Ten Things to Do with a Dog for Free
Finding fun things to do with dogs can be costly, but some of the most enjoyable activities are free.
There are various activities and classes available for dogs and their owners today, but many aren’t free and can even put a strain on the budget.
So what can dogs and owners do together that’s fun, worthwhile, and doesn’t cost anything? Here are some suggestions:
The most popular games for dogs and their owners include hide and seek, tug of war, hide the toy or treat, catch the Frisbee, and follow the leader. But feel free to make up a game. Dogs are easy to please.
Teach Dog Tricks
Dogs love to learn new tricks, and owners will enjoy showing off their dog’s intelligence. Books on dog tricks can be checked out from the library or search dog tricks on the internet.
With rewards of treats and praise, dogs will prove they are quick learners!
Set Up a Makeshift Agility Course
A simple agility course can be made using chairs, a broomstick, blankets, and a hula hoop. To build a quick jump, set two chairs a few feet apart, then lay a broomstick across the chairs.
Make a tunnel with more chairs and blankets, leaving an opening at each end of the “tunnel.” Held upright, the hula hoop serves as a tire jump. Teach the dog to perform the obstacles using hand signals, commands, or show him by example.
Visit a Pet Store
Visiting a pet store is the right way for a dog to work on social skills with other people and dogs. It’s also fun to browse for Christmas and birthday presents, no purchases required. Check to make sure the store allows dogs first.
Work on Obedience Skills
Even a dog who has been through obedience classes can use a refresher session. Practice sit, stay, out of sight, recalls, etc. Off-leash heeling is a good obedience activity to work on around the house. Be sure to treat and praise the dog for all his excellent work.
Arrange a Play Date With Another Dog
Find a friend or neighbor who has a compatible dog and set up a regular playtime. Generally speaking, dogs are social beings, and like playing and running with other dogs.
Even senior dogs have been known to perk up with a pal, which is incredibly fun for owners to watch.
Besides being fun for dogs (and people), swimming tones muscles decreases stress, improves balance and coordination, and work the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Lakes and ponds are the right places to take a dog swimming. Introduce fearful dogs to the water slowly and with plenty of praise.
Visit a Dog Park
Dog parks are great places to meet other dogs (and their owners) and get some exercise. Many parks have off-leash areas, too, for more stimulating fun, but be aware of dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior.
Find dog parks through the local parks and recreation department or by using an online dog park directory.
Give a Dog Massage
Giving him a massage has many benefits, including helping him relax and soothing sore muscles. Massages can also make a dog more comfortable being touched.
The important thing is to perform the massage lightly and gently and avoid sensitive areas.
Bathe and Groom
Bath time can be fun if done right. First, make sure the water temperature is not too warm or too cold. Gently scrub the dog while talking in a soothing voice, and give him praise whenever possible.
Set a toy in the tub and let him bob for it. Bath time is also an excellent time to check for skin problems as well as ticks and fleas. Follow the bath with a relaxing brush.
Any of these activities is a great way to spend time with a dog – bonding or just having fun. And the best news is, they’re free!