Because who better to tackle some fun with than your BFF?
Happy 2023! The most common New Year’s resolutions for humans are to exercise more, save money, and get organized. What about a resolution to spend more quality time with your dog? Here’s a list of fun things to do with a dog to help you achieve that goal.
Creating a Dog Bucket List
One study shows that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down on paper. So go ahead, break out the pen and paper!
Try customizing the bucket list to meet your dog’s personality and needs. Consider what activities they enjoy the most and what they might want to avoid. For instance, some dogs might love to swim while others are terrified of even taking a bath.
You’ll find a few ideas of fun things to do with a dog in this article, but also think outside the box. Every pup (and their human) is unique – your dog bucket list should be too!
Fun Things to Do With a Dog
Doggy Dinner Date
Spice up your dinners by taking your pup to a dog-friendly restaurant. This is a great item to add to your dog bucket list because you can do this anytime.
Many restaurants will let you bring your dog in with you and may even offer a treat or dish just for them! You can find dog-friendly restaurants in your area on BringFido.com.
Remember that there may be other dogs around, so if your pup doesn’t do well with others, this might not be for them. Instead, you can make a special homemade meal for you and your dog!
Pamper Your Pup
It may sound silly, but massages can help your dog with arthritis, anxiety, and activity recovery. Why not treat your pup to a massage or spa day to help them decompress?
Professional groomers and veterinary offices may offer dog massages. You can also learn how to give dog massages at home.
Some pups may also benefit from spa treatments like acupuncture, cold-laser therapy, pawdicures, or soothing baths. Talk to your vet about what would work best for your dog.
Try A New Walking Route
Brisk daily walks are essential to your dog’s overall health and happiness. This exercise keeps them in shape, but the sights and smells can help their brain health.
A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times sharper than a human’s – that’s why they sniff new people and environments to make sense of what’s in front of them.
Try walking your pup in a new place so they can be stimulated by the new smells. If your walking routes are limited, switch things up by going in the opposite direction or walking on a new side of the street.
Throw A Birthday Paw-ty
Birthdays are incredibly special for our dogs because they don’t get as many years on Earth as humans do. That’s why throwing them a party is on our dog bucket list.
Go the extra mile this year on your dog’s birthday by hosting a party or puppy playdate. Invite other furry friends and their dog parents to play fetch and eat delicious pup-cakes!
For dogs that don’t enjoy the company of other humans or dogs, keep it lowkey. You can still make their birthday feel special with a new toy or treat and extra snuggles.
Watch Movies with Them
You might think your dog can’t watch TV – but they are most likely uninterested in the content because it’s made to engage humans.
A fun thing to do with a dog at home is to watch a show that catches their attention. DogTV is an app and YouTube channel that is literally made just for dogs! Each episode on DogTV has a purpose to either stimulate, relax, or expose new things to your pup.
It’s so entertaining to see pups watch and listen to animal-friendly media like DogTV. Pet parents have also found that leaving the channel on when they leave the house eases their dog’s separation anxiety.
Take Your Dog Shopping
Parks and restaurants aren’t the only places you can take your pup – many stores allow shoppers to bring in their dogs.
Home Depot and Lowes welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes. But even clothing stores like Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret allow pets in all of their locations! Just be sure you trust your dog to behave before you head out shopping.
If you don’t think your dog would do well in a traditional shop, try taking them to your local pet store. Let your pup pick out a toy or treat to make them feel extra special.
Plan a Pet-Friendly Trip
Looking for more advanced fun things to do with a dog? Try taking your pup with you on your next adventure.
Consider the amount of dog-friendly parks, activities, and dining when researching a destination. Portland, Asheville, San Diego, and Boston are ranked as the top pet-friendly cities in the US.
There’s no need to worry about accommodations when traveling with your dog. Companies like Kimpton Hotels and Four Seasons properties allow your dog to accompany you with no extra fees. You can even find rentals and AirBnBs that welcome dogs.
Learn more about dog-friendly destinations, road trips, airline travel, and more in our Dog Travel Checklist blog.
Say “I Love You” Every Day
Something that should be on every dog bucket list is telling your pup you love them at least once a day (if not more).
A study was conducted at Canine Cottages to see if a dog’s heart rate was affected by saying “I love you.” Their team put heart rate monitoring collars on 4 dogs for a week. They found that the dogs' heart rate increased 46% by saying “I love you” and giving them positive attention.
It seems that dogs can feel our love for them by the words we use, tone of voice, and actions we take. So why not say “I love you” every day?
Feed Your Dog Fresh Food
Why is feeding fresh food on your dog bucket list? The natural vitamins and minerals from fresh dog food give you peace of mind about your dog’s health. Less time at the vet gives you more time to do fun things with a dog!
It can be time-consuming and messy to feed your dog a traditional fresh food diet. But Sundays air-dries their fresh ingredients into a shelf-stable jerky that dogs love. It’s fresh food without the fridge.
If you’re looking for all-natural ingredients with complete & balanced nutrition, you can’t go wrong with Sundays for Dogs.