It’s not for nothing that our furry friends are often referred to as human’s best friend. They’re incredibly loyal, caring and earnest, and their love is unconditional like no other. Thus, it’s only fair we also treat our doggies like they’re our best friends; it’s a spot they’ve rightfully earned, after all. And that means there’s so much more we could be doing together with our dogs to make them (and you) happy beyond the basics. That’s why I have put together this fun bucket list of things to do with your dog, so that you and your furry best friend can get into some awesome dog-friendly activities together!
A Dog Bucket List with Fun Activities & the Best Things to Do With Your Pup to Make Them Happy
1. ✧ Stay at a Pet-Friendly Hotel
There are plenty of places where your pooch is welcome to stay, just do a simple search for pet-friendly accommodations. You will find hotels and log cabins, as well as a cottages and cute glamping tents. Pick one and have a memorable getaway with your pup.
2. ✧ Learn a New Trick
Depending on how long you’ve been training him, your pup likely already knows how to play fetch and roll over. Those are just the most basic of tricks that you could teach him though. There is also the army crawl, the salute, and the handstand which can leave other owners impressed once your doggy has mastered them.
You can easily try some of the most unusual tricks or buy this book that has many to choose from at all different levels: 101 Dog Tricks Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog
3. ✧ Dress Up for Halloween
Halloween can be a fun holiday to enjoy together with your pup. The stores are bursting with simple costumes for dogs, like different kinds of cute headbands that’ll easily transform them into a dog-dragon or the like for the night. A quick search for dog costumes on Amazon will pop up a ton of different options as your dog’s costume, such as reindeer ridden by Santa, mail carrier, ghostbuster, dinosaurs, Maleficent, and the list goes on.
And naturally, it is a must to take a million photos of you and your pup in your Halloween outfits for the world to see.
4. ✧ Walk on the Beach
With the summer season well under way, there’s no excuse not to schedule a fun day out frolicking on the sand. There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches around the US that you could visit, including the Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area in New Jersey and the Brohard Paw Park in Florida.
5. ✧ Have a Doggy Birthday Party
You should be able to lookup your pooch’s birthday on his pedigree. But, if your dog is a rescue or doesn’t have an exact birthdate, you can pick a date that’s convenient to you, so he can check off this activity on his dog bucket list. It would be wise to send out your invitations and make the cake early so you won’t end up going crazy over last-minute arrangements.
6. ✧ Take Your Dog to Work With You
While not all workplaces allow it, for security, hygiene and other reasons, surprisingly many companies these days allow for their employees to bring their dog to work with them. And why not? A furry friend in the office makes the working day so much more fun and breezy!
Your dog will also enjoy the extra time spent with you, not to mention all the attention they’ll be getting throughout the day from your colleagues who won’t be able to keep their hands off from petting your doggy.
7. ✧ Ride in a Convertible
Just like you, your pup loves to feel the wind in his hair when cruising down the highways. The usual coupe or pickup is boring and confining though, so go on a drive in a convertible instead. Accessorize with cool sunglasses (like the QUMY dog goggles) as you bask in the sun and you will feel like celebrities who have all the time in the world.
8. ✧ Go Shopping Together at a Dog-friendly Store
Shopping no longer has to be an activity that you love to do but need to leave your furry bestie home for! Although certain stores, such as supermarkets, continue to be quite inaccessible to dogs, a wider range of stores accepting dogs, outside of pet shops, are beginning to arise all over. Just check online before you get going on your epic shopping trip!
9. ✧ Stand Up Paddle Board
If you haven’t already noticed, a stand-up paddle board just happens to fit more than one person, you can easily have room for a smaller sized dog. Honestly, teaching your pet to SUP may be one of the more challenging things to do on this list, but in the end it’ll be so much fun to paddle down a scenic river or on a smooth lake.
10. ✧ Do a Police Car Ride Along
Another one for extra special dog activities–for both you and the dog–is to go on a ride along in a police car. It can’t get much more exciting than that! It’s also totally safe to do, giving you a ton of first hand insight on what it’s actually like to be a police officer for a day.
11. ✧ Play Frisbee
If your dog already knows how to fetch a stick or a ball, it can be easy to advance a level with a Frisbee. Though Fido might have some difficulty with catching a flying disc at first, this is one thing to do with your dog that will require a little patience.
