We love our dogs, and we know that they deserve more than just sitting around the house. They need exercise, attention, and entertainment – all things that they can get from their human companions. Follow this blog for some great ideas on how to spend time with your pup in different ways.
Take them on a Car Ride.
Even though you may feel like this is a waste of time because your dog can’t talk, it is still one of the most fun things to do with a dog. If they go places regularly then they will be excited when you take them into the car. They might even know that they are going somewhere and get excited before you even open the door!
This is a great way to get your pup out of the house for some fresh air or take them somewhere they are allowed to be off-leash. Make sure that before you go on the car ride, to make it seem like an adventure by pulling up in front of where you are going (parking lot) and whistling for your pup. Then when they get out give them lots of praise!
Your pup will love this! Even if it’s just a short drive to the park, they’ll get excited about any trip. Make sure that you have them safely secured in your car before you start driving, though. They may not like being confined to the back seat at first, but you can use treats as motivation to make them more comfortable with it.
Play Hide-and-seek in the House or in the Yard.
This is a great way to have an inside or outside activity with your pup. Dogs are excellent at finding people and will give your pup some much-needed exercise.
You can hide from them so they can try and find you, or they can come to seek you. If you want an even more advanced version of this game, put your pup on their leash so they can’t see where you are going while you’re hiding. This will make their nose work harder to find you.
Be Careful of your Furniture! Hide behind the couch, under the table, or somewhere else that they can’t get to you right away. Then call them over and watch them try to find you (remember that they are on a leash if you put them there).
Have a Picnic With your Dog.
This is another way to get out of the house with your pup that doesn’t require you to leave the yard. All you need for this activity is yourself, your dog, and a blanket or towel. You can pick any park to go to depending on how long you want to stay there. If it’s just for lunch head over during lunchtime so other people will be around and you can socialize while eating.
You can also try having a late-night picnic so it’s just you and your pup at the park after hours! Make sure to check if it’s ok first beforehand because not all parks allow dogs at night. When eating bring treats with you so that your pup knows they are getting rewarded when they sit nicely while you
Give your Dog a Bath.
This is a very simple activity, but you need to make sure that your dog enjoys baths. Some dogs don’t like their paws or belly being touched so if your pup is one of those dogs then this isn’t the activity for them! If you want to do this activity with more than one dog, make sure they are all comfortable with each other and have been introduced before trying this out.
If your dog doesn’t mind baths and you’ve never given them one, give yourself enough time to clean them up. Your pup might be nervous at first and run away from the water and soap, but just stay patient and keep talking to them in a calm voice until they start relaxing.
When it comes down to washing them, use baby shampoo and a gentle touch. Try to go over their body in sections and be careful around their extremities. If they seem scared, minimize your movements and use a low-key voice so they feel less threatened.
Buy Some Chew Toys and Treats.
This is a very simple activity, but it’s great for your pup if they love chewing on things. Chew toys and treats can keep them entertained for hours depending on the type of toy or treat that you get them. Make sure that whatever you choose for them is safe though! You don’t want to risk getting a cheap chew toy from a dollar store with sharp edges or choking hazards.
Make sure to pick out a good-sized chew toy as well because puppies don’t have strong enough jaws at first for larger ones, especially those made from harder materials. There are some really good extra tough squeaky dog toys that your puppy will be able to grow into as they become stronger barkers!
This is a great way to bond with your pup in the comfort of your home. If you have more than one dog in the house, purchasing some toys for both of them will help to prevent any fights breaking out over toys because each has its own.
This game is great to play with your pup when you don’t want to do any training.: All you need is some of their favorite treats and a couple of chew toys. Make sure that whatever toys you get are new because they will smell like you which makes them very appealing to dogs.
Once you have all of your supplies, pick out 2 or 3 of their favorite toys and place them around the house where your dog won’t be able to reach them (this is why hiding behind furniture works great). Then call your dog over and give them one treat so they know what’s going on.
After that, give them a treat and a toy to chew on. Once they have chewed on the toy for a little while, take it from them and give them another treat. Keep repeating this process until they have gotten all of their treats.
You can buy regular chew toys or interactive ones that are meant to stimulate their brain and get them thinking while they chew on them. For treats, make sure not to get anything too high-calorie (or you might end up having a very overweight dog), and always make sure that there aren’t any small pieces that could fall off and choke your dog!
