For their unconditional love and loyalty, dogs do deserve the occasional treat from their humans, but there are a few more things your pooch may be expecting from you.
Here are 13 adventures and to-dos dogs should experience in their owner's company at least once in their lifetime so they can truly have a memorable life with you. So don't delay and put these up on your doggy's bucket list.
1. Run on the beach, swim in the ocean
If you love the beach, then your dog is very likely to enjoy it too. Dogs enjoy swimming and waves of the ocean make the experience even more fun. But be aware of water intoxication and take care not to expose your dogs to too much salt water and sun. Dr. Christopher Lapsley from the Village Animal Clinic told NBC West Palm Beach that salt water could cause dog diarrhea among a few other issues. So, bring fresh drinking water for the dog to drink at the beach. Additionally, limit beach time to less than two hours to avoid dehydration.
2. Explore the depths of a forest
The forest is like a candy store for any dog and your furry friend will definitely have fun exploring what nature has to offer. An outdoors trip is also a great way for your canine to get that much-needed exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you're considering bringing your dog to a nature park, then make sure that his shots or vaccinations are updated. Also, consider getting the dog microchipped and update the owner's details on his collar's tag too. Don't forget to put your dog on a leash even if he's allowed to walk in the forest, preventing him from running into mountain lions and other wild animals.
3. Play in the snow and build a snowman
As with kids, dogs have a natural love for snow, according to Scientific American. There are hundreds of adorable videos on YouTube that show just how much dogs enjoy frolicking in the cold, white ground. Spice things up by attempting to build a snowman and then destroying it with your pooch. Be aware of your dog's tolerance to cold weather. As with playing on the beach, this should be done in moderation because snow could trigger arthritis and other joint related discomforts in dogs.
4. Going for a long ride in your car
How often do you take a ride with your dog in your car? Is his association for it limited to trips to the vet's clinic? He deserves to experience riding in your car for the thrill of it. Car rides, however, can be stressful for pooches if they are not used to it. Dog trainer Evi Graner suggested via BMW to allow your dog to be familiar with the process early on so that you can enjoy long road trips with your pooch later. Remember not to leave your dog inside the car if you're making a quick stop to the drugstore or ice cream shop, most especially in warmer weather.
5. Sleep on your bed next to you
Your dog might be satisfied with sleeping on his own bed in the kitchen downstairs. Once in a while, however, it's completely okay to let him snooze on your bed and it might even be good for your health. According to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 80 percent of pet owners said the quality of their sleep was a lot better when their dogs slept on their bed. For sure, your dog won't also mind cuddling next to you so give him this experience every now and then.
6. Eat a good steak
A steak is the ultimate meal for a dog, containing high amounts of protein and vitamins that can strengthen your dog's muscles and joints. Steaks are also expensive, thus many dogs are unlikely to ever try one. But some may say that a dog deserves to have this treat at least on one occasion, especially when they've been great at following your commands after a long training session. Cook the dog’s steak medium well. Serve the steak as bite-size pieces too. Leave out the bones though, as it could break the dog’s teeth or puncture his stomach.
7. Visit a farm
Similar to exploring a forest, a visit to a farm can be an exhilarating and a rewarding experience for your dog. If he has been trained properly and if he's well socialized, then he can be a great companion at the farm. To be safe, keep your dog on a leash in case he gets too excited or agitated around farm animals. Be on the lookout for snakes, poisonous mushrooms, or rotting fruits and plants that your dog might consider eating. Some farms might have insecticides or pesticides in the field, so you might need to wash his paws after your visit.
8. Roll in dirt or mud
Give your dog a chance to roll in a puddle of mud and worry about cleaning after him later on. This is part of his natural instinct so let him have this moment once in a while. Dogs like to roll in the dirt or mud to mask their scent. Their distant cousins, the wolves, do this whenever they hunt for a prey. Dogs also enjoy the sensation and smell of the dirt and mud on their body. For humans, it's disgusting but for dogs, it's like a spa treatment!
9. Learn new tricks
If you have a slightly older dog, you might have stopped teaching him new tricks since he's mastered these basic things as a puppy. But regardless of age, dogs are eager learners and being mentally challenged makes dogs happier and staves off depression. So, why not introduce him to new tricks? Teach him to jump on a hoop, do a handstand, or dance if you're up to the challenge as well.
10. Play Frisbee
Does your dog know how to fetch? Is he used to catching a ball? If he has done those before, then he won't have problems playing Frisbee with you. Spice things up when you bring a Frisbee toy with you and see how your pooch reacts to this unexpected new device. It’s another great way for him to exercise and release pent-up energy, and the newness of it will provide some mental stimulation. He will also love this new challenge.
11. Take him to your workplace
If he's mastered good behavior then why not bring him to work with you at least once or twice a month? If you don't have a full and busy day at the office, you can properly supervise your dog at work. However, don't forget to ask about your company's policy about this first to ensure that all bases are covered and you won’t have problems with your boss.
12. Give him a dog massage
Humans aren't the only one who enjoy receiving a massage when they need to de-stress, because dogs can also greatly benefit from it. You don't have to bring your dog to a fancy SPA or massage place since you can do this yourself once you learn a few simple techniques. Doggy massage is a pleasurable experience for most dogs, and it will be a wonderful bonding moment for the two of you too. Here are a few ways how you can massage your pet on a weekly basis.
13. Play on a pile of leaves
Have you noticed how dogs can’t help but jump and roll over dry leaves? Maybe it’s the sound or the texture, but whatever it is, allow your dog to indulge in this play when fall season comes. Just remember that dried leaves can trigger flea and tick development, according to Pet Health Network. Make sure that your dog is protected from this with pest repellents and regular tick screening at the vet.
Spoiling your dog with these 13 suggestions might feel excessive. However, you’re also making memories with your pet, so go ahead and enjoy the moment!