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50 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog: Bonding & Staying Active Together

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

senior dachshund dog in the grass running towards camera

50 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog: Bonding & Staying Active Together

Dogs bring a lot of love and fun to our lives simply by being around, but sometimes you just want to change things up and try something new—and who says your pooch can’t join you? As long as you’re taking precautions to keep your dog safe on your adventures, there’s no reason they can’t have a blast at your side.

If you’re looking for ideas for new and fun activities to do with your dog—whether that’s close to home or farther afield—this post is for you. We’ll also share plenty of ideas for homebodies who prefer snuggling up on the couch over venturing into the great outdoors.

The 50 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog

1. Arrange Doggy Play Dates

If you have some friends, neighbors, or family members that are dog parents, why not invite them over for a doggy play date? Socializing with other dogs is hugely important and will help your dog get out any pent-up energy.

golden retriever puppy dogs having fun playing
Image By: Ayla Verschueren, Unsplash

2. Go Hiking

Hiking is one of the easiest adventures to arrange for you and your dog. Countryside areas and forests are more often than not dog friendly and you can hike for as long or as short a time as you want.

3. Hang Out at the Dog Park

If there’s a dog-friendly park near your home, your dog is sure to love frolicking with new canine friends there. It will also give you a chance to socialize with other dog lovers if that’s something you enjoy.

4. Have a Pamper Day

Has it been a long week? If so, why not arrange an at-home pampering session for you and your dog? Crack out the face masks, candles, and a soft blanket—or whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed—and snuggle up on the couch together. Involve your dog in the pampering by brushing and trimming their coat and nails.

sleeping dog burrowing in blankets
Image Credit: Sdf Rahbar, Unsplash

5. Go for a Swim

Okay, so not every dog loves swimming, but if yours does, a day out at a lake or the beach could be just what you both need. Just make sure the water is calm, easy for your dog to exit, and in a dog-friendly area. Kit your dog out with a canine life jacket for extra security.

6. Visit a National Park

National parks are the perfect places for exploring with your dog and catching some breathtaking views. Many national parks welcome dogs, including the Grand Canyon National Park and Acadia National Park.

7. Go to a Dog-Friendly Café or Pub

Whatever your establishment of choice, what better way to spend a day out than chilling with your favorite beverage or food with your dog at your side? Some places are thoughtful enough to provide doggy treats and a ‘bar’ (water bowl).

Fun time with dogs at cafe
Image Credit: Tanate Phueakkwannak, Shutterstock

8. Have a Picnic

If you’re stuck for ideas of how to spend your weekend, we think it’s pretty hard to beat a picnic with your pooch—weather permitting, of course. Bring along their favorite snacks, plenty of water, and their favorite toys.

9. Go Camping

Dogs love nothing more than the great outdoors. If you love camping and want someone to join you who won’t complain about sleeping in a tent or squashed sandwiches, you’ve got the perfect camping companion in your dog.

10. Do Daily Training Sessions

Though it may sound simple, it’s important to do some refresher training with your dog as they get older to make sure they don’t forget what they learned when you first brought them home. Practice basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come” with a few treats as motivation.

german shepherd dog resting his head on his owner doing training
Image Credit: Natalliaskn, Shutterstock

11. Bake Some Doggy Treats

Is baking your forte? If so, why not make some homemade dog treats next time you pop something in the oven? You can find plenty of recipes for dog-safe treats online, including peanut butter and pumpkin biscuits and cheddar cheese biscuits.

12. Go to Training Classes

Whatever the weather, training and socialization classes offer your pooch the chance to interact with other dogs and people and you the opportunity to pick up some tips. These classes also help strengthen the bond between you and your dog as they require you to work together.

13. Build an Obstacle Course

If you have an outdoor space you can use, you might consider building an obstacle course for your dog. You can build one out of whatever you have available (i.e., ramps, cones, etc.) or purchase an obstacle course set.

collie dog jumping over agility obstacle course
Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels

14. Go to Your Local Pet Store

When you don’t feel like going shopping for yourself, an alternative is to go shopping for your dog. Take them along to your local pet store and enjoy perusing all the treats and toys together.

15. Watch a Movie Together

For dogs that can’t get enough of what’s going on on the TV, this is the perfect rainy day or chilly night activity. Grab yourself a cup of tea and pop 101 Dalmatians or The Aristocats on.

