If you’ve ever been in the company of a dog or you have a pooch to call your own (lucky you), you’ll be all too familiar with the fact that dogs can provide hours of hilarity from even the dullest of activities. No wonder they’re the world’s favourite pet!
With this mind, here’s our 15 favourite activities that can be transformed by owning a dog:
- Family walks
It’s the classic but one that shouldn’t be underestimated. Dogs not only provide a focus and motivation for daily walks (which is great exercise), they encourage you to venture into unexplored areas of natural beauty that you never knew existed.
- Obedience classes
Beyond the “no, sit and down,” training that is essential for all pups, it’s up to you as to how far you want to push it. You may not have a Crufts champion in the making but it’s a sure way to strengthen your own bond and get involved with the dog-loving community.
- Playing catch
Whether it is in the back garden or at the park, with a canine companion catch becomes a whole new ball game. It is great way to keep you, and your dog, fighting fit and can act as a natural respite from the ‘real world’. If your throwing arm isn’t what it used to be, ball launchers could be the way to go.
- Days at the beach
The beach is every dog’s haven. The combination of open space and crashing waves embodies the perfect pooch playground and it’s wonderful to unleash their enthusiasm on a sandy paradise. You can enjoy a family day out or a tranquil stroll, safe in the knowledge that your dog literally couldn’t be any happier.
- Building a den
We’re not promising they’ll turn out to be the best architects (especially if you’re den is made from sticks!) but they’ll be sure to love the finished article. In fact, dogs have a very primal attraction to dens as a place of familial security, so you may find your pooch spends my times in it than the kids.
Bear with us on this one. It might sound counter intuitive to exhale into downward facing dog and to look up and find your dog staring back at you but doga, as it’s so lovingly called, is a great exercise to do with your canine companion. You’ll improve your posture and hopefully sleep more soundly and your pet pup will benefit from increased circulation, bonding and relaxation.
- Mountain trekking
If you’re a keen hiker and want to take it to the next level, heading for the hills might be an obvious step up. You’ll find it hard to find a better trekking buddy than a dog who’ll act as your scout and motivator for when times get tough. Just make sure you and your pooch are prepared for a change in weather.
- Snuggling on your sofas
“Netflix and Chill” just got even better. After a long walk or a day at the beach, there’s nothing more inviting than settling down on your respective sofas to enjoy your favourite film.
- Going for a run
Have you ever trained for a marathon or a local fun run and struggled for inspiration? With their relentless stamina and positivity, dogs can make the best personal trainers. And, they don’t charge by the session!
- Extreme sports
Believe or not, some dogs are adrenaline junkies too! Whether they’re catching a wave, jumping out of a plane or dropping into to a halfpipe, their balance and ability to pick up sports quickly is astonishing. And, who knows, you may even appear on TV - or in our list of the Top 10 Dog Videos Of All Time, Ever!
- Listening to your favourite tunes
Some dogs just can’t resist a boogie and with their keen sense of hearing, they never miss a beat! It has even been shown that classical music can be a great way to de-stress your dog, perhaps after a visit to the vets.
- Road trips
Some dogs just love riding shotgun, heads out of the window, tongues out…you get the picture. Whether it’s running errands, visiting a friend’s house or just for the hell of it! Dogs love exploring new places as much as we do.
- Working from home
Studies have shown that taking regular desk breaks and having dogs in your work environment can increase your levels of oxytocin (the love hormone) and even boost your productivity. So, what are you waiting for?
- Dog Sports
Yes, they are a thing. For herding breeds, check out Treibball which is like a combination of curling and football…for dogs! For terriers who just love tunnelling into dangerous badger traps and risk getting stuck (trust us, it happens), you could try Earthdog to satisfy their burrowing desires.
It’s always so difficult to find a reliable friend who can look after your dog while you’re on vacation. So, why not take them with you? There are plenty of dog-friendly holidays out there after all! Have you read our guide to the best dog-friendly holidays in the UK, yet?
Whatever you decide to do, just remember, it’s all about having fun and keeping your dog, and you, healthy and happy.