Top tips to have even more fun with your dog

Life can be busy, and it can be easy to forget the small things that make the biggest difference to our very best friends...

We all have our daily routines, but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with our dogs. Just a few small additions to your day can make all the difference to their world. Here are some great suggestions to liven up the day for you and your dog!

Meal magic

Most dogs love mealtime, and it’s a real highlight of their day. However, for many it’s also over very quickly! Our dogs’ ancestors were scavengers who would have worked hard for their food – first of all hunting out their food, then spending considerable effort gnawing and chewing it.

So, it’s way more fun than you might think for your dog to have a reminder of how their ancestors would have done it, and tap into some natural behaviours that we all too often ignore.

You could…

  • Scatter some kibble around the lawn for them to sniff out and find
  • Create a dinner treasure hunt! Divide their dinner into a few portions and then hide them around the house – for example behind plant pots, under a cloth – and encourage them to find the meals
  • Fill a Kong with some of their dinner to give them a longer-lasting experience
  • Seek out other interactive toys to give your dog’s brain a workout

These suggestions are great fun for both you and your dog and help add interest to their day.

Playtime

One of your dog’s favourite ways to bond with you is by playing! There’s a huge variety of interactive toys available which are fantastic for exercising your dog’s brain as well as their body.

But don’t be limited to what you can buy, there are loads of household items that can be turned into dog-safe toys.

  • You can hide food folded up in towels so your dog has to work out how to get the treat inside.
  • Hide a little kibble inside an old kitchen roll tube and fold over the ends, so that your dog either has to work out how to open the end or rip it apart!
  • Play ‘hide and seek’ with favourite toys, behind doors, furniture or the garden while encouraging your dog to look for their toy.

These games are a lovely bonding exercise for you and your dog, and very satisfying for them when they find what they are looking for. And it’s also lots of fun for you both!

Wonderful walks

Most of us have our favourite few dog walks that we do over and over again, which is very convenient for us but sometimes we forget why we are walking our dogs in the first place!

Of course, it’s important for your dog to go for a walk to get enough physical exercise, but the benefits can be far greater than that. It’s a chance to spend quality time with each other away from the demands of work or chores around the house. Not only that, your dog loves the chance to see, hear and definitely smell all the exciting things outdoors.

So try out some new walking routes. Ask other dog-owning friends to recommend some of their favourite walks. You might also find local social media groups can give you some new routes to try.

You won’t always have time to investigate new routes, so on those days when you are sticking to the old favourites, try to find ways to make it extra fun for your dog. Take a toy or two and a few treats so now and again you can build in a few minutes of playtime. Focus on your dog and make a resolution to transform your walks into something interactive – and fun!

Work to improve the bond between you

We have looked at some of the ways to improve the bond between you and your dog, all whilst having plenty of fun. So, to summarise, there are many ways you can work on your bond, including:

  • reward-based training
  • playing games
  • spending lots pf quality time together getting plenty of exercise and just being in each other’s company

We all know that life is better with a dog – make the most of it and have as much fun as you can!