16. Give Scent Training a Shot

If you’d like to try something a bit more challenging with your dog, scent training is an option. You can keep things simple by hiding treats that your dog needs to find or go a step further and buy a “nose work” kit.

dog sniffing the bag on airport
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

17. Teach Tricks

When you’re feeling a bit fed up, teaching your dog to do a trick is a good way to engage both of your minds and feel a sense of reward. Ideas include teaching your dog to open and close a door, roll over, or high-five you.

18. Offer Puzzle Feeders

Puzzle feeders give your dog a mental challenge and keep them busy—they’re especially useful for distracting dogs with separation anxiety when their humans leave the house for a while.

Puzzle feeders come in many forms, but one of the most common types is an egg-shaped ball with an opening at the bottom through which treats fall when pushed or pawed at enough. You can often adjust the difficulty level.

19. Stuff a Kong

Kongs are rubber toys that be stuffed with kibble, treats, and dog-safe extras like peanut butter. Your dog has to work to retrieve the treats from within the Kong’s various-sized inner rings. They can also double up as a fetch toy thanks to their bounciness.

white and black dog playing with a yellow toy on the grass
Image Credit: Justin Veenema, Unsplash

20. Stay in a Dog-Friendly Hotel

If you just need to get away from it all, there are plenty of hotels that welcome dogs. Some even go a step further and offer dog pampering services and rooms stocked with everything your dog needs!

21. Have Dinner Together

Dogs make the best dinner companions, though, admittedly, their table manners aren’t always quite up to scratch! If you’re planning to cook for yourself, why not prepare something special (and dog-safe) for your pooch, too?

22. Arrange a Photoshoot

Everyone loves cute dog photos. Whether you choose to arrange a professional photoshoot or just take some snaps on your phone, photos will always be there when you need to remember the good times.

woman taking a photo of a dog in the mountains
Image Cedit: Honza Reznik, Unsplash

23. Go to the Beach

It feels like beaches were simply made for dogs—there’s ample sand to roll about in and the sea to take a dip in. Just make sure your dog is wearing a life jacket and that the sea is calm if you’re planning on letting them swim.

24. Volunteer Together

There are organizations out there that allow you to volunteer with your dog to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and schools to offer comfort to those that need it.

25. Enter a Dog Show

Want to show the world what your dog’s got? You might want to consider training your dog to enter a dog show. You can find trainers who specialize in this if you need some guidance.

Irish terrier at dog show
Image Credit: LRuss, Pixabay

26. Go for a City Walk

If you live in or near a city, exploring it with your dog is a great way to catch some sights while getting your dog out and about. If you’re planning on a long day out together, plan to take breaks at pet-friendly cafés or restaurants along the route.

27. Go Jogging

Dogs—especially dogs with high energy levels like Australian Shepherds—make for excellent jogging partners. If yours isn’t a fan of running, though, it’s best to stick to activities that match their energy levels.

28. Take a Boat Trip

Hoping to soak up some sights and feel the ocean breeze? Try a relaxing boat trip with your canine companion. You might want to consider kitting them out with a dog life jacket, though, just to be on the safe side.

Jack russel terrier dog sailing with family on luxury yacht boat
Image Credit: Gorloff-KV, Shutterstock

29. Try Paddleboarding

As an alternative to surfing with your dog, you could give paddleboarding—which is a gentler option—a try. If you decide to try this, invest in a paddleboard suitable for your dog based on both your weight and theirs, and make sure you pop a life jacket on them.

30. Take a Yoga Class

Yep, it turns out that dog yoga, also known as “doga” is an actual thing and is said to benefit dogs physically and mentally. If you’re curious and would like to try something new, doga could be it.

31. Read with Your Dog

This activity doesn’t require any effort on your dog’s part—unless you count hopping up on the couch and snoozing as an effort. Reading with your dog at your side is a truly lovely feeling.

Image Credit: Hryshchyshen Serhii, Shutterstock

32. Nap Together

Does sleeping count as something fun? We think so. It’s warm, cozy, and just the best feeling in every way, beaten only by snoozing with your dog at your side. Good luck if you’ve got a dog that snores, though.

33. Play Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is both physically and mentally stimulating for your dog as it requires focus to figure out where you might have cached yourself. Start by letting your dog see you hide and rewarding them when they find you, then start making it harder by hiding in places it’s more difficult for them to find you.

