Dogs are a great addition to the family, especially if you have children. They are a source of comfort for children. Whenever kids feel afraid, sad or angry, they can always turn to their pet. Taking care of a dog also encourages an active lifestyle. Kids with dogs exercise more often as compared to non-dog owners because most dogs will require daily walks and runs. A dog’s adorable, irresistible eyes will definitely motivate children to go out for a walk even when they are not feeling up to it.
When the weather starts to warm up after winter, human beings are not the only ones who get eager about spending time outdoors. Dogs are delighted with the arrival of summer too. Spending quality time under the warm sunshine and enjoying the refreshing breeze outdoors can greatly benefit you, your kids and your pup. Here are some activities you can try with the whole family!
1. Hide and Seek
Dogs and kids love to play hide and seek. This is a fun and interactive game that can be played with a dog toy, like a bouncy dog ball. Make your dog “stay” and then make your move to hide the ball. After that, ask your dog to find the ball. Each time your dog finds it, give him rewards to keep him happy and engaged!
Instead of taking your furry friend to a pet care center if you go on a vacation, bring him along for the trip. Camping trips can be fun for both your kids and your dog. This will give them a chance to spend quality time exploring the great outdoors. They will definitely thank you for the new environment and new smells to discover.
Both children and dogs love the idea of having fun in the water. Bring them to one of the best beaches near your area or perhaps to a nearby river. Let them splash around and play fetch in the water. Do not forget to bring some sunscreen, dog accessories and life jackets!
4. Treat Finding
Use colorful cups and hide a treat inside one of them. Keep them upside down. Let your dog find the cup containing the treat. For added fun, spread the cup around and watch how your children and dog interact.
Search for dog-friendly parks in your area. Take out the bikes, grab a leash and hit the streets. Going outdoors and bringing your kids along with your dog is an excellent way for them to bond with one another, as well as to get a good workout.
6. Dog Training
Let your kids train your dog so he knows some of the basic commands such as lie down, stay, and sit. You can actually look for training courses that are offered in your area. These courses are usually done outdoors, giving your kids and pet an opportunity to enjoy the sunny weather.
Accompany your kids to take your dog for a walk. Search for dog-friendly cafes and shops. Many pet supply stores, for instance, are often fine with dogs coming in with their owners. After that, head to dog-friendly cafes where you can all relax, bask in the sun and order something to eat before heading home.
8. Bubble Game
Let your kids use a bubble making toy and blow bubbles around while the dog chases them.
Look for an open area with lots of space where your kids and your dog can run freely. Your children can even practice playing fetch with your dog using toys like soccer balls, Frisbees, tennis balls, and stuffed animals. This can help enhance your dog’s coordination skills.
10. Game of Tug
Lastly, this game can be super fun when played responsibly. Today, there are lots of fetch and tug toys in the market to ensure an enjoyable outdoor game of tug. However, if your dog shows signs of aggression, switch the game to fetching right away.
About the Author:
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight, a leading supplier of pet accessories and dog food in Dubai. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics.