old or young your dog is, they need to spend time chewing. Domestic and wild dogs alike spend hours chewing to keep their teeth clean and their jaws strong. Many of them also like to gnaw to relieve anxiety, for stimulation, or just for fun. Regardless of whether you have a tiny puppy or a large dog, having a selection of chew toys available is essential. Consider things like rawhide, Nylabones, pig ears, hard rubber toys, and natural marrow bones. If your dog is often chewing on things you would prefer they not, get them extra chews and toys to enjoy and teach them what sort of chewing is appropriate.
Spend Some Time at the Local Dog Park
Grab yourself your favorite caffeinated beverage and bring your pooch to the nearest dog park so you can both enjoy some time together. Animals like dogs need to socialize, just like humans do. If you have an off-leash park, that’s the best option. Playing with dogs can let your dog wear out physically and mentally while practicing their social skills. Dog daycare is another option if you don’t have a park nearby that works. If you have friends and family who have dogs, you can also set up play dates and swap between whose house hosts each time.
Get Out There and Walk or Run
It might seem like the simplest thing in the world, but walking or jogging with your dog is something that should occur regularly. Making sure you get out and walk at least once a day is going to ensure your pet stays physically fit. It also gives your dog a chance to explore the world around them. Try going through different routes and visiting new locations whenever possible so your pet can try smelling and seeing new things.
Compete in a Game of Tug of War
One of the primary urges of a dog is to grab onto things with their mouth and pull on them. That explains precisely why tug of war is such a popular game for pets and their owners. This is a game that can ensure your dog is getting plenty of exercise while also learning valuable lessons like the best way to listen to you even when excited. It doesn’t hurt that this is a game that doesn’t require a bunch of costly materials to play. All you need is a rope and a dog, and you are ready to go.
Spice Up an Old-Fashioned Game of Fetch
Playing fetch is one of the most common things to do with your pet, and there are lots of reasons to do so. For one thing, it can tire your dog out quickly while it doesn’t have to make you dead on your feet. The game is excellent for teaching your dog various things like how to drop an item when you want them to. So how does it work? Show a toy to your dog and then toss it a few feet away. If the dog follows the toy, make sure to praise them. Do the same if the dog grabs the toy and brings it back to you. Catch the toy with one of your hands when the dog comes back while telling the dog “drop it” and offering a treat. After the toy is dropped in your hand, share the treat. It’s best to start practicing indoors, but you can move outdoors when the dog is better at the game.
Go Out Backpacking With Your Canine
If you enjoy backpacking, keep in mind that your pet may enjoy it just as much. Getting away from it all and experiencing something new is something many dogs appreciate. However, if this is your first time trying a backpacking trip, you need to do some serious planning first. Consider how active your dog is as you don’t want to push them too hard and risk their health. That means you should start working on their level of fitness before you ever leave. You also want to be sure that dogs are allowed in the area where you plan to backpack. Bring along a first aid kit for dogs and make sure you know the basics in case an injury happens. You also should bring enough water for both you and the dog.
Enjoy Some Yoga With Your Pet
Have you ever heard of the new sensation called doga? This is a combination of the words yoga and dog since both are involved in this fun exercise that is taking the world by storm. When you practice doga, meditation and massage are combined with some gentle forms of massage for both humans and their canine buddies. Instructors who run doga classes say that since dogs are pack animals, dogs do well with yoga since it focuses on a connection with other beings in the world. You can sign up for a class in your area or pick up a DVD so you can practice a little bit of doga in the comfort of your own home.
Hook Up With a Pet-Friendly Fitness Group
While it’s not available everywhere just yet, more and more fitness groups and boot camps are crossing the nation that allows dogs to join their owners in a chance to improve physical fitness. One of the most well-known is the Leash Your Fitness program, which uses benches, ball, hand weights, bands, and more to allow dogs and owners to exercise together in an outdoor environment. Check into potential groups in your area or think about starting your own. If that seems like a bit too much work, you can set up a fitness routine for you and your dog so you can both work out at the same time and get bonding time in while doing so.
Let Your Dog Run Beside You As You Cycle
If you are someone who enjoys getting on a bicycle and you have a dog that is very energetic or active, this might be a great activity to put together into one. There are special attachments you can get for your bike so your dog can run alongside you as you pedal. However, you want to keep in mind that this is going to be harder for your canine that it is for you. Make sure you talk to your vet to be sure that your dog is appropriate for the activity. If so, start with short distances and work up as time goes on. Remember that your dog may need some training to learn how to run by your bike. Sticking to bike trails rather than sidewalks and streets is the best way to prevent any injuries.
Give Your Dog the Chance to Try Some Archaeology
Many dogs are enormous fans of digging, which can be an issue if you have a beautiful yard or garden that you want to keep in perfect shape. Removing the option of digging doesn’t work as well as you would think, which means an alternative might be in order. Instead of scolding your pet for digging, make a digging pit where they can dig to their heart’s desire. This is as simple as filling a kiddie pool or sandbox with sand and dirt or marking off a specific area of the yard where the dog can go wild. Enjoy your favorite coffee while you watch your pooch dig and dig and dig without making a mess of your landscaping. When the dog digs in the right spot, give them a treat, so they stick with it.
