They say having a dog is like having a kid, and we couldn’t agree more. Aside from feeding and cleaning, dogs require lots of attention, love, and of course, entertainment. Whether you’re working with a fenced-in backyard, a studio apartment, or the local dog park, there are plenty of activities pawfect for you and your loyal lass to enjoy together.
For the Playful Pup
Between the potty training, feeding schedule, and all around mischief, puppies can be a handful, to say the least. One of the biggest perks (and possibly headaches) is the amount of energy these little four-legged pals have. The options are vast when it comes to a playful little puppy, but remember they’re still babies, so proper hydration and rest are essential.
Play some brain-games & puppy puzzles
Help your young dog learn and have some fun while they do it. Puppy puzzles come in all shapes and sizes suited for a variety of lifestyles, from the apartment pup to the farm dog.
Other interactive, stimulating brain-games for your young one include:
- Find the treat
- Agility obstacle course
Train & learn tricks
There’s nothing cuter than a fluffy little puppy learning to “sit,” “lay down,” or “shake.” Stick to consistent training routines to ensure these tricks stick and get ready to impress your family and friends! Make sure to have plenty of positive reinforcements on hand like treats & toys.
Have a puppy get-together
Hosting or attending a puppy playdate is a pawesome way to start socializing your young dog. It’s crucial your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before hopping into the play pack, and remember always start small.
If you have a fenced-in yard or access to an off-leash area, invite a pup or two over for some playtime! Playdates are beneficial in endless ways:
- Burns energy
- The more puppies, the better!!!
For the Adventurous Canine Companion
If you imagine your dog in human years, after the puppy phase, you come into the hyper-active but somewhat testy pre-teen/teenage phase. This can be challenging to navigate through due to the changes in routine from when they were a puppy. Your dog may be getting even more curious and pushing some boundaries, so it’s key to find activities that continue to stimulate their mind and burn energy.
Play a game of fetch
Although this may seem like a cliche, there’s nothing like a good ole game of fetch. It’s a tried and true fido-human activity that continues to entertain, exercise, and train!
Go for a hike!
Strap on those trail shoes, grab some water (extra for your pup!) and head out to blaze the great outdoors. Getting out into nature with your dog is such an enjoyable experience as you watch him or her have the time of their lives for all the new scents, sounds, and potential adventures.
Visit a dog-friendly patio
Nothing like a good patio sesh with your favorite furry friend by your side as you sip on a cold craft beer, or coffee! More and more places are offering dog-friendly areas at restaurants and bars, making it for dog parents to bring along their four-legged patrons on the next brunch trip.
For the Serene Senior Dogs
There’s nothing like a sleepy, sweet, easy-going elderly doggo. Senior dogs are easy-going, laid-back, four-legged companions, however, many endure some aging ailments like aching joints or cognitive regression. There are ways to help keep your dog feeling young and agile with daily physical activity, continued mental stimulation, and of course plenty of rest and cuddle time!
Go for a leisurely stroll
Older dogs need physical activity, too. Not only does this help retain muscle and physical vitality, but regular exercise has also been shown to prevent depression and slow down cognitive aging. Try a new path or park to excite your canine companion’s senses.
Much like humans, low-impact exercise, such as swimming, is vastly beneficial for older dogs. The water helps ease muscle tension and keeps your senior dog moving without overdoing it. Swimming is a fido-fav, especially during the warmer months!
Some swimming tips:
- If your dog needs some help, pick up a dog life jacket for added support
- Stick to shallow, calm water with minimal distractions
- Opt for a beach trip if possible for some easy shoreline water play
Have a picnic
Grab a blanket, some water, treats for you and your sweet hound, and head to a park or grassy area for some serious relaxation. As dogs age, they are more likely to enjoy some easy-going hangout time, especially with their pawrents!
If your doggo is up for playtime, bring along a ball for fetch or a rope for a game of tug-of-war!
NDC Team’s Favorite Fido-Friendly Activities
Our team loves spending quality time with their pups, too. Some of our favorite activities are:
The Lounger: “Tasha LOVES to sit in the hammock in our backyard with us. It’s a large “family” size hammock, and all three of us fit into it pretty cozily.” — Lain
The Trickster: “Moose loves playing hide and seek. I tell him to stay then toss a toy somewhere and tell him to go find it.” — Brian
The Entertainer: “Hobbs likes to sing with (bark at??) his dad when he plays guitar.” — Allison