Craving an inseparable bond with your pup?. No worries, we’re here to help!
Everyone wants to feel a strong connection with their canine companion/best friend/furbaby. We love them and want them to love us back. But sometimes life gets busy, and you may feel your connection with your dog is slipping. Or maybe you recently adopted a new puppy and you’re trying to build that bond from the get-go.
Whatever your reason, here are some tips and tricks to help you bond with your furry best friend—and plenty of dog-friendly activities you’ll love!
4 Tips to Enhance Your Relationship with Your Dog
Before we jump into all the fun activities you can do with your pup, let’s talk about four things you can do to help enhance your relationship with your dog.
- Set aside intentional time with your dog. In the United States, we are all too good at filling up our schedules with busyness. We get so focused on working longer hours or trying to get one more house project done, that we forget about spending some intentional, undivided attention on our dogs. That’s the only way to enhance any relationship.
- Be in the moment with your dog. We all have stressors that live in the back of our minds. Even when trying to do something fun or relaxing, we constantly seem to worry. Instead, act like a dog! They completely live in the moment. So take a tip from them, and try to just focus on the enjoyment of spending time with your four-legged friend.
- Let your dog be a dog. Although we all like to see our pups as our best friends—and sometimes as our children—they are not, in fact, humans. They’re dogs! And dogs have different emotional and physical needs than we do. So try not to assume that your dog has the same needs and wants as a human. Instead, try to think about what your dog may need or want. Reflect on your dog’s full identity; an animal, a dog, their specific breed, and their individual self.
- Get out into nature with your dog. As we said, dogs are animals! Even though they are domesticated, they yearn for time outdoors. Time to run, sniff, chase, and howl. Many crave exercise, excitement, and adventure. And they desire to feel accomplished. Every breed was bred for a different job. And your dog feels the urge to complete their assigned task. So try taking them for a hike or a camping trip where they can hunt, sniff, run, climb, and splash. Again, every dog’s needs are slightly different, but conduct some outdoor experiments to see what your pup enjoys most!
15 Dog-Friendly Activities to Do with Your Dog
Ready for a with your number one fluff? Check out our suggestions below for fun, dog-friendly, easy-to-do activities.
Doggy Date Ideas for the City Dog
- Visit a dog park. There are tons of dog parks across the country—especially in larger cities where most people don’t have a backyard. Dog parks give your dog room to run and blow off some steam and you both get to socialize. Just know that not all pups enjoy dog parks, so this option is only if you have a social dog.
- Go on a walking tour of your city’s downtown. If you live in a bigger city, there should be plenty of sidewalks in the downtown area. Why not get some fresh air, show your dog around town, and work on their leash skills?
- Visit a dog-friendly restaurant. Yes, you read that correctly! In addition to more dog parks popping up, there are more and more dog-friendly restaurants, bars, and coffee shops popping up all over the U.S.—mostly in bigger cities. This restaurant in Portland, OR, Tin Shed, even has a doggy menu!
- Take a trip to a dog toy and supply store. Pretty much any dog supply store or toy store allows dogs to join you inside. Exposure to new environments can be helpful when trying to socialize your pup. And the best part is you can let them pick out their own treats and new toys!
- Teach your dog a new trick. Most tricks and commands don’t take too much space. So even if you live in an apartment, you can work on trick training at home. This is a unique way to get your pup some much-needed mental situation and bonding for the two of you.
Doggy Date Ideas for the Active Dog
- Go on a walk, run, or hike. If your dog is the active, outdoorsy type, it’s time to get outside! Many dogs love walking, running, and climbing. Try going for a walk or run on a nearby park trail. Or take your dog for a challenging day hike on a trail. You might be surprised how skilled your dog is out in the woods!
- Take a camping trip. Speaking of the woods, try a camping trip! You’ll get tons of bonding time. Plus, you’ll be able to fit multiple activities all into one trip, like hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking. And, of course, snuggling up in the tent at night.
- Go on a bike ride. Depending on your dog, this may take a little training. But if your dog is great at going on walks and runs, try letting them run by your side—on-leash—while you ride your bike. Make sure to pick a wide enough paved trail that isn’t too busy.
- Take a swim. Most dogs are naturally great swimmers without any prior practice. It’s instinctual for them. Whether it’s in a friend’s pool, a pond or lake, or even just splashing around at the beach, your dog may love playing in the water with you. One helpful tip: check out dog life jackets for your pup to be safe!
- Play fetch in the backyard. If you have a fenced-in backyard, your dog will love getting to run and play freely. But they’ll love it even more if you’re out there with them! Try throwing a ball or frisbee for them to chase and bring back. This will help them with their physical and mental stimulation needs. And playing a game of fetch together will help the two of you bond.
Doggy Date Ideas for the Couch Potato Dog
- Snuggle up for a movie night. If your dog is an older pup or just likes to chill at home, try snuggling up on the couch for a movie marathon. You can make yourself a snack and even bring a dog-appropriate snack for your pup.
- Go for a car ride. Some dogs love car rides! Take your pup for a drive around the neighborhood with the windows down. They’ll love all of the sights, sounds, and smells.
- Sit outside and watch the stars. Get out that old picnic blanket, and snuggle up with your pup under the stars. It’s relaxing, peaceful, and a great way to calm down after a stressful day.
- Go on a boat ride. If you live near water, rent a pontoon boat for a couple of hours, and take your dog with you. You can both sit back, relax, and take in that fresh air while enjoying the surrounding nature.
- Take your dog to work. Take advantage if you work in an office building that allows you to bring your pup in! Your dog will be so happy to spend all day with you! And if you need something to keep them entertained, check out quiet enrichment toys like these.