Fun day trips with your dog

by Nancy Boland

It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, and your dog can feel it too! There are lots of options for fun days out that will stimulate both you and your dog. Here are just a few suggestions of day trips with your dog:

The beach

A day out – or a weekend break at the beach can be fun and a learning curve for your dog take toys,  plenty of towels to dry him off if he takes a dip in the sea, and a bowl and supply of fresh water so he doesn’t drink too much of the salty water. Stick to areas where dogs are allowed — sometimes access is only to certain parts of the beach, or isn’t permitted at particular times of the year. Remember that other people are there to enjoy themselves too, and, as well as pedestrians, holidaymakers, and other dogs, you might meet kite fliers, , off-shore anglers, swimmers, and even bikes and cars. Make sure you keep your dog focused on you, to avoid them interfering with others.

dog beach

Visit a historical site

Lots of historical sites are free, and many are open to dogs, although at some you might be asked to keep them on leads, understandably. There’s a wealth of places to explore all around the country, from standing stones and prehistoric burial sites to hill forts, Roman ruins, medieval castles, and open-air museums featuring rescued and reconstructed buildings. Doing some research into dog-friendly historical places to visit is always beneficial before you leave.

Out for a meal

Although health and safety regulations mean you won’t be able to take your dog into a restaurant, there are plenty of pubs where they’ll be able to accompany you for a meal. Some dog friendly pubs even have a dog menu where you can choose a snack of meal for your dog, a marrow bone etc. It’s likely that you’ll have to sit in the beer garden, but as long as you that’s a small price to pay to include your dog. Make sure you teach your dog to sit or lie down quietly so you can eat undisturbed, and keep him close by you on a lead. Give him a tasty long-lasting chewy treat to keep him occupied, and a bowl of water.

Attend a show

Keep an eye on the local press for details of village fêtes or fairs. Lots of these have dog shows as part of the attraction where your dog can participate, or you might like to go along to a game or country fair where all sorts of have-a-go activities will be on offer.

Picnic site

Taking your dog for a picnic can be especially great for elderly dogs that are no longer able to cope with the more challenging excursions of their youth, and perhaps find themselves being left out of adventures. A short gentle stroll scenic spot where he can lie down, relax, sniff the air, and enjoy a few treats will help him feel he’s still a part of things, and the change of environment can also provide some often much-needed stimulation for him.

dog picnic

Back to school

Training classes aren’t just for puppies they’re for everyone, lots of classes cater for all levels. Once you’ve achieved your basic training, inquire after classes you can join so you can add a bit of polish to your existing skills.

If formal obedience isn’t for you, there are plenty of clubs that specialise in activities such as agility, heel-work, or trick training. Choose something both you and your dog will enjoy so that you both stay motivated.

Woodland walk

Woodlands have an ever-changing beauty as the seasons pass, and can be hugely exciting places for your dog, who will happily scamper from one place to the next, snuffling through piles of leaves and chasing new scents.

Woodlands might also be home to deer, badgers, and other wildlife which your dog might not be familiar with. If your dog doesn’t have first rate recall keep him on a lead in these situations.

Long distance hike

A long-distance walk is a great way of getting away from your usual haunts for your dog to encounter a whole host of new sights, sounds, and smells.

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