We have a very special guest on our blog this week. Her name is Kate McQuillan, and she is the owner at Pet Sitters Ireland, Providing Superior Pet Care Since 2010. Click here for more information about them.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. If you own a dog you will know that they rely on you for everything. Having a dog is much more than just providing a nice meal and a comfy bed, they need both mental and physical stimulation to prevent them from becoming board.
So much like we enjoy doing fun activities it’s important that we make sure our dogs get to do plenty of fun things that they enjoy.
So what things can you do with your dog to keep them entertained?
#1. Go for a walk or hike. All dogs love to go for a walk. It’s not just about the physical exercise that they need daily, but they also need the chance to spend one-on-one time with you and also interact with other dogs. They love all the different sounds and smells, and will enjoy stopping and sniffing at every tree!
If you can find a park or hiking area that allows your dog off the lead then this is a great form of social interaction for them. You can play games with them, throw a Frisbee and maybe do some obedience training while you are there.
Why not make it a fun day trip. Lots of dogs love to go on a trip in the car – once you make sure they are buckled up safely then it can be a fun day out for the whole family. Don’t forget to take treats, water and poop bags!
#2. Play fetch. Sometimes the weather can be bad or you just want to do something in between walks to keep your dog entertained. So fetch is a great game to play in the backyard with your dog. Dogs can spend hours chasing and fetching a ball. It’s also an activity you can play in the house on a rainy day – just make sure you move those breakables!
You don’t just have to play fetch with a ball; there are lots of different toys on the market that make great items to play fetch with. And if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on toys then a rolled up pair of socks make a great game of fetch!
#3. Agility. This is a great activity for dogs that have plenty of energy to burn. As their handler you navigate the agility course with them and allow your dog to develop their natural instincts by running through a series of obstacles.
You can create your own agility course with tunnels and jumps, or you may find a class you can attend in your area. It will create a great bond with your dog and it’s a great way for you and your dog to shift a few pounds!
If you want to get serious about it then you can also enter competitions. The most important thing though is that your dog enjoys it.
#4. Dog Training. This can be so rewarding and is a great way to spend time with your dog. Teaching them to sit, stay, fetch creates a fantastic bond between you and your dog. If you spend time with your dog when they are young training them the basics then you will have a much more fulfilling relationship with them. It gets a little harder as they get older to train them – so best to start early.
It’s a great feeling the first time they sit for you, or they give their paw – totally worth the effort and your dog will enjoy it too!
#5. Take A Vacation. You can always take your dog with you on a vacation. More and
more places are becoming dog friendly, as hotels, restaurants and bars realise that pet owners want to spend time away with their pets.
Make sure you check out the facilities that the hotel offers – do they have a garden area, do they provide beds, what kind of meals do they offer for dogs? Remember to take some of your dog’s favourite things to make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings – things like their favourite blanket or toy.
If you plan to do activities while you are away, check that they are dog friendly. If not, you may want to consider hiring the services of a dog walker while you are out during the day. Lots of companies also offer pet sitting in hotels, so you could have a professional come and play with your dog if the activity you doing is not suitable for them.
These are just a few of the ways that you can enjoy time with your dog. What do you like to do with your four legged friend. Let us know in the comments below!
I invite you all to free download a great E-BOOK about pet sitting and dog walking, by Pet Sitters Ireland.