The bond I've had with my dogs over the years will always hold a special place in my heart. I think it's safe to say the same for my camo-clad daughter, Vanessa, and our beagle-collie mix, Hank. Check out the following ways to make the most of the time you have with your canine companion.
You may have your own personal bucket list consisting of things such as skydiving, travelling across the world to a foreign destination, or watching the Superbowl live. Why not build a list that you could complete with your best friend? Not your favorite human sidekick, but the furry, four-legged family pet. Memories made with them are irreplaceable, as is the unconditional love that resonates from them. With a much shorter life span than ours, it’s inevitable that they won’t be a part of our lives forever. Spend some quality time with them while you can, and allow your dog to experience a side of life that he hasn’t before.
1. Play at a local dog park.
If Fido isn’t really into fetch, just let him run around and make some new friends. Leave the phone in the car so you have no distractions during play time. You may need means of cleaning up any messes your friend makes, dependent on the park rules.
2. What’s better than cruising down the road with your snout out the window and wind in your face?
Taking it to the sea! Here are 11 cruises that you can take with your dog from Bark Post. Land-locked folks need not worry. Just get creative and find a new means of transportation that would be fun for him. Riding in a fire truck could be it! Ask your local fire department for a ride.
3. Take a vacation, road trip, or just a one-night getaway to check out new scenery.
A good resource for booking your trip is PetsCanStay. It allows users to view pet-friendly hotels, properties and businesses throughout North America. Search by location easily, and view results that include pricing, ratings and other info. For a quick, narrowed down list - iheartdogs.com compiled a bucket list of 10 dog-friendly places you ‘must’ visit in the US.
4. Go for a swim.
Water is something that most dogs thoroughly enjoy. Take your best friend to the lake, pond, creek….really any body of water that he’ll be allowed to swim in. Maybe you can go fishing at the same time, and catch a dinner you can both enjoy! Orscheln Farm and Home has your fish fry covered - the fish cooker, the oil, and Andy's fish breading are all available in stores - just catch the fish!
5. Whip up something special.
Dog Treat Kitchen has an abundance of healthy recipes for dog treats and meals, along with tips, techniques, and overall handy information for each food group. He'll be ecstatic that you're meeting his nutritional needs in such a tasteful manner. A yummy peanut butter and banana dog cake recipe just might come in handy for other to-dos on your list.
6. Make a keepsake.
With just a few supplies, you can create paw art to keep forever. I love the simplicity of this one from Modern Dog magazine. A larger, more abstract piece would look great as well using a 5'x7' canvas tarp, such as this piece created by Teats a la Bark. There's no right or wrong way to go about doing it. Just use a nontoxic paint and make it fun!
7. Throw a pooch party.
Get together with other pet lovers to celebrate birthdays, adoption days, a new dog movie coming out on DVD, or for no reason at all other than companionship. For party favors? Show off and share your yummy homemade treats! A great read from Animal Planet has many ideas for a birthday bash, but the tips could be useful for throwing a party with any theme.
8. Take pictures.
Have a photo session, snap the most adorable photo possible, and enter a contest. Orscheln Farm & Home holds a photo contest annually, exclusively for pets, and offers prizes for the top three selected photos. You could win a brand new kennel, and be featured in a pet calendar! There are scores of pet photo contests throughout the course of a year, sponsored by various companies with a multitude prizes. Search the world wide web, and enter away. Even if you don't win anything, you have the photos to look back on anytime you want. Watch for our pet calendar in stores this fall!
9. Watch a dog show or competition.
10. Do some good-doggy deeds.
That's a good start! Continue to add things to do or places to see that mesh with your dog's personality. They won't expect lavish or extravagant things, just a little attention and love. As a thoughtful pet owner, you'll be rewarded with many memories to cherish long after your best friend is gone. Life is too short, so take advantage of the time you have together by living in the moment each day as they do.
For more ideas...
Petful has an awesome article about 99 Amazing Acitivites to Do During Your Dog’s Lifetime
You can perform a daily good deed by answering a Daily Trivia Question at freekibble.com Right or wrong answer, in trade for your participation the site provides 10 pieces of kibble to animal shelters to feed hungry dogs.
Is your dog an upstanding citizen? Train and test to earn the title of Canine Good Citizen.
If you're looking for a restaurant you can visit together, BringFido can come in very handy. It's set up similar to PetsCanStay, so browsing here is also quick and simple.