Doing activities with your dog is not only a great way to spend some quality time together and strengthen your bond but also provides your pooch with physical and mental stimulation which helps to promote overall good health. Whether you have a new pup you are looking to bond with, are a pet-sitter or just want to entertain your dog, there are plenty of activities you can do to keep their tails wagging this summer.
Here are some of our favourite activities for dogs - and humans - to help you both blow off some steam!
Take a tour of your hometown or city
Dogs love exploring their surroundings. Give them a chance to take in every sight, sound and smell, as you take a walking tour of your hometown or city. Dedicate some time to rediscovering where you live and taking the scenic route - this is the perfect summer activity to mix up your day-to-day walks. By planning your route beforehand, you can make pit-stops at all of your favourite dog-friendly spots along the way which is ideal for a belly-rub and a treat or two.
Run or jog together
Summer months naturally come with a desire to be a little healthier and to spend more time outdoors. If you’re looking for a little motivation to get fit yourself and your pup has lots of energy, why not consider going for a run or jog together? Nothing tires out a dog with bags of energy like a long run.
It’s important to note that not all dogs are suited to long distances, so consider your dogs health and the temperature outside before you commit to a run. Always take treats and water too, so that you can both refuel when needed. If your dog has a tendency to run off, it’s key to get a lead specially made for running. For both yours and his safety.
Go on a bike ride together
Another fun way to exercise together is to take your dog along on a bike ride. This may take a few practice runs before you hit the bike trail, as you need to be aware of your pooch and the path in front of you, whilst maintaining control of your bicycle. Once you have practiced, this can be a great way to explore new places and blow off some steam with your pooch.
This idea is more suited to dogs who are well-behaved, are good on the leash and who can keep up the pace, so it’s important to keep your dogs physical fitness in mind.
Take a trip to the park
Whilst all parks are fun places to visit with your dog, why not take your pooch for a stroll and a play in an off-leash dog park? Dogs are social creatures and usually relish the chance to meet and play with other dogs. So if your pooch is well-behaved, find your nearest off-leash dog park and let them do some mingling.
Make a puzzle for your dog to solve
Looking for a real boredom buster? Why not try and make a puzzle for your dog to solve? Dogs are inquisitive creatures and creating puzzles is a great way to provide your canine with some mental stimulation. Get crafty with it! There are an abundance of DIY doggy puzzles online, which you can make with materials from around the home. Why not take a muffin tray and place a treat in some of the holes and cover them over with a tennis ball or other toy? Watch as your dog has to sniff out the treat and remove the obstacles in his way. More than two of you at home? Take it in turns to hide from your pooch and call out their name, for a classic game of hide and seek!
Make a splash
As the temperature rises, you better believe that your dog is feeling the heat too! What better way to cool down than to go swimming and make a splash? Paddling pools and sprinklers are great ways to play with your dog at home, as dogs love jumping up and chasing the sprinkler or retrieving toys from the paddling pool. However, if you don’t have either of these at home, don’t worry. A trip to a dog-friendly beach or lake will be just the ticket. Take a ball or favourite toy that they can play fetch with so that you can mix up their agility tasks. It’s important to remember that not all dogs can swim, so you may want to head somewhere where the water is shallow.
Make a tasty treat
One of the best things about summer is being able to indulge in a tasty frozen treat - like an icecream or a juicy lolly. Your pooch doesn’t have to miss out on all the fun. Why not purchase some doggy-friendly tasty treats that you can pop in the freezer and whip out on a warm summer day? Or better yet, make your own treats at home.
Why not try and make your own frozen yoghurt dog treats? For this quick and easy recipe, you will need 4 cups of plain yoghurt, ½ cup of creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 ripe banana, mashed up.
Melt the peanut butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Then place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor, and mix until smooth. Pour your mixture into an ice cube tray and pop the tray into the freezer until they are frozen and firm. And voila! (Not all ingredients are fit for animal consumption so check the labels first.)
Netflix and nap
Sometimes heat makes us lethargic and sleepy, and all we really want to is relax and get cosy. Dogs are the perfect companion for snuggles on the sofa. Even the most active doggos need a break. Why not curl up together and watch a bit of Netflix? Dogs sometimes pay attention to visuals and sounds which feature other animals, so why not watch a canine-friendly film together? 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven and Marley and Me are all sure to be pawfect for your pooch!
There you have it! From puppy and parent bonding to fun and creative ways to exercise your dog, these are just some of our favourite activities for dogs in summer, no matter your pooches energy level or temperament.