Going outside for exercise during the winter can feel like a chore for you, and if your dog is sensitive to the cold, he may only get moderate enjoyment out of it. However, all that changes in the spring. The weather warms up, and being outside becomes much more pleasant. What was once a chore becomes a privilege. Therefore, spring is the perfect opportunity to try new activities with your dog. Here are some ideas of fun things to try.
1. Go on an Aquatic Adventure
Most dogs love the water and the opportunity to swim. If you live near the coast, you could take your dog to the beach. If you are located more inland, your dog may enjoy a trip to a lake or a river for swimming and wading.
Not all dogs know how to swim or are talented at it. To keep your dog safe near the water, you should equip her with a dog life jacket. You should also limit your dog's time in the water and avoid any bodies of water that appear brackish or polluted.
2. Have Your Dog's Picture Taken
Photographs help to preserve memories of your pet forever, and taking them during the spring means more natural light and attractive backdrops of new blossoms. You can probably get some pretty good pictures with your phone, but hiring a pet photographer helps bring out your dog's best qualities. It also makes it easier for you to get into the picture with him. Be sure to choose a photographer with experience photographing pets.
3. Take Your Dog for a Hike
Turn your daily exercise routine into an adventure when you take your dog for a hike. Walking on rugged terrain is more of a workout, and you and your dog may both enjoy a change of scenery that includes some breathtaking vistas. Make sure your dog is up on his tick prevention treatment and check him for parasites when the hike is over.
Always be respectful of leash regulations where you hike. Many parks and trails require pets to be on a leash at all times. If it is allowed and you do let your dog off-leash while hiking, don't let her get too far ahead of you. She may accidentally ingest a poisonous plant or run into a dangerous wild animal.
4. Have a Staycation at a Pet-Friendly Hotel
You may not have the time or the money to get away somewhere, but a few days off from work can be refreshing even if you stay close to home. Find a hotel that welcomes pets and take your dog with you for a staycation.
It used to be rare to find a hotel that accommodated dogs. It is now more common, although you often have to pay some sort of deposit or surcharge in case your dog damages something. Your dog can enjoy exploring a whole new area, while getting away from your daily stresses and taking advantage of hotel amenities can help you to relax. However, this may only be an option if your dog travels well and will not disturb other hotel guests by barking.
5. Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Dogs love learning new things, and dog owners love showing off what their pets can do. If you start teaching your dog a new trick now, you can wow your friends at summer parties and barbecues. Teaching your dog a trick can also be a good bonding experience that brings you closer together. Just make sure that you keep training lessons short so that your dog doesn't become tired and frustrated.
6. Visit an Off-Leash Dog Park
There are good reasons why dogs are usually required to stay on a leash in public. It is for their safety as well as that of the general public. However, even dogs that tolerate leashes well enjoy the opportunity to run around unimpeded once in a while. An off-leash dog park is a place where your dog can run and play safely. Bring a toy for him to fetch.
7. Plan a Playdate
Maybe you have a friend or family member with a dog that gets along well with yours. Consider arranging for the two dogs to play together. It is good for dogs to socialize with one another, and meeting another furry friend for a playdate at the off-leash dog park can mean twice the fun. If you don't know anyone in your social circle with a dog, this could be an opportunity for you to meet new friends as well.
8. Take Your Dog Camping
Camping is a great way to get closer to nature, and sharing it with your dog can be a wonderful bonding experience. It does take some planning beforehand; you have to make sure that the campground allows pets and plan for everything that your dog may need for the trip. You may be able to find cabins that allow pets, but you may be better off bringing your own tent. Whatever the challenges, it all becomes worth it once you're sitting around a campfire and sleeping under the stars alongside your best friend.
9. Try Jogging
Jogging is more fun with a friend, including a furry friend. If your dog has excess energy, this can be a good way for her to expend it in a constructive way. Some dogs are better suited for short sprints while others may enjoy long cross-country runs, so keep this in mind. Using a running leash makes things safer and more fun for your dog and easier for you.
Even if you are not willing or able to go jogging, walking your dog should be part of your daily routine, and mild spring weather makes it easier to make that commitment.