Get the Entire Family Involved in Exercise
If you have a large family and everyone wants a turn to hang out with your dog, there’s an obedience game you can try. While everyone is in the living room, each person should spread out from each other. Then each person can call for the dog before offering praise and a treat when they come to that person. After that, the next person can start in. It’s best if the other family members stay quiet while one is calling, so they don’t get confused or distracted. After the dog is doing well with the game, you can spread out into various rooms. Expert dogs can even try the game outside.
Take a Weekend Vacation With Your Pooch
If you’ve never bothered to take your dog on vacation, this is something that can be a lot of fun and set the stage for future excursions for more extended periods. The great thing about today is that there are a vast number of hotel chains that are welcoming to dogs. Make sure you double-check that the spot you want is friendly before you book a room, so you aren’t out of luck when you show up. It doesn’t have to be a hotel either. There are bed and breakfasts, cabins, condos, and other dwellings that allow pets for a vacation. Want to push it even further? Think about a dog camp where you and your dog can rough it with other dogs and their owners. Most camps have training options, games, and plenty of other canines to meet.
Rent a Boat, Kayak, or Paddleboard
If you have local or state parks nearby, many of them rent out boats so you can explore the waterways in the area. Most of them are also open to having you bring your boat if you happen to have one already. If your dog is a water lover, this can be a fun way to amplify things a little bit. You can both hang out in a canoe or learn to ride on top of a paddleboat. Those who live in areas near a river may also have charter boats, and some of them will allow dogs to come on board. Pick your favorite water vessel and bring your dog along to ensure you never get bored.
Visit a Drive-In Movie Theater
In lots of cities during the summer months, businesses and communities decide to offer showings of films outside. Some of them are free, while others may request a donation or have a small fee associated with seeing the movie. Make sure you check that pets are allowed before you go and pack up a picnic to come with you. You’ll want plenty of water for everyone, blankets, and a couple of chairs. Try to find a night when a pet film is showing to have the most fun possible. Those who live next to a drive-in that is open regularly will find this is an even easier option. It’s fun for the whole family, including the canine members.
Spend Time at a Brewery or Winery
Depending on where you live, you may find that there are many breweries and wineries in the area. If that’s the case, some of them are often friendly to dogs. If you are in a wine-producing region, this is an even better option for some bonding time with your dog. Always make sure you make a call to see if dogs are allowed and whether they are only allowed on the ground or inside the tasting rooms with you. The truth is that is the spot serves food; dogs may only be permitted in outdoor areas. But don’t worry, because a lot of spots will let you enjoy a glass outside with your dog. Some even have tastings that take place outdoors. Make sure you bring along everything you need from water to treats and poo bags.
Fire Up Your Barbecue Grill
One of the most fun things you can do during the summer is hosting a barbecue, whether it’s just for the family or you invite all your friends and neighbors. Those who have a barbecue grill can light it up any day they want and make some great food that isn’t the same thing you have every day. But what sets things apart is that this is a party your dog can enjoy too. Whether you are tossing hot dogs on the grill or going with chicken breast, hamburgers, or ribs, making the food dog-friendly isn’t too tricky. Stay away from onions and avoid most of the spices. Your pet will be happy to dine among friends. Make sure you have plenty of water for a crowd along with bug spray. To get things going, start some music going to create an excellent environment.
Learn More About Canine Massage
You might not know this, but dogs love massages just as much as humans do. While dogs enjoy petting, taking time to massage their muscles can have them wagging their tail in no time. Knowing the basics of a canine massage can relax and soothe almost any dog, especially if they are worked up. If you own a dog that is older or who has arthritis, massage can offer relief from achy joints and sore muscles. When you give your dog a massage, it helps to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and improve circulation. It’s also one of the best possible ways to bond with your pet in a special way.
Make Sure to Groom Your Dog Regularly
Most dogs aren’t going to find a bath or brushing quite as much fun as tug of war, but it’s still an important thing to keep on top of to ensure the best health of your pet. Dogs need to be bathed and brushed regularly. They also need to have their teeth cleaned and their nails trimmed if they start to become a bit long. Keep in mind that some dogs are happier to handle grooming than others, but positive rewards can make the process simpler. There’s nothing wrong with offering plenty of treats to get a dog through a grooming session. Once the dog realizes that grooming is a positive experience, they will start to enjoy it more than before.
Start-Up the Sprinkler in the Summer Heat
If you own an underground lawn sprinkler system, it usually irrigates your lawn early in the morning before the sun starts to beat down on the grass. This is also one of the best times to get your dog outside for some exercise since it tends to be cooler than the rest of the day. You can easily combine these two things by letting your pet walk through sprinklers on their daily walk or turning one on in your yard. Keep in mind that you need to be respectful of the property of others. Don’t let your dog try to nip at the sprinkler itself, only the water that comes out of it. If you don’t want to bother the neighbors, set up a portable sprinkler that you can turn on in your backyard whenever you like.
Let Your Dog Assist in a Positive Way
This is an enjoyable and worthwhile way to spend time with your dog while engaging with others. The dogs that take on this role support people with special needs, whether they are in hospitals, veterans clubs, libraries, prisons, or elsewhere. Dogs can help both during examination processes and recreational ones. For instance, a dog might be able to help a prisoner learn kindness and empathy while they are in prison. They can also go out on walks with overweight people to help them lose weight or spend time with veterans who have psychological issues. Dogs can also help autistic individuals socialize and feel happier.
Try Going on a Canicross
What is a Canicross? It involves running off-road while you have your dog next to you. The pooch is connected to you using a two-meter long leash tied to your waistbelt which connects to your belt. This is an extremely fulfilling activity where you can bond with your dog and activate their muscles while they pull you forward. This helps prevent boredom while running and can introduce a new method of physical activity for your dog. This can be just as fun for you as it is for a dog.
Practice Training When Stuck Inside
While you can work on training with your dog any day and in almost any space, rainy days when you are stuck inside are the ideal time to work on basic or advanced commands that don’t require a lot of space. Think you don’t need to do this because your dog is already well trained? Think again. Dogs will find a training session exciting even if they aren’t learning something new to them. If you want to go above and beyond, try some new fun tricks like rolling over. Some people even manage to teach their dog the names of their toys, which they can then fetch and bring back. You can get creative and try whatever you want.
Go On a Shopping Spree
Need to head on a shopping trip? Why not bring your pet along with you for the fun and excitement? You can head to pet-friendly shops and get some new duds for your pet for rainy or snowy weather. Look at warm sweaters, comfortable booties, and winter parkas, so your walks aren’t too cold for your pet when the temperature drops. Many pet shops will even have fun costumes on display so you can get your dog ready for Halloween or some other sort of canine-friendly party. If you prefer, bring your dog up into your lap, sip on your favorite coffee beverage, and search online for some great bargains.
Head Out to Watch a Ballgame
You are going to find that many major and minor league baseball teams have dog nights at least once a season. Dogs are welcome to come to hang out with other dogs, provided their owners are also present. Most of these games start earlier in the day, and there tend to be a lot of extras. There might be pet parades, treat bags, and spots for the dogs to play together. Most of the time, the proceeds from the games go to a pet charity. Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog and ensure they are hydrated at all times.
Whether you’re heading to grab a coffee, going to work out, or want to spend time with friends, your dog is welcome to come with you in many cases. While dogs should never be fed coffee or chocolate, that doesn’t mean they can’t hang out with you while you have your favorite beverage. There are dozens of options for spending time with your best friend and keeping their health at its best. Try a few of the ones above!
1. Where can I take my dog for fun?
There are all sorts of places that you can bring along your dog for some fun. Try taking a hike through the woods or visiting a beach or lake in your area. Head to a dog park or take a trip to a dog-friendly city nearby. You can also go on a walk, peruse a pet store, or take a car or boat ride.
2. How can I make my dog’s life more fun?
It depends on the dog, but the number one option is to take your dog out for more exercise. Make sure they have toys that are mentally and physically stimulating. Be sure your pet always has plenty of food and water, too.
3. How do I entertain my dog indoors?
You have plenty of options to keep a dog entertained inside. Buy some dog puzzles or turn on dog television for your pup. Make sure your pet has a window seat to look outside and keep treats at the ready for your dog.
4. How do you spend time with your dog?
Everyone has different ways they like to spend time with their dog. Some enjoy taking their dog on errands or shopping at pet stores together. You might want to work out with your pet or schedule social dates with other dogs.
5. Is it better to have two dogs or one?
It’s not uncommon to wonder whether you should have one dog or two. When you have two, they can offer each other mental and physical stimulation as well as companionship. This can help if you have a single dog at home that gets bored and acts out.
6. How much playtime does a dog need?
If you have a sporting or herding breed dog that is of adult age, 60 to 90 minutes of exercise is a good option for every day. This should include things like playtime with other pets, hiking, and running. Really active dogs may like flyball or agility.
7. How do you know when your dog is sad?
Some of the signs that your dog might be sad or depressed include losing interest in their favorite things, changes in their appetite, and sleeping a lot more than usual. Abnormal paw licking, hiding, and avoidance are also signs that something could be wrong.
8. How can I make my dog healthy?
Some ways you can ensure your pet is healthy and happy are making sure your dog has adequate shelter, has dry bedding, continually has access to fresh water, and eats a high-quality diet. Exercising regularly and playing with your dog every day can also help.
9. How long do dog breeds live?
Most small dogs tend to live a bit longer than larger dogs. Veterinary records show that dogs who weigh 20 pounds often tend to live 11 years while those more than 90 pounds live about eight years.
10. Can dogs watch TV?
Dogs can see images on television just like humans and can see animals on the screen and realize they are there just like they would in real life. Dogs will also recognize sounds like dogs barking coming from the television.
Coffee & Your Furry Friends: Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Caffeinated Products
Coffee & Dogs: What You Should Know When Visiting Connecticut
Incorporating Time With Your Pets Into Your Coffee Routine
Dogs & Coffee: The Low Down on the State of Wyoming