A dog’s day out is its best day, or so the saying goes. And for dog lovers and owners, nothing beats the joy of seeing their furry friend wagging their tail with excitement.
But these fun dog outings are more than just a leisure activity. The ASPCA recommends dog outings as an essential part of their physical and mental well-being. Taking your dog out allows them to burn energy, explore new environments, and socialize with other dogs. Besides, taking your dog out provides the perfect opportunity to bond with them.
Here are ten steps that you can follow to make that outing with your furry friend oh-so glorious!
Planning for a Paw-some Day
Planning a wholesome day is pivoted to choosing the right activity. Different dogs have different preferences. Factors like the dog’s age, breed, and general temperament will help you to know what to do.
One major bummer on dog outings is if the pooch hasn’t been public-trained. Have they ever been exposed to other environments outside of your home? This is important for your pooch because they need to be well-behaved, and have good command control. Any “extra” habits such as nibbling on strangers or picking sandwiches off plates just won’t cut it.
As for command control, your dog should be able to pick up on the basics. These include to sit, come, stop, and drop. Additionally, your dog should be trained to stay on a leash.
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Options for the Doggy Day Out
The classic dog playing frisbee is the stereotype of what a dog’s day out is. But, keep in mind that not all dogs like or even understand flying objects, let alone frisbees. In general, most dogs like playing fetch so you can try different variations of this.
These furry friends generally appreciate engaging activities. Walking is a great way to bond with your dog, but that alone isn’t enough to stimulate them. It comes in handy to know your dog’s breed and what they need. Your dog’s tendencies probably match your lifestyle. That means if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you might not want a high-energy type of dog.
For the preferred play style for your do, be sure to check out the American Kennel Club specs for dog sports groups. It goes in-depth with sports group categorizations for doggies. For example, Golden Retrievers and Labradors prefer water games, and fetch and nose games. Terriers such as the Norfolk and Jack Russell love heavier physical activity. For general play styles, you can also include puzzles, hikes, and obedience training.
Besides that, it’s just good to learn about your pet and what its hobbies might be. That way, you’ll tailor activities for them and their limitations.
10 Practical Tips for a Great Doggy’s Day Out
Now we have the bases covered for what you should consider before taking your furry pal to their outing. This is something that you should look forward to, so have a good plan and carry all the enthusiasm you can. Remember that this day is all about your dog, therefore give it your full attention and keep it engaged.
Here are ten practical steps to do it right:
1. Plan and Pack Essentials
As with all other outings, preparation is everything. For your outing, you may need food, water, waste bags, a first-aid kit, and sunscreen (if necessary). Remember to and any medications your dog might need. Don’t forget to bring a leash, collar, harness, toys, and treats to keep your dog entertained throughout the day.
2. Start Early and Avoid Busy Times
Opting for early mornings or evenings is often a wise choice. You’ll most likely find the local parks less crowded, not to mention cooler and therefore enjoyable for your dog. Besides, you’ll likely be more relaxed and settled yourself avoiding the hustle and bustle of peak hours.
3. Choose the Right Play Space
Your dog will love open spaces more than closed ones. Check out the dog-friendly park in the image above. Such are a rarity, but they do have a ton to offer in terms of sheer physical activity and enjoyment. The size of the park that you choose should reflect your dog’s energy levels. Also, there are designated play parks for mutts where your dog can play in a controlled environment. these include doggie crawls, teeter totters, stepping posts, leash posts, etc.
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4. Warm Up
Dogs are just like humans, and they too need to warm up a bit before exercising. Your day out should therefore commence with a short walk or playtime before the main activity. This will prepare the dog’s muscles and also make them sleep better later.
5. Stay Hydrated and Offer Shade
Your dog needs to stay hydrated the entire day, so carry enough if you are unsure of the availability of water. Carry a portable water bowl and give the pooch enough water breaks during the day. Find the perfect spot with shade breaks, umbrellas, or nice trees to keep your pal from getting too overheated.
6. Make It a Social Date
Double the fun by bringing along your dog-friendly friends and their pups! Dogs love socializing with other dogs, and that builds their confidence. Dogs that socialize with other dogs show less aggressive behavior and are thus less likely to go off on other dogs.
7. Bring Plenty of Enrichment
Agreed, different dog breeds have affinities for different playthings. Still, take a gamble and pack interactive toys, games, and treats. This will keep your dog mentally stimulated and engaged throughout the day. Besides preventing boredom, it also encourages them to explore their surroundings with curiosity. Interactive toys like puzzle feeders or scent games are excellent options to keep their minds active.
8. Capture the Memories
A regular smartphone may suffice for taking photos and videos. Besides a fun-filled day, these will create lasting memories and document all your adventures. Besides, you can use these pictures and videos for reinforcement learning later with your furry pal.
9. Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Being responsible as a dog owner in a public space may require an entire article on its own since much can be covered. Let’s summarize them:
- Clean up after your pooch: Bring along plenty of poop bags and clean up after your dog. That helps to clean the place clean, not to mention avoiding contamination by diseases and pathogens.
- Don’t bring in unvaccinated dogs: Generally, older dogs that have been immunized can handle anything they pick up from a park. However, pups under 12 weeks or those that have not been fully immunized should be kept away from dog parks.
- Don’t let your dog run loose: Dogs meeting at a dog park can go either way. They might take a liking to each other immediately, or they might get into some major social drama. Ensure that your dog is always on the leash, even when very relaxed unless it is well-trained and used to other dogs.
- Pay your dog full attention: Your number one priority on your doggy day out is your dog. Don’t forget your dog and go off socializing too much. At that particular point, your dog is your kid, so treat them just as such. Consider an option such as an essay to buy to get enough time off to spend with your dog, especially within a busy semester.
Besides that, just stick to any other rules in the dog park without being a pain. Pick up after trash, be always observant of your dog, and check their body language constantly to see signs of stress.
10. End on a Positive Note
Now, with all the physical activity finished, it’s time to give your doggy a treat. End with a snack, a gentle massage, or even a light walk – basically, anything your furry pal will love. This doesn’t just serve as a treat, but also a method of positive reinforcement. Your dog will always be looking forward to these kinds of dates and will recall better what they’ve learned.
From this experience, you’ll be able to tell the training areas where your dog needs some improvement.
What other tips would you recommend for that special day? This isn’t the entire mix that you need to give your dogs an excellent outing. But with these basics, you’ll be in a great position to create a fun and lively day.
Before anything, just remember to ensure that your dog is well-trained on basic instructions and is immunized. A happy dog is a well-exercised, stimulated, and loved dog. Hopefully, with these tips, you and your pooch will have an excellent outing.