12. ✧ Sleep on the Bed
Sleeping on the bed can be such a treat for your pooch, but don’t give into the temptation too much or they won’t sleep in their own dog bed! Some dogs will even chew up their beds so that they can spend more time on your bed—a very smart trick. Everybody knows that having your pooch lie in your bed with you is one of the best feelings in the world for you (and him), but once they start snoring, it might be time to kick them out of the bedroom!
13. ✧ Watch the Puppy Bowl
As tempting as it might be to switch the channel to watch your favorite American football teams going at each other, Super Bowl Sunday is the best time for you to binge-watch the Puppy Bowl with your pooch. Not only will you see puppies, but also other cute animal “tweeters” and “commentators”. You never know, you might find that squealing at fluffy furballs is a more enjoyable annual thing to do than screaming at sweaty athletes.
14. ✧ Have Breakfast in Bed
Is it your pup’s birthday? Or perhaps just a rainy and gloomy morning where you could both use a little pick me up? Having breakfast in bed together, all the while cuddling and maybe catching something comforting on the TV, sounds like a great way to treat yourself – and your pupper!
If you’re skilled with your hands and in the kitchen, try to whip up a breakfast that looks like you’re both having the same thing, but will be totally safe for your furry friend to eat. Some ideas for a dog friendly breakfast are cauliflower muffin bites, pancake puffs or these mini omelettes. Perhaps you’d like to enjoy the same treats for your breakfast – or at least the human version of them?
15. ✧ Take a Nap Together
Although a simple activity, apart from a good and long walk around the neighborhood, this is what you and your pup will love to do together the most! If possible, why not make it a regular thing even? It’s such an excellent way for both of you to recharge your batteries mid-day. So cuddle up and get to snoozing!
16. ✧ Visit a Nursing Home
There’s no denying the fact that playing with dogs can be therapeutic, especially to those who live in nursing homes. This is because friendly canines can encourage residents to leave the confines of their room and to recover faster from surgery or a stroke. Watching the older generation having fun with your pet is always worth the effort of driving to your nearest care home and it will be such a rewarding thing to do for everyone.
17. ✧ Eat a Gourmet Meal
I have eaten many incredible meals at memorable restaurants in my lifetime, but finding a restaurant that serves gourmet meals for dogs can be a challenge. Sometimes, it would be better off to prepare the food yourself, which should be fairly easy to do. There are several delicious dog friendly recipes on the web that can be easy to make, like peanut butter cookies, gourmet whole wheat dog biscuits and chicken jerky. Or buy the Feed Your Best Dog Better cookbook that has almost 100 recipes.
18. ✧ Have a Steak Dinner
If breakfast in bed sounds like it could get messy or complicated really quick, you can’t go wrong with a steak dinner. And since your dog actually can eat the same dish as you this time around—though they may prefer it on the raw side—it’s an especially fun ‘date night’ between you and your best friend. Your doggie doesn’t need much more than a juicy hunk of meat to feel special and loved, and you’ll love to share a good steak with them, too.
19. ✧ Get a Doggy Massage
You’re not the only one who can benefit from a trip to the spa every once in a while; your canine friend can too! Many owners believe that a doggy massage can help to provide strengthened immunity, increased circulation, stress relief and improved digestion in their pets. You may not be able to get him a Thai massage, but definitely something more gentle will be available for your deserving best friend. So, schedule an appointment with your nearest animal massage parlor today to give your pup a well-deserved break after a hard day at the park of learn how to massage your dog yourself.
20. ✧ Get a ‘Pawicure” (AKA: Doggie Manicure)
Unlike us humans, our dogs probably don’t appreciate getting their nails cut as much as we do. But if you make an event of it, you might survive through it with less hassle. Google around for shops in your local area where you can go get a pawicure at, or follow these instructions to pamper and groom your pup from the comfort of your home. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to treat yourself to a mani-pedi as well!
If your dog is not good with nail clipping, you might try using an electric dog nail grinder, like this one that have over 30,000 rave reviews!
21. ✧ Play Hide n’ Seek
Well, a dog friendly version of hide n’ seek, at least! Your pup may not understand the rules of the original hide and seek, but if you play it in a way that your pupper can enjoy and easily follow the rules, you’ll both end up having a great time.
In the dog friendly version, instead of ordering your dog to go hide, or hiding yourself, you’ll hide his or hers favorite toy. Start with easy hiding spots and, as your pet gets the gist, you can increase the difficulty of where you hide the toy.
