Monday, May 17, 2010

Top 10 Healthy Activities for You and Your Dog

Home Again - May Newsletter

Want to try some fun new dog activities that will help keep you both healthy and strengthen your dog/owner relationship? Here is our top ten list of fun dog activities to try the next time you have a chance to schedule a dog fun day.

1.) Work on your training. It may not seem like it to you, but learning new tricks is actually fun for dogs. It gives them something interesting to pay attention to, they get to spend quality time with you, and it usually involves quite a few treats.

2.) Hit the dog park. If your dog enjoys play time with other pooches, then the dog park is one of the fun, free dog activities that you can indulge in together. Take a nice walk first, so that your pooch isn’t too hyper, and then go to the park to play.

3.) Herd some sheep. Does your dog come from a herding breed? Does he try to push you around? You should see if any local farms teach herding lessons to dogs. Not only is herding fun for dogs, and good exercise for both their minds and bodies, it’s a sport they can compete in!

4.) Go to the beach. If your dog likes the water, and you have a dog friendly beach around, then nothing says “dog fun day” like a day splashing in the waves. Just remember to consider a puppy life vest if you’re going boating or swimming anywhere deeper than your dog can stand.

5.) Try some agility training. Agility training can be done as a competitive sport, but it’s also a fun way to exercise your dog’s body and mind. Look online to see if you can find an agility course near you, or consider building some obstacles in your backyard.

6.) Consider community service. Training your dog to be a therapy dog will not only improve your dog/owner relationship, it will improve the world. Once your dog is certified as a therapy dog, you can visit nursing homes, hospitals, and similar organizations to improve the lives of others who don’t get to spend their time with such a wonderful pooch.

7.) Take a walk. A good walk, or several, should be part of every dog’s day. It helps keep both you and your dog in good health and is a great way for the two of you to bond.

8.) Play a game. Frisbee anyone? Fetch? Playing a game with your dog is a great way to give both of you a workout. Particularly if your dog is as bad as mine is about actually returning the stick…

9.) Give your dog the brush off. Grooming is an important part of pet health, and it’s also a great way to strengthen your dog/owner relationship. Brushing time can be quality time, just take it slow and stop before your pet gets too tired.

10.) Just chill. When push comes to shove, some of the best time you’ll spend with your dog is the time you spend just hanging out together. Snuggle on the floor or the couch, and feel your blood pressure drop with every belly rub.

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