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5 Staycation Ideas for You and Your Dog this Summer, a Guest Post by Rob Evans*
With the international pandemic still going strong in many places, your usual summer vacation may be canceled. There is no reason to fret though. Just because you can’t travel this summer doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t have fun at home.
Instead of just vegging out in front of Netflix, why don’t you try some of these ideas to deepen your bond with your canine while still having fun.
Sign Up for a Virtual Doggy Bootcamp
If you ever wanted to teach your dog how to walk properly on a leash or not beg underneath the dinner table, now is the time to do it. You may not be able to visit a live training session, but many companies are now offering virtual training sessions.
You can find everything from beginner courses to specific classes, like walking on a leash or performing tricks. If your dog has a specific problem you need to work on, there is sure to be an online course offered somewhere that covers it.
Virtual training courses come in many different forms as well. Often, you can find those that just include videos as well as some sort of virtual support, like a Facebook group. Others offer live chat with a certified trainer or even true virtual training classes, where a trainer video chats with you while you train your pooch.
Let’s be honest – everyone could be a little fitter, including our pets. Why not tackle two problems with one solution and begin an exercise regime with your dog. Use your staycation to kickstart your fitness into gear.
There are countless exercise opportunities that your dog can join you in. Running is likely one of the most common, but swimming and hiking are possibilities as well. Even canine sports like agility can be hard work for both you and your canine.
If your dog’s leash skills need a little freshening up, you can always take an online class as well.
Try a few different exercise styles out to see what you and your dog enjoy. Or, better yet, commit to a few different exercise types each week to diversify your workouts.
Try Some New Yummy Treats
Surprisingly, there are many different desserts that are tasty and safe for our pets. For example, chocolate goodies made with carob instead of actual chocolate are often very tasty, while also being safe for our pets to eat.
Try some new desserts and treats alongside your pet during your staycation. You can purchase some pre-made treats from an online retailer or pick up some carob powder to use in traditional recipes.
You’d be surprised by how delightful some of these treats taste – even though many of them are marketed for “dogs only”. Who knows, you and your pooch might enjoy it so much that you’ll make it a regular part of your routine.
You may even decide to cook a completely pet-safe meal to enjoy with your canine. You can find plenty of safe recipes online. As always, be sure to only eat sweets in moderation! (Or you might need to look into a get-fit staycation as well.)
Go On an Adventure
If the parks and natural places are open near you, why not take your pooch on an adventure. Visit a natural park you’ve never been to before and go on a stroll with your pooch. You can plan your trip out beforehand or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, just follow your dog’s nose!
Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for both you and your canine.
This is a great idea for family with children as well, who are probably tired of staying cooped up at home.
Learn a New Hobby
Dog owning in itself is often a hobby given how much time you commit to your canine. However, there are lots of dog-centric hobbies out there that are easy to learn at home with minimal equipment.
As stated by Doggypedia, “Fetch is a simple, yet fun hobby that most dogs can participate in. All you need is a frisbee or another flying object. It might take a few times for your dog to catch the concept, but then you’ll have hours worth of fun.”
When your pup masters the art of fetch, you can kick things up a notch and play flyball. This sport is basically fetching, but with a few jumps and obstacles thrown in.
Food puzzles are also a fun way to let off some steam with your pooch. Smarter dogs will get the most benefit from these challenges, but they make easier puzzles for beginners as well.
Rob Evans lives in the NY area with his dogs, Petey and Mikey. When he’s not petting or playing games with them, he spends his day writing science and experience-based how-to articles and recommending the best products for dogs over at his website, The Doggypedia