7 Things to Do with Your Dog this Spring

  1. Go for a hike at a local dog friendly trail

Okay, so this may not be the most out-of-the-box idea, but we are starting it off easy.  Dogs can sense so much more than we as humans can so even the slightest change in location can be huge for them.  It’s great to get outside and get some fresh air while also exploring somewhere new.  My favorite place to look up and find new trails is an app/website called AllTrails.  You are able to look up trails in your nearby area and can filter out the ones that are dog friendly.  The great thing about AllTrials is that you're also able to see pictures and reviews left by others who have been on the trails before. With their AllTrails+ subscription, you're also able to download the map with the trail so you can always find your way out even if you lose service.

2. Take your dog hammocking

So you may be thinking, how in the world am I supposed to go hammocking with my dog? As I see it, you can do this one of two ways. The obvious first is that your pup may be adventurous and have no fear of jumping up and joining you, which is great!  If they do, I would recommend making sure that their nails have recently been trimmed and setting a blanket in the hammock for them to lay on.  This can help protect your hammock from unwanted rips and punctures, but it can also help give your dog some stability and comfort. If this is your first time doing this with your furry friend, I recommend hanging your hammock low and you can raise it as you and your dog get more and more comfortable with it.  If your dog is not a fan of jumping into the hammock with you, that's fine! Let your dog decide what they're comfortable with because every dog is different.  I know for my dog, Oakley, sometimes just prefers to lie down under my hammock rather than in it and watch everything going on around her.  That is, at least until she decides she's too cold or it's time for some more cuddles of course! I have the ENO DoubleNest Hammock and LOVE IT!

3. Pack up your car and go for a ride

While driving may seem like one of those mundane everyday tasks, dogs (mine, at least) will ALWAYS love them.  I swear, they get SO excited every single time they get to go for a ride.  It doesn't matter if it's just down the road and back or an entire cross-country road trip, there's something about sticking their heads out the window and exploring all the exciting sights and smells all around them.  If your dogs are anything like mine, they will run outside and sit right by the car door just in hopes that they'll get to go for another ride.  So trust me when I say this is the easiest way to make your dog's day even if you don't feel up to doing much else.

4. Take them out on the water

Okay, so as cute and innocent as Oakley is in this picture... paddleboarding and kayaking with dogs is not always an easy task.  There are obviously a lot of factors that come into play, but in general, it's great!  There are just a few things that you need to be aware of before you go.  First is to make sure your dog is prepared.  This means ALWAYS have their leash on or by you and make sure they have the necessary equipment and training to be safe.  While many dogs are naturally good at swimming, it may be new to some dogs or they may not like it.  While I usually don't make my dogs wear a life jacket, I made Oakley wear one as a puppy when we went on a river because I knew we were going through areas with a fast/strong current. She wasn't used to the water and was still a tiny puppy at this point so it gave me some peace of mind knowing that if something happened, she had something extra to keep her safe.  Another thing to be aware of is what's going on around you.  For example, if your dog sees some ducks and jumps out of the boat you could easily capsize the boat and also be on the chase to get your dog back. Yes this comes down to training, but a number of things can happen to catch you off guard, so it's always important to know what's going on around you.  Lastly is to just have fun.  One way we do this is we usually find a slow-flowing place to stop, tie up the kayak or paddleboard and go for a swim. While you can take a dip in the water along the way, I just like to make a stop and play some fetch to get rid of that pent-up energy she has built up along the way.

5. Visit a family member or friend

Not only is it great to socialize with your dogs because they love to meet and play with new people, but dogs are also great at bringing a smile to someone's face.  I mean it's kinda hard not to give in to those adorable puppy dog eyes and smile when all they want to do is to play and make you happy.  I mean, isn't that why so many people love dogs?  Anyway, you never know how someone is doing and a dog is a great companion to bring along whether you go out and do something with that friend or just sit around talking. I come from a family of people who love dogs, so it was fun to bring Oakley around with me everywhere I went.  Everyone gave Oakley lots of love and cuddles while, in return, they left with a smile on their face and some very sloppy kisses. Not to mention that puppies and toddlers playing together are the most adorable sight to see.

6. Go get some ice cream (or a pup cup)

Who doesn't love a good ice cream or Starbucks run? While you go why not bring your fur baby so they can get a treat there as well?  Honestly, who knows, you might just make the workers' day!  I remember working retail (at a store where dogs were allowed) and it was always the best when a dog came in and we could give them love and a treat before they left.  Most times when I bring my dog to get ice cream or a pup cup, it's usually the same thing for the people working there.  It's always fun to see a new dog and better yet, your dog gets a delicious treat out of it.  I'd call that a success!

7. Go take some photos

It's no surprise to know that our dogs only have a limited amount of time here on earth with us, so it's important to make those memories that will last a lifetime.  Pictures are a fantastic way to cherish your fur baby and keep their memory alive forever by capturing said memories.  Spring is the perfect time to schedule a photoshoot.  I promise that you'll never regret taking the time to capture those precious memories and adorable faces!