34. Play in the Snow/Rain

Most dogs are happy to spend time outside, rain or shine. Whether that’s splashing in puddles or wading through snow, spending time outdoors is sure to be a winner. Just make sure your dog doesn’t spend too long out in the snow—yes, dogs can get too cold just like we can—and is wearing a warm jacket. Dry your dog off with a towel when they’ve finished playing in the snow.

Playing in the snow with a Dalmatian dog
Image Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay

35. Go to a Community Event

Outdoor events like festivals, fetes, and markets are often vibrant and stimulating environments for dogs. Avoid areas that are very crowded, though, as these can be stressful for dogs.

36. Take a Road Trip

Road trips are great for getting you and your dog out and exploring new and exciting locations. Remember to make plenty of pit stops along the way so your dog can stretch their legs and take a pee break.

37. Ride a Bike

Some dogs are happy to run alongside you as you ride your bike, whereas others prefer to sit in the basket up front and enjoy the breeze. Whatever your dog’s preference, trail biking is certainly an activity worth considering.

dog riding a bike with a woman
Image Credit: Frauke Riether, Pixabay

38. Throw a Puppy Party

If you’re someone who enjoys throwing parties, why not arrange one for your dog? If you’re not one for huge gatherings, you could always go for something more low-key like a small gathering with a couple of friends and their dogs.

39. Massage Your Dog

Giving your dog a massage is a great way to relax them and reduce tension in their body. If you’re planning on a deep tissue massage for your dog, contact a professional, but you can always give simple massage techniques a go yourself.

40. Have Daily Play Sessions

In addition to walking your dog daily, it’s a good idea to provide extra enrichment in the form of short daily play sessions. Fetch, tug-of-war, and treat hide-and-seek are some fun ideas for spending playtime with your dog.

dog owner playing tug of war with his pet
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

41. Draw Your Dog

Drawing and painting can really help you relax and focus your mind on something positive, and what better subject than your adorable dog?

To get started, check out this great resource on how to draw a dog.

42. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise

Watching the sunset or sunrise is one of the things we think everyone should do with their dog at least once. This doesn’t have to be on a hill looking out over a beautiful landscape—you can always appreciate the sunrise or sunset from your window, from the street, or your local park.

43. Go on Vacation Together

If possible, take your dog with you on vacation. If flying would present a problem, consider going somewhere closer to home and taking the car, train, or ferry.

Dog relaxing while sticking head head out of the car window
Image Credit: Ignacio Amenábar, Unsplash

44. Take Your Dog to Doggy Daycare

If your dog needs to spend a day alone at home and you’re worried they’ll be bored or lonely, doggy daycare is an option. A decent doggy daycare provider will arrange activities to keep your dog entertained so they won’t miss you so much. Some providers even have some pretty cool facilities like swimming pools!

45. Write About Your Dog

Consider starting a “doggy diary” or a blog to record your best memories, experiences, and stories of your pooch. This will be something you can always look back on to put a smile on your face.

46. Sing

Now, some dogs may look at you with a bemused expression when you start to belt out a song, but others—especially breeds known for being vocal like Huskies—might just harmonize with a lengthy howl!

wolf howling
Image Credit: Анатолий Чесноков, Unsplash

47. Take Your Dog to the Office

If your workplace is dog-friendly, try taking yours along to the office with you. Well-behaved dogs in the office can help reduce stress and encourage positive interactions between colleagues.

48. Go to a Dog Event

This could be a dog show, a dog meet-up, a dog activity group, or a dog charity fundraising event…the options are endless! You might even consider volunteering your (and your dog’s) time at charity events.

49. Make Someone Smile

Sometimes, when someone is feeling a bit blue, it can really help to have some canine companionship. If you have a dog-loving friend or family member who is down in the dumps, offer to take your dog to visit them and offer emotional support.

man hugging his dog
Image Credit: Daxiao Productions, Shutterstock

50. Get a Puppuccino

One of the beverages on Starbucks’ secret menu is the Puppuccino—a little cup of whipped cream that you can ask for for your dog. We think this is seriously sweet. Just remember to only feed whipped cream as an occasional treat as too much can cause an upset stomach.

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And there we have it—50 fun things to fill up your doggy bucket list with. If you and your dog are adventurers, we hope you’ve enjoyed our livelier suggestions for energetic dogs and social butterflies. If you and your dog prefer to stay close to home (or even at home), we hope you’ve found some low-key and relaxing doggy activities here that have struck your fancy. Enjoy!

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Featured Image Credit: Ryan Brix, Shutterstock

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