Much needed after a long winter’s hibernation. Learn a new game together! Does your dog know how to catch a frisbee? Purchase a dog-friendly disc for tossing then search online for free instructional videos. You will find plenty to give you a jump start!
If your dog doesn’t like to play ‘catch’ with a frisbee - what about a game of‘hide and seek’?Make the game easy at first then increase the challenge. Reward your dog by hiding a fun ‘treat’ (who wouldn’t want to play with those rules?!)
A bit more work to set up but worth the rewards. Start simple and train your dog to jump through a hula hoop. Then add things – a ramp, tunnel, lightweight poles – be creative. Just make sure any materials you use are collapsible to prevent injury! Switch up the course to make more challenging if your dog becomes bored. For a simple alternative - find a local agility class (which provides socialization as well).
You can keep this simple by filling up a baby pool and throwing in a couple of balls and toys. If you’re feeling adventurous – search for a dog-friendly beach or dog park that has a swimming area. Even giving your dog an outdoor bath can be fun bonding time!
Being cooped up inside all winter means your dog will appreciate any form of outdoor exercise. Taking a simple walk around the neighborhood is both physically and mentally stimulating (think vibrant spring smells, sights, noises, other dogs/people). Take a walk in your neighborhood using different routes, set up a playdate, drive to a walking trail - anything to get moving!
It’s been a long winter! Take a road trip and go camping with your dog. Hike and explore during the day and relax by campfire at night (your dog will be tired and content by nightfall!). If you aren’t ‘outdoorsy’ – think about taking a short road trip. Before you head out, research pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and activities. You might be surprised at the fun adventure opportunities just a short drive away.
Spring is a wonderful time to bond outside with your dog. Engage in activities that get you BOTH dusting off the cobwebs of winter while enjoying the sunshine and additional exercise.
Mindy Nelson writes for the blog, Shelter Mutt. Her goal is to help dogs find a ‘furever’ home by promoting dog adoption for ‘mystery mutts’ and purebred rescues as well (she considers all rescue dogs ‘Shelter Mutts’).In addition, Shelter Muttpromotes spay/neutering responsibility and Shelter MuttPride!You can check out her website at www.sheltermutt.com for blogs related to adoption, rescue, entertainment, recipes, dog tips and more.