22. ✧ Play in the Leaves
Cleaning up your yard from the fallen leaves just got a whole lot more fun with the pup joining in on the game. You might not get a lot of actual work done, but you’ll get plenty of laughter out of it! And if you don’t have a yard, find a park or equivalent where there’ll be leaves to play around in.
23. ✧ Play Sock Tug-of-War
Got a pair of socks to spare? Tug-of-War is a fun game that you’ll be able to enjoy together, and you don’t even need to let your pup win! All you need are some socks that have seen their best days. You can play either with one simple sock, or you can use your socks to build a homemade version of a tug toy. If you don’t have some old socks, get him a squeaky sock monkey instead.
24. ✧ Be the Star in a Dog Calendar
Lots of organizations make calendars where owners can proudly display their pooches. The requirements for getting your pet in on the action can vary from place to place. Some clubs make it a contest to find suitable cover dogs while others are willing to print submissions. With companies like Shutterfly it’s also possible to create your own calendar with your favorite photos.
25. ✧ Swim in the Ocean
If Rover doesn’t already know how to swim, now is the best time for you to teach him. To make the training process easier and safer, make the necessary preparations such as providing clean water to drink, bringing a flotation vest, and establishing rest areas with a lot of shade. Start in a shallow part of the water then just coax him in farther with a toy or a treat. Using a positive tone of voice and giving lots of verbal praise can go a long way too. The Teaching Your Dog to Swim video with help you out!
26. ✧ Warm Up in Front of the Fire
This is an ultimate way for a human to cozy up on a cold evening, especially after a few hours spent outdoors getting your cheeks red in chilly weather. But you can count on your pooch to enjoy it every bit as much as you; the heat of the burning flames will warm him up, too, and it’s a great moment to spend together with you. Lay a towel, mat or a blanket on the floor, sit down and instruct your pup to come sit next to you, then wrap another blanket around the both of you, and enjoy some relaxing time together. It’s also the perfect addition to your Winter Bucket List.
27. ✧ Play in the Sprinklers
Owning a lawn can do more than just boost the curb appeal of your home. It also gives you plenty of opportunities to frolic with the furballs, particularly when you have a sprinkler system installed. Take note though that some doggies find it more interesting to chew, bite or dig your sprinklers so you might want to buy a few sprinkler toys, like an inflatable shallow pool sprinkler or the crazy Tidal Storm Hydro spinning sprinkler that will have him entertained for hours!
28. ✧ Play With Your Favorite Toy Together
Every pup has a toy that they love and adore more than any other. It may be one that the doggy can enjoy playing with by herself, but it’s also one of the easiest things to do with your dog – and she’ll totally love having a buddy to pay with!
29. ✧ Have a Doggie Play Date
If you’ve noticed that your pup seems to want playmates of his own species, you can find him one by setting up play dates with other people’s pooches. This shouldn’t be a problem when you know a few pet owners in your area, but if you don’t you can search for one in dog parks or at doggy daycares. Should you decide to meet outside of those places, do it in neutral territory as you don’t want to end up having to break up any fights.
30. ✧ March in a Parade
Did you know that, especially around the holidays, there are dog parades arranged all around the country? How much fun does that sound like?! Your pup will get to don a costume and you’ll have a blast walking in the crowds, making new friends, both human and the four-legged kind. As parades are quite hectic, you may want to do some preparing and training with the pupper to get ready for the big day and have it go over smoothly and successfully.
31. ✧ Romp Around in the Snow
Although the winter time may feel cold and uncomfortable for going out for walks, there’s plenty of fun that can be had when there’s some snow on the ground. You’ll likely get to take the lead, but your pup will have the best time romping and jumping around in the snow with you, especially if you live in a region where you regularly get loads of it.
32. ✧ Hike a National Park
Generally, pets are permitted in National Parks (check each ones website to be sure!) but they typically have to be restrained on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length. There are several reasons behind this NPS policy but the main point is to protect your dog along with park resources. To avoid any mishaps, remember to maintain proper trail etiquette including observing the rules for the right-of-way.
33. ✧ Have a Social Media Fanpage
You’ve probably heard of Boo the Pomeranian who has over 17 million fans on Facebook. Just like him, your pooch can become a social media superstar too! Start by taking lots of fun photos of your furry pal and post them on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Or possibly even start a travel blog for your dog, but make sure you don’t make the beginning blogging mistakes I did! Take note to update the page on a regular basis and if there’s a high cuteness factor you should see the list of followers grow.
