When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, most of us want to get outside and enjoy some R&R. Our pets are also more than happy to tag along and have fun with some outdoor recreation. But how do you keep your pet occupied and active during the summer months, without getting bored with the same-old, same-old?
These amazing games, that’s what!
Along with daily walks, playing games with your pet can help keep them active, in good shape, and mentally challenged. Summertime gives us more opportunity to do things under the sun, enjoying fresh air with our favorite doggos. Here are our top 10 choices for energetic games.
Tug of War – Yes, this is one of the most traditional of games to play with your dog, but most dogs love it. The reason being is that vying for a thing of interest in ingrained in your pup, and this back and forth tugging is seen in the wild as a way to get food. Use a sturdy rope toy or synthetic items, or even a rugged stuffed toