Spring is in the air, and so is your enthusiastic pup! After he has braved a long, cold winter, he is ready to run and jump in the refreshing breeze of spring. But going to the dog park can become boring, and you and your pup may appreciate a change of pace. Here are seven creative ways to entertain your canine friend (and yourself) this spring!
1. Get out on the water!
Give your dog’s joints a rest and let him paddle away in the water. This is a tremendous workout because dogs have to tread water at all times to stay afloat. As an added bonus, if it’s a relatively clean body of water, he will have a bath! Even if the water is a bit chilly, many dogs have insulated coats that make them immune to the nip of a recently thawed lake.
But maybe your dog’s not a swimmer. That’s okay! He can still enjoy the experience of being out on the water. Take him in your kayak, canoe, or even paddle board (if you are skilled and/or strong and your dog obeys). These water sports can be particularly demanding, requiring muscle strength and stamina. But with your canine pal with you to comment, observe birds, and paw at fish, you will have a blast and get a workout too!
2. Create an Easter egg (dog treat) hunt for your dog!
If you think Easter egg hunts are just for kids — think again! An Easter hunt allows a dog to do what he does best: use his sniffer to find goodies. And if you are tired of your dog finding gross stuff, there’s nothing better than a good ol’ Easter egg hunt.
Here’s how to execute this surprise for your four-legged friend: Gather plastic Easter eggs. Poke a hole in one or both ends so that your dog will be able to smell what’s inside. Add one of your dog’s favorite treats (the smellier the better) into each Easter egg. And viola! There you have it. You will have one exuberant pup on Easter morning.
3. Wrap a bandana around his neck for a night under the stars.
Like the idea of camping this spring but don’t want to go alone? Your dog is the perfect companion. After all, his ancestors were wolves, right? He probably remembers a few tricks of the trade — at least enough to keep you safe.
But your loyal pup will do more than protect you. He may not know it yet, but he is sure to love any and all outdoor activities associated with camping — such as chasing bunnies, taking a dip in the lake, and hiking in the woods. And in the tent, your dog will be more than happy to cuddle!
4. Test your dog’s (and your own) endurance on a hike!
Grab your keys and a leash (don’t forget your pup!) and head out of town to a wilderness trail. The blooming flowers, crisp Evergreen branches, and comforting sun are sure to stimulate you and your dog’s senses. Don’t be afraid of those challenging hills. Your dog will love the opportunity to show off his athletic prowess. Just don’t forget to bring some water!
5. Allow him to accompany you to a coffee shop or outdoor bar.
You do not need to pause your life to play with your dog! Incorporate him into whatever you are doing. If you have a paper to write or book to read, bring him along to the coffee shop patio to enjoy the ear scratches and head pats of adoring coffee-shop goers.
Or if you are ready to relax with friends after a long day, invite your dog to go with you to an outdoor bar or restaurant. He is sure to be the life of the party!
6. Jump in puddles together!
Just when you think the rain is holding you hostage in your apartment or home this spring, let your kid-instinct run wild! Grab your raincoat, boots, and dog, and jump in the puddles! If you feel silly, your dog will be right there alongside you, with his encouraging smile. Sure, his paws might get a bit muddy, but both of you will cherish this memory next winter when you really are stuck in your house during a snowstorm!
7. Take your dog on a picnic date!
On a relaxing Sunday afternoon, take your pup with you on a winding drive to your favorite park and have a picnic! Let your dog use his canine instincts to pick the perfect spot. He is sure to love the opportunity to eat in his natural environment — the great outdoors! Just don’t forget to pack some dog food.
There are so many ways that you and your canine companion can experience the outdoors together this spring! Whether you go hiking, camping, or kayaking, the opportunities are endless. “Branch” out of your regular routine and make some memories with your four-legged friend this spring.
About the Author:
As a dedicated pet owner and advocate, Alexandra Seagal has created Animalso.com to educate fellow pet owners on how to make your dog’s life with you the best it can be. Aside from writing, she loves spending time with her children and enjoys the company of her two dogs and one cat.