Gabrielle Redcay | Aug 31, 2016 | 0
Outdoor Fun for the Whole Family: Don’t Forget Your Furry Friends!
For many people, their pets are a vital part of the family. These furry friends quickly become just another member of the family, not much different from your own flesh and blood. They may have a few extra limbs, but they also have hearts of gold. You hate to leave them home alone and enjoy taking them with the family on outings. However, it is sometime difficult to find places you can take your entire family, pets included, for a fun event. Some cities are more pet-friendly than others, but below you can find a few ideas that should work no matter where you live.
Locate a Dog Park
Most cities now are building dog parks for the community to enjoy. These parks usually have double fences at the entry so that dogs cannot escape when someone new comes in. Often, they are fitted with water spigots, trash cans, and even bag dispensers. Your kids will love watching the dogs play, and your pet will appreciate the opportunity to socialize. When you get home, everyone will be ready for a nice little nap. To find a dog park in your region, do a quick internet search to find options near you.
Embrace Nature on the Hiking Trails
Pack a bag and hit the trails with your dog and kids. In addition to packing the usual items for your children, also pack a bag for your pet. Include disposable bags in case your pooch has to use the restroom, a collapsible water bowl for the trail, and a few treats. If your load is already quite heavy, consider getting a special backpack for your dog to carry its own belongings. These packs feature pockets for the treats and bowl, and you will find that your dog doesn’t mind helping you out with the burden. Your kids will also learn a lesson about how the entire family works together to help each other out.
Learn a New Game
Get a rubber Frisbee and teach your playful dog how to catch it. If your pet has any type of prey drive, then he can learn how to catch the disc as it flies through the air. Get your kids involved by teaching your pet key commands. For instance, when your dog returns with the Frisbee, tell him to ‘give it’ or ‘drop it.’ That way, your kids can retrieve the toy without it turning into a game of tug. Prevent your dog from lunging for the toy by teaching her ‘leave it.’ The specific phrases you choose are not extremely important; what matters most is that you have commands in place that will make such games more pleasant for your dog and the children.
Head Outside, Learn a Trick
Take the family on a picnic and teach your dog a new trick while you are out. Teaching dogs tricks isn’t hard, you just have to think about how to break any action down into smaller parts. You can work together to help your dog learn the trick, and the kids can have fun giving him treats when he gets it right.
An Obstacle Course for Everyone
As a family, you could spend an afternoon creating an obstacle course that everyone can play on. Let the kids help you set up hurdles to jump over and find items to crawl under. Keep in mind that the dogs will also want to play, so things should be close to the ground. Once you are ready to start running the course, have the dogs take turns with the kids. Don’t forget to take a rotation yourself! An obstacle course will tire out the entire family and forge a tighter bond with your canine friend.
Film a Movie
Smart phones make it easy for kids of all ages to make a movie, and you can let the dog be the star of the show. Film your movie in the backyard, at the local beach, or even down at the dog park if you want more supporting cast members. Help your kids come up with a concept, make up the script as you go, and assign a ‘director’ to record everything. You can watch it together right before the kids (and dog) take a nap.
Obedience School for All
Obedience training isn’t just for your family pet. Everyone in the household should be involved so that you can all learn what commands to use and how to handle the pet. If your dog has already aced basic obedience, then look into agility classes, flyball, scent, or rally work.
Yoga for Dogs
Take up yoga with your kids and your pet. You can find directions online, and you may discover that yoga for dogs is actually quite enjoyable for the entire family. Work through your sessions out in the backyard or at the local park when the weather is nice.
Homemade Dog Treats
Kids loving helping mom and dad cook, and what could be more fun than homemade treats for Spot? Pull up some recipes online, gather the ingredients, and then let the children make something special for the pet they love so much. Many dog treats do not require baking, so you can take this activity outside and let your pet help with the cleanup afterwards.
Most large cities have special festivals where people can bring their dogs with them for a day. Such a festival might be a parade, a community gathering, or some other event. You can usually find the details at your local pet store or rescue groups, or you can do a quick Internet search for local options in your area.
Your pet is definitely part of the family, and you don’t want to leave him alone every time you go out for the day. By taking your favorite four-legged kid with you, the entire family will enjoy the outing more. Consider these pet-friendly activities as an option for your next fun family outing!