34. ✧ Take a Picture with Santa
A bit of a controversial opinion to some, but as a dog owner, at least one reading through this list, you definitely think of them as part of your family. Specifically, as one of the youngsters in the household. And therefore, getting a picture of the pup with Santa becomes a memory you’ll want to have and to keep!
35. ✧ Attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
There is no better way to show off your amazing canine friend than by having him join this prestigious dog show. Apparently, cuteness alone won’t cut it in the big leagues though so you have to focus on improving other aspects such as cosmetic features and structure. This gives you all the more reason to drop by the animal spa every now and then, doesn’t it?
36. ✧ Try Something New Together
New ways to spend time together with our puppies keeps being thought of, so there will be plenty for you to choose from and try out to find the activities you and your dog will enjoy. Have you ever gone roller blading together? Or tried out dog yoga? Search Google a bit for some suggestions, possibly even list down all the best sounding ideas, and get started on trying out those new things to do with your dog!
37. ✧ Go on a Picnic
Some days you just want to relax rather than chase after Fido. The problem is that it’s highly unlikely that your pet will want to stay still for a long period of time. A picnic is the best way for you to meet in the middle. As he romps around in the grass, you can chow on some cake and roll on the blanket.
38. ✧ Dine on the Patio of a Dog Friendly Restaurant
When the weather gets great, you’ll want to meet with your friends for some great brunch or dinner on a gorgeous patio of one of your favorite restaurants. What about, if the restaurant is also a dog friendly spot, you took your pup with you the next time? It’ll be a fun experience and memory for both of you to have, and if it goes well you might want to even make it a regular thing, perhaps with just the two of you.
39. ✧ Go Camping
Want to embark on a camping or glamping adventure in the wild but don’t want to leave Spot behind? No problem-just bring him along! That is, if he is trained well enough to handle the activity. If he barks a lot or tends to snatch food from other people, you will want to rethink your camping plans.
40. ✧ Be an Extra in a Movie
Whether it’s just your pretty pup, or the both of you together, it’s surprisingly easy to find a spot for an extra in a movie (or a TV show). It’s also rather easy and simple thing to do, so there’s no need to worry about how to be an extra in a movie or that it’d be too much for the pup to handle. Instead, it could be quite fun and will serve as a unique opportunity and activity – and not just to you but to the doggy as well!
41. ✧ Go to a Dog Park
It can be a whole lot of fun to get your furry friend to socialize with other pets at a dog park. However, you need to have established a calm-assertive leadership over him by then. With this, along with remaining vigilant, you can rest assured that your dog will not become a fight magnet. For an extra addition to you dog park bucket list visit these 10 Amazing Dog Parks You Need to See in Your Lifetime.
42. ✧ Take a Boat Ride
Now that you’re done swimming in the ocean, you’ll want to drop by a lake too for a ride on a boat. But you have to realize that not all dogs may enjoy the experience. What you need to do is get him acclimated to the boat before the trip to minimize his distress about not having his feet planted on solid ground.
43. ✧ Take Obedience Classes
Even if your pup isn’t quite as bad as Marley from Marley & Me, no harm will come from taking some obedience classes. In fact, it may teach you things about your dog on a new level. And, additionally, it will also be of aid in committing to the other dog activities on this bucket list, with the pup as obedient and polished as can be.
44. ✧ Do Doga (Dog Yoga)
Now that you’ve ticked massages off the dog bucket list, you should also give doga a go. Though you may not be able to find a doggy yoga retreat and hot Bikram yoga is out of the question, doga is not limited to just doing a variety of poses together. It may also include eye-gazing to enhance the human-canine bond. Overall, it’s an experience that can help both of you to relax.
45. ✧ MAKE DOG-FRIENDLY ICE-CREAM
Satisfy your pup’s taste buds with a frosty delight that’s specially crafted for them. Homemade dog-friendly ice cream isn’t just a refreshing treat – it’s a unique way to show your pup some love and attention. The act of preparing and sharing this cool concoction becomes a memory in itself, with your pup eagerly awaiting their scoop of canine-approved deliciousness.
Check out this dog-friendly ice cream recipe by Great Pet Living: Dog Ice Cream Recipe
46. ✧ Build a Doggy Obstacle Course
Get ready to watch your furry friend conquer a challenge like never before! Building a doggy obstacle course opens up a world of excitement and athleticism for your pup. From jumps and tunnels to weave poles and hoops, it’s a playground designed for boundless energy and a wagging good time.
