04 February 2016 | Life with your best friend

There’s More To Do With Dogs Than Just Play Fetch

  The sky’s the limit when looking for cool things to do with your dog.

\A quick game of fetch with your pooch when you get home from work each day is all well and good, but why not try something different to shake up the routine? It doesn’t have to be every day, or even every week, but you and your dog will both benefit from mixing it up, not to mention the quality bonding time you’ll be spending together. These are just a few suggestions; get creative and have fun.

    • Head to the beach: A game of fetch on the beach trumps your backyard any day. Just check your beach’s policy on dogs. Some don’t allow dogs, period, and some insist they remain on the lead. Don’t forget to take a bag along to clean up any mess.
    • Take him to a dog park: Dog-specific parks are popping up all over the country. It’s a great way for your dog to get used to other dogs, as well as having the freedom to run free. Just make sure you pick up after him and, if he’s yet to be socialised, watch him closely – particularly around bigger dogs (if he’s small) and vice versa.
    • Play tug of war: Dogs love a good ol’ game of tug of war. Just watch the teeth!
    • Obstacle course: Dogs are clever animals and they love the challenge of an obstacle course. Not only does this teach agility but it keeps their mind sharp too. Get them to weave around beacons, under tables, over stairs and through hoops.
    • Visit schools or old-age homes: Is your dog extremely well-trained and absolutely loves people? Why not give back to the community and offer your dog to the local primary school (for when they are learning about pets) or take him to an old-age home to bring some joy to the elderly?
    • Go for a hike: Who doesn’t love the outdoors more than your furry companion? Just make sure he’s fit enough before you tackle anything too strenuous, and make sure you take plenty of water, there’s enough shade along the route, and you take regular rests. You don’t want to be carrying a Ridgeback down a mountain!
    • Frisbee: If your dog loves fetch, he’ll love a game of Frisbee. But be warned, there will be lots of jumping involved (for you and your dog), so make sure you’re both up for the challenge.
    • Hide and seek: Great for mental stimulation, hide your dog’s favourite toy or a treat (or even yourself!) and get him to find it. You can start with fairly simple hiding spots and gradually make it more complicated.

  • Go on a pet-friendly holiday: When researching your next weekend away or Christmas holiday, search for spots that allow dogs. Your dogs will love the break from routine (and all the new sights and smells!), and you’ll love the unique and special time you’ll share with your dog, not to mention not having to find a pet sitter!

Your options for fun things to do with your canine pets are endless. And it doesn’t have to take hours of your time. All you need is a little creativity and a lot of imagination.  

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