The Doggie Bucket List

Roberto Manzotti

Dogs are our best friends. Sadly, they often end up spending a lot of time alone and bored. But creating a bucket list of things to do with your dog can help you keep things more interesting for him. Don’t wait until your dog is old to create a bucket list. You can start the bucket list before you even get a dog or if you already have a dog. Create a bucket list now and start checking things off.

All dogs love adventures. Period. That is why a bucket list can be so much fun! Be sure to choose things that you think your dog will enjoy. Not just random things that you can do with your dog that your dog won’t like. If you aren’t sure your dog will like it try it and see. Gauge your dog’s response and quite if he seems to hate it.

One of the main keys to creating a good bucket list is to realize that dogs really just want to be with you. So, boarding them at a 5-star dog hotel, while you go on a vacation, is not going to be on the list. We want to choose things that you will be doing, experiencing, and enjoying with your dog. Strengthening the bond that the two of you share.

 

Walking

One of the all-time favorite pastimes of dogs is to go for walkies. Walking your dog should be an everyday event but, you can still make walking your dog into bucket list items. dog bucket list

Start local, look at all the nice parks that are nearby your home, make a list of dog-friendly parks. Then whenever you have time, take your dog to one of those parks for a walk! Try to get them all checked off.

You don’t only have to walk at parks, there are lots of lovely subdivisions and neighborhoods around too. Walking your dog in a different neighborhood can be super fun for your dog because of all the different smells.

You could also expand your walking range to any parks or neighborhoods that are within driving distance. Then you can take a day trip with your dog to explore a cool park or a different town!

Let’s not forget the national parks! The national parks are beautiful and lots of them are pet friendly or, at least, have pet-friendly areas. You’re going to want to take lots of pictures.

It can be fun to walk your dog to a place where he can go swimming like a lake, creek, or river. Dogs also love to play in mud… I know they will get filthy, but it can be incredibly fun. Go ahead, jump in the mud with your dog! If you see a lovely muddy area, play in it. You won’t regret it.

 

Scenery and Environments

Dogs love the adventure of exploring different environments and scenery. Choose a variety of places to take your dog that includes different environments. Examples are mountains, desserts, places with snow, the ocean, lakes, river, waterfalls, icy areas, valleys, canyons, and anything else you can think of. Don’t think that the lovely scenery is wasted on your dog, he will love it too.

 

Training

Doing training with your dog is a great way to open up communication between the two of you. We all know that communication is the key to a successful relationship. That is why doing training is so important. Dogs, for the most part, enjoy learning new things with their humans.

It is good to start your training with the fundamentals: sit, down, come, etc. Then you can add in fun tricks like shake, bang, speak, and so much more! You can add to the fun by signing up for dog training classes. Be sure to always use positive reinforcement training when you train. This is the best way to strengthen your bond and enhance your dog’s life.

Wanna take your training and level of communication to the next level? Sign up for a canine sports training class. You could try a variety of different sports to see what you and your dog like best. Options include scent work, urban herding, obedience, dog marathons, rally, fly ball, dock diving, herding, hunting, tracking, disc dog, agility, canine freestyle, and more!

If you find a sport that the two of you enjoy you could start earning titles in your sport. The Canine Good Citizen program is a great first title to get. Each sport will have its own set of titles. Your dog could have more letters after his name than any human!

Wanna go for something bigger than titles? You could train your dog to break a Guinness World Record! Or train your dog to do something amazing and create your own world record.

Most dogs love to have a job and be helpful. This is why it can be a great idea to train your dog to help you with tasks around the house. Depending on your dog’s size he could turn the lights on or off for you, shut doors, get the mail, rock the baby’s crib, and more! The options are only limited by your imagination.

You could also learn a new language… No, not French or German. You could study dog body language! Imagine being able to communicate with your dog in his own language. Wouldn’t it be great? Most dogs are totally surprised when a human starts to talk to them with dog body language. But it is another wonderful way to communicate and truly love your best friend.

Chase

Most dogs love to chase things. I know it’s not always safe to let your dog chase other creatures but if you come across an opportunity where it is safe, go for it! Some things that a dog would love to chase include seagulls, squirrels, rabbits, geese, ducks, cats, deer, and pretty much anything that will run.

 

Games

Learning new games with your dog is another super fun way to pass the time with your dog. You can play tag, hide-n-seek, fetch, tug, frisbee, and so much more with your dog. Try Googling “games to play with dogs” and pick a few that look like something your dog would enjoy doing. Then when it is a rainy day you could play a game and check another item off the bucket list.

 

Take Your Dog With You

Dogs are social animals, but they especially love to be with, you, their human. Make a list of places that you can bring your dog. Shops, services, pet shops, hardware stores, restaurants with patios, etc. Then take a day and visit as many as you can or visit one or two a week.

Try going to a touristy area. You would be surprised how many businesses are pet friendly in these high tourist areas.

 

Travel

I think that we have established that dogs love adventure, so why not bring your dog on vacation with you? You could take your dog camping, backpacking, or even attend a summer camp, especially for dogs!

If your dog likes water then taking them on a paddling adventure could be just the thing. Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and paddleboarding are all fun options.

Camping not really your thing? You could book a few nights in a super nice dog-friendly hotel. Go ahead and splurge a little. The two of you deserve it.

Can’t decide which would be the most fun? Take a road trip and experience all of these. You can even throw in a couple of national parks for good measure and maybe some pet-friendly shops.

 

Food

It’s no secret that most dogs LOVE food! So, why not add some tasty and healthy foods to the bucket list? You could cook a meal for your dog. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef and one meal won’t throw off your dog’s diet. It is a fun way to tell your dog that you love them.

You could also offer your dog something exotic. Perhaps treats that are made of kangaroo or crocodile. You could offer him some ground bison. Perhaps even give him a raw meaty bone to chew on! Please, don’t give your dog cooked bones, only raw ones.

It can be fun for your dog if you feed him his meals out of a Kong or other stuffable toy. Puzzle toys that contain treats can also be enjoyable for your dog. Hiding treats around the house is another fun activity that almost all dogs enjoy.

Safety Precautions

Be sure to do your research before embarking on one of your bucket list adventures. Be prepared for any entry fees. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your dog, and a first aid kit. Even if you are going to a river, beach, stream, lake, or creek be sure to bring your own water for you and your dog.

If you have a small dog, bringing along a dog stroller or other way to carry your pet is a good idea. Be sure to look at the weather, will it be too hot or cold? Will you need to bring along extra water and ways to cool your pet? Should your dog wear a sweater or coat?

A couple of other things. If there is a sign that asks you to keep your dog a leash please do. This is not only for the safety of others but also for your dog’s safety. It is because people don’t follow the rules that places decide to not allow pets. Also, be sure to clean up after your dog, bring some baggies, be prepared, and dispose of it in a proper receptacle. Again, if we clean up after our dogs we are giving people less reason to ban dogs from the area.

 

Conclusion

There are lots and lots of options as to what you could put on your dog’s bucket list. Be sure to choose things that you think your dog would enjoy. Don’t bother waiting to create the list until your dog is old, make the list now! You can always add more options to the list as you find more dog-friendly opportunities. 

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