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Holidays aren’t on the cards for most of us this summer, so staycations are the in thing. Don’t leave your dog out – try these fun and free ways to entertain your dog this summer!
Many people got their first dog in lockdown, while others are making the most of the extra time to bond with their furry pal. Reward them for their happy natures and 24/7 loyalty by having fun with these free activities you can do anywhere (even if you manage a UK staycation with them!).
What better way to spend a hot summer day than on a beach? Regardless of whether you live in Cornwall, Norfolk, or Yorkshire, there is a perfect beach nearby to take your pooch on a short day trip.
Miles of sand along the shore will definitely excite your furry friend. Meanwhile, you can both dip your paws and toes in the inviting cooling waters while enjoying breath-taking sunset and a relaxing day out. Take a frisbee or a ball for really energetic puppies, too – large beaches with flat sands are perfect for burning energy!
Check out the UK Beach Guide to find the nearest dog friendly coastline for you and your pup. Remember to check any time or date restrictions, and keep your dog on a lead when signs request you to do so.
Dogs need daily outings to keep fit and burn energy. So, if you’re taking him for a walk, why not try that nearby forest this time? Exploring new places allows your dog to experience new smells and sights. This also helps both of you to get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature together.
If you fancy time out with your pet, look for dog-friendly campsites. Or, visit areas that allow wild camping to pick a beauty spot and hike to it with your dog.
Some of the most common outdoor activities are going for a walk, a jog or a bike ride in the park with your dog. Yet, setting up a picnic and playing some games with your pup can be another pawsome idea.
In a location with a large space, you can play games like “hide and seek” or “finding the toy”. Scent hounds love to play this type of game – drag a toy with a strong smell (such as a bit of liver paste on it) through long grass, woodland, or another area, and hide it. Teach them to find it!
Inventing new outdoor games is great way to forget your worries and spend a relaxing afternoon with your furry pal. It’s also a really fun way to help your children bond with your dog and teach them about the responsibilities of dog ownership (such as needing mental stimulation as much as walkies, cuddles, and treats!).
Sometimes the simplest activities can make the best memories. On a hot summer day at home, you can have some fun with your furry friend by playing in the sprinkler. Running around in the cool water from the sprinkle with your bathing suit on and a cheerful furry company is bound to put you in a fantastic mood.
Paddling pools are just as fun if you don’t have a sprinkler – just look for one that doesn’t need inflating otherwise claws could pop it! Pets at Home have a pool exclusively for dogs, if yours is a particularly pampered pooch.
Having some downtime with your favourite canine can be a bonding experience. If you’re not feeling too active, set up a pamper time for you and your pet.
Give him a massage, play some dog-calming music and even watch TV together while giving him a well-deserved cuddle. It might be just the treat you both need after a long week!
Take some time to groom your dog, too. New puppies in particular need to be introduced to grooming early on, so make a habit of touching their paws, introducing teeth brushing, and grooming their coat.
Another idea is giving your dog little brain teasers from time to time. You can easily make a small puzzle project out of items you no longer need.
For instance, the DIY Boredom Buster Game only requires a muffin tray, some food, and a few tennis balls. Pop some treats in the muffin tin, cover with the balls, and watch your dog go to town! He’ll sniff out the treats and have fun removing the balls, too. Once your dog has the hang of it, put treats in only a couple of the holes to make it more of a challenge.
If you run out of ideas about new brain teasers for your pet, try the shell game! Perhaps not as original but definitely a classic must-try. For this game, you need to take three cups and place a treat under one of them. Make sure he watches you closely as you shuffle the cups in front of him. Encourage him to find the treat and reward him every time he does. This can be an entertaining activity for both of you while developing his problem-solving skills.
Arranging a food hunt for your pet can be a great way of helping him burn more energy. You can hide his treat around the house or stuff it in specific food puzzle toys. It can teach him patience and problem-solving, while giving you a creative downtime activity to do.
You could also make a snuffle mat out of old clothes. Rip up tshirts or old clothes into strips and weave them together. Knot them roughly, leaving lots of gaps and hiding spots. Pop treats in the nooks and crannies and let your dog snuffle around to hunt for the treats.
Lots of these games involve treats! Remember to reduce the amount of kibble or wet food when they get treats, or use their kibble in the games as part of a fun dinner time.
Who said that staycation can’t be fun?
If you want to impress your friends on your next zoom call or picnic in the park, teach your pup a new trick. This way you can both enjoy a little challenge and spend some fun time together.
Regardless of his age, learning skills, or your degree of patience, there is always something easy you can try. Grab his favourite snack, get some inspiration from YouTube, and get started!
While teaching your dog a new trick is impressive, teaching him to help you out with house chores is both impressive and practical. It doesn’t have to be as challenging as doing your laundry. Yet simple tasks like fetching your slippers or switching the light on/off can be manageable to train. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with getting a helping hand around the house!
Once your dog knows the basic ‘fetch and drop’ routine, you can teach them the names of objects you want them to retrieve. You could go one further and get them to help bring in the shopping, if you like!
Having fun with your dog is just one way to make sure you stay entertained through what’s inevitably going to be a Very Long Summer Indeed. Be inspired with these articles next!