47. ✧ Go Fishing
It’s time to introduce your dog to the joys of angling! A fishing trip isn’t just about catching fish – it’s about casting lines together, enjoying the tranquility of nature, and sharing a bonding experience that’ll make your puppy’s tail wag with delight.
Bring Fido has a great list of some of the best dog-friendly fishing destinations in the US.
48. ✧ Go for a Picnic
Pack your pup’s favorite treats and embark on a delightful picnic adventure in a dog-friendly park. Many parks are not only welcoming to dogs, but also offer designated areas for them to roam, play, and socialize with other furry friends.
The open spaces provide the perfect backdrop for fetch, frisbee, and quality bonding time.
49. ✧ Go on a road trip
Buckle up and embark on a one-of-a-kind road trip adventure with your four-legged co-pilot! While road trips are a popular way to explore, including your dog as a travel companion adds a unique and heartwarming twist to the journey. From rolling down the windows to feel the wind in their fur to taking pit stops at pet-friendly attractions and parks, your dog’s presence transforms the journey into a tail-wagging escapade.
50. ✧ Go to a Baseball Game (or any sport)
Attending a baseball game or any sports event with your furry sidekick is a unique experience that blends crowd excitement with canine curiosity. While your dog might not understand the ins and outs of the game, they’ll feel the crowd’s energy and the thrill of being a part of something bigger. Their infectious enthusiasm spreads like wildfire, reminding everyone that the heart of sports isn’t just in the competition – it’s in the shared joy of being a fan, together.
P.S. Before you go, check the stadium’s policies; some have “Bark in the Park” events where fans can enjoy the game with their furry friends in designated sections, following guidelines for safety and enjoyment.
51. ✧ Make a Puzzle for your Dog to Solve
Ignite your pup’s curiosity with a custom-crafted puzzle that promises both mental stimulation and sheer fun. Picture a snuffle mat where your dog gets to sniff out hidden treats among layers of fabric – a sensory delight that engages their senses and intellect. But that’s not all – dive into the world of DIY puzzle toys, creating intricate challenges using cardboard boxes, PVC pipes, and other materials.
52. ✧ Make your own dog treats
Put on your apron and roll up your sleeves to create a culinary masterpiece that caters to your pup’s palate. Crafting your own dog treats lets you control the ingredients, ensuring that your furry friend enjoys wholesome and tail-waggingly good snacks. Plus, the process of mixing, baking, and presenting the treats is a labor of love that your pup will appreciate with every tasty bite.
Here are some great dog recipes you can check out:
53. ✧ Play with Bubbles
Turn playtime into a magical experience by introducing your pup to the world of bubbles. The sight of iridescent spheres floating through the air triggers an instinctive excitement in your dog, leading to a delightful dance of paws and popping.
54. ✧ Run or jog together
Lace-up your sneakers, leash your pup, and hit the pavement together. The rhythmic sound of paws and feet becomes a symphony of shared strides, strengthening your connection while promoting both you and your dog’s health. It’s a reminder that exercise can be both productive and pleasurable, especially when you have a furry companion by your side.
55. ✧ Sign Up for an Agility Class
Step into a world of fur-raising challenges and team spirit by enrolling in an agility class with your pup. What makes this experience truly unique is the collaborative effort required to navigate obstacles together. The agility course becomes a platform for showcasing your dog’s intelligence and athleticism while deepening the communication and trust between you.
56. ✧ Grab a puppuccino at Starbucks
Treat your pup to a delightful café outing that’s as unique as it is adorable. A Puppuccino from Starbucks is a free (yes, free!) cup filled with whipped cream that your dog will surely love. And no, there’s no coffee in it, so it’s safe for your canine companion. While you won’t see it on their menu, you can ask their wonderful baristas for one and they would gladly give it to you.
57. ✧ Compete in a Dog Show
Put your pup in the spotlight and celebrate their individuality by participating in a dog show. What sets this experience apart is the chance to showcase your dog’s personality, uniqueness, and charm. The glitz and glamor of the event, combined with your pup’s shining presence, create a memory that highlights their star quality and the pride you feel as their companion.
These fun dog activities should definitely keep you busy and active with some of the best things to do with your dog. Try them out to see what makes him or her happiest, then you can keep repeating and rotating between the best ones! Most of all, have a blast going through this bucket list together with your best friend!
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