Spring is in the air, which is great news for those of us who’s gone a bit stir-crazy during the cold winter months. With the weather getting warmer and days getting longer, many of us are looking for any excuse to breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sun with our furry friends.
Not sure where to start? Read on for some of our favorite spring activities to do with dogs!
Do Some Spring Cleaning.
The change of seasons is a good time to clean your dog’s toys, bowls, and bedding. This can help to get rid of any loose fur that’s accumulated, along with removing allergens such as dust and pollen. (We can’t forget about those pesky fleas, either.)
If your dog is a seasonal shedder, you’re probably going to find a lot of extra dog hair scattered around your home. If your dog is shedding more than usual as the seasons change, there’s likely nothing to be concerned about—but it doesn’t hurt to check with your vet to rule out any health concerns.
Seasonal allergies can also cause excess shedding. If you’re unsure about the allergens affecting your dog, your vet can perform a skin test to determine the culprit.
If you’re not able to remove the allergen from your environment, you’re in luck: Pet Honesty’s AllergySupport+ Chews can support healthy immune and digestive systems, promote normal histamine levels, and soothe allergy-related skin issues. Plus, they come in a tasty chicken flavor!
Go on a Shopping Spree.
Before you set out on exciting outdoor adventures with your dog, take inventory of your pup’s current gear. Check that his leash and collar are still in good shape. If they’re looking a bit worn out, it may be time for an upgrade… or maybe Fido just wants a fresh new look for spring!
Look for dog-friendly shops in your area, and spend some time together picking out new toys and treats. Or, simply try a different route when you go for a walk, and go window shopping around town. What dog doesn’t love a chance to explore some new sights and scents?
Plan a Playdate.
If your dog, like you, has been cooped up indoors for the majority of winter, his social skills may be a bit rusty.
Gradually re-introduce him to other people and pets by making trips to the dog park or a dog meet-up; if one-on-one playdates are more manageable, schedule an afternoon in the backyard with a familiar dog.
You know your dog and his capacity for interaction best. Keep an eye out for any signs of stress or anxiety, keeping in mind that if unaddressed, stress can lead to aggression. If necessary, remove your dog from the situation before things escalate.
If you live in a cold area of the country, there’s a good chance your outdoor time has been limited to the essential walks and bathroom breaks… and we’re guessing you’re not a huge fan of throwing a ball or frisbee around inside.
Embrace the increasingly pleasant weather by spending extra time in the park or backyard playing games like fetch. It’s a fun form of exercise, great bonding time (plus you can work on commands together), and a good chance to sharpen those sniffing skills and eye-mouth coordination.
Take a Hike.
With plenty of new sights, sounds, and smells, hiking is a great way to switch things up after a long winter. You don’t have to plan anything too intense—the nearest nature trail or state park is just fine. Of course, you’ll have to do some research beforehand to make sure dogs are allowed.
Be sure to pack enough food and water for both you and your dog; consider your dog’s limits, too. If you take Fido for a hike that’s too hard, you may end up carrying him during the final portion of your hike!
Build Your Own Agility Course.
Get creative as you think of ways for your pooch to spend some extra time romping around outside in your backyard. What dog doesn’t love their very own obstacle course full of physical and mental exercises?
Look for items you already have in your house or garage (think hula hoops and cardboard boxes), or make a trip to the hardware store for PVC pipes and planks of wood to create hurdles and teeter-totters. Just make sure everything is safe and secure before Fido goes running and jumping through his new agility course.
Schedule a Photo Shoot.
You probably have countless photos of your pet on your phone, but how many do you have of the two of you together? If you’ve been looking for a sign to schedule a photo shoot with your pup, this is it!
Whether you hire a professional photographer or just have fun with friends, a photo shoot is more than just a fun way to spend time outside with your pooch—it’s a fun way to bond with your dog, practice commands that get Fido to focus, and create memories that last a lifetime.
Take a Trip.
Need a vacation? Plan a trip with your dog to visit a long-distance friend or family member, or simply turn that bucket list destination into real travel plans. Of course, you’ll first need to check that your dog is capable of traveling and, well, invited.
The weeks leading up to the trip are crucial for a successful journey. Read up on car safety for dogs and do some test runs to help your dog get used to the idea of a new routine, no matter how temporary.
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Don’t worry—there are still plenty of fun activities you can do with your dog on a rainy day!