Like humans, dogs get spring fever, too. They’ve been stuck indoors all winter – stuffed from holiday food,staying cozy on the couch, and dreading going outside. But now it’s time to enjoy the warm weather together and frolic and play. Whether your idea of a spring fling is wining and dining your furry friend, heading to a ball game, or doing downward dog together in a doga class, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 6 spring activities you can do with man’s best friend:
1. Shop 'til you drop
Pet parents like doing anything and everything with their pets, including a little retail therapy. Plenty of national chains allow dogs in their stores. If you need to buy a swimsuit, head over to Abercrombie and Fitch with your pup. Feeling artsy and crafty? Michael’s and Hobby Lobby welcome dogs. Doing some home and yard decor? Pottery Barn and Home Depot are great options. (Pro tip: Call ahead. While these stores promote their dog-friendliness online, it’s important to make sure your local store permits pups.)
2. Go on vacation
Whether it’s by train, plane, or automobile, dogs can see the world with you. (They can also go on cruises so bon voyage!) While you’re globe-trotting, make sure you stay at a pet-friendly hotel like The Vanderbilt Grace in Rhode Island, The Ritz-Carlton Central Park in New York, or The Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, D.C. With canine menus, branded beds and water bowls, and baskets filled with treats and toys, your pup will never want to go home.
Don’t you hate it when you go to yoga and the class is full… of dogs? Yes, yoga for dogs is a real thing – it’s called doga – and it’s a great way to keep you both in shape this spring. You can also surf with her, hike, play Frisbee, run, walk, take her the dog park, or create a backyard agility course. You can also try "nose work," a fun training activity that develops and enhances your pup’s natural smelling abilities. It’s healthy and safe and exercises her mentally and physically. Whatever works best for you and your dog, just do it! She’s been cooped up all winter so make sure she gets out for some exercise, some sun, and some fun this spring.
4. Go to a ball game
Honestly, what’s better than celebrating America’s favorite pastime with your dog? The MLB has dog-friendly games around the country where there are special stands reserved for people with their dogs. What’s more, a portion of the ticket proceeds goes to local shelters and rescues. And if you live in Arizona, the Diamondbacks just recently launched the first-ever season-long dog-friendly ballpark where you can bring your pup to all thirteen of their 2016 home games. Now what’s cooler than that?
5. Dine al fresco
I used to live in Philadelphia (a super dog-friendly city), and I miss all of the outdoor bars and restaurants where I could bring my dog Henry. If you have the luxury of living in a dog-friendly city with dog-friendly restaurants, I implore you to take advantage of it. Not only can you imbibe without worrying about having to go home early to feed her or take her to the bathroom, most restaurants treat dogs like royalty with overflowing food, water, and treat bowls. Can you think of a better Sunday than lazy brunch on a patio with dog biscuits and mimosas? And if you prefer wine over eggs, check out some pet-friendly wineries in New York and California.
6. Give him an outdoor bath
If your dog is anything like my dog Henry, he loathes baths and the whole bathing process. Henry knows when it’s time for a bath so he jukes his way out of my grasp and hides under the bed. But if you bathe your pup outside – with a sprinkler, hose, or baby pool – he may be more cooperative and less punky. He will chase the water (especially if you use a sprinkler) and get clean in the process. Bring a bucket of soap and water (just like you’re washing a car) and wash him with one of those big ridiculous sponges. Try to keep him confined so he doesn’t run through mud or roll around in dirt and undo what you just cleaned. Washing him outside is a win-win for all. It allows him to happily run and shake freely and prevents you from having a post-bath mess to clean.
Whether you go on a picnic together, participate in a walkathon, take a cooking class, or go to a festival, make sure you find some time this spring to do something fun with your dog. You’ll be sure to bask in beautiful weather, make new memories, get a little exercise, and enjoy each other’s company.
Image: Y Nakanishi