Watch Dogs Movies Together.
You and your dog don’t have to limit yourselves to just playing games and going on walks. Watching a movie together can be an excellent way for you both to wind down after a long day of engaging activities while staying close to each other at the same time.
Be sure to choose a spot where there are no distractions nearby, no other pets that might cause problems, and set up some snacks nearby so everyone can eat while they watch! This helps distract them from all the action happening on screen which might otherwise cause them to bark at everything.
When watching movies, make sure that they are suited to dogs if you want them to be comfortable while watching it. Some movies such as horror might scare or upset them so keep the volume low and choose some relaxing ones instead! try starting with some easier content like a children’s show or cartoon comedy before moving on to something more targeted towards adults.
After your movie is finished, allow your dog to take a nap somewhere warm and comfortable before getting ready for another activity or bed
Take your Dog hiking.
Camping and hiking with your canine companion is a fun way for you to spend time outdoors as well as giving them the chance to smell all sorts of new smells.
Make sure that they are comfortable around loud noises, strangers, and other animals because those things will likely come up while you’re camping or hiking together. If they aren’t used to those things then it might cause them a lot of anxiety which can lead to excessive barking.
Also, make sure that whatever leash you use is strong enough so there isn’t any risk of them running off if something startles them. You don’t want to have a runaway pup on your hands because it’s dangerous for both of you!
Make sure that you have plenty of water for yourself and your dog before going on the hike so you don’t get dehydrated.
If this is your first time taking your pup out hiking, it’s best to start out small and pick an easy trail with not too many steep hills or cliffs near them as you need to be able to keep control over them. It might also help to take some high-value treats with you just in case they’re tempted by something interesting while walking. This way, you should be able to get their attention back quickly!
Train your Dog to do Simple Commands and Tricks.
Training your dog is a great way for you to get them used to obeying specific commands. It also helps build their confidence, builds their brain muscle, and enables them to learn new skills.
One of the most common commands that are taught to dogs is “sit”, “stay”, and “lie down”. These commands are fairly easy to remember, even if your dog is a puppy so they should pick it up quickly.
To teach any command, start with placing a treat in front of your dog while saying the command in a firm voice. Once they have sat/stayed or lain down on their own, give them the treat while praising them with words like “good boy” or “good girl!”. this is a great way to train them is through positive reinforcement. This means you give your dog a treat, say what they did correctly, and then give them the treat. Many dogs respond well to this method which helps build their confidence as they know that they are doing it right!
A shake, high five, or rollover are all good tricks too! Make sure to be patient with them as they will take a while to learn.
Go Swimming at the Lake or in a pool.
Swimming is a fun and relaxing way for you and your dog to spend time together outside. It might take them some time to get used to the sensation of water so try starting with a shallow pool or lake and work your way up from there if they seem particularly worried about it!
If you are taking your dog swimming for the first time, make sure to wait until they are at least 6 months old before getting in. This is because developing bones are more likely to be injured by the chlorine in pools.
Some dogs will take to it quickly while others might take a little longer or never even want to get in at all. It might also help your dog acclimate if there are other animals in the water with them.
If you are taking them swimming in an area without any people around, make sure you keep your eye on them so that they don’t get in any trouble by trying to play with bigger animals. It’s also good for them to have some sort of doggy life jacket if there is a lot of open space around them where they could wander into deeper water.
Build an Obstacle Course to run Through.
An obstacle course is a great way to teach your dog new skills. You can also use it as a way for you and your pup to bond together outside. You can even make it into a competition if you want!
You want the obstacles in the courses to be achievable by your dog, but challenging enough that they need to think about how to do it. Having them jump over things or climb ladders is a good idea, but you don’t want anything too high unless they are ready for that challenge yet.
It might take some time for your pup to get accustomed to doing this so start off with basic obstacles like logs, boxes, balls, etc…then progress onto harder ones once they have mastered those!
Here are 10 things you can try with your dog. Let us know if you have any ideas to add! Comment below and let’s get the conversation going about how we can make our dogs’ lives more interesting.
Brenda Tillman is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a dedicated mom blogger, and a life enthusiast. She also has completed courses on Parenting Skills, Learning, and Education. She is married and is the proud mother of a boy and two girls. She loves being with her family and pets. She has been blogging for over five years now and enjoys sharing her thoughts on parenting, relationships, health & fitness as well as other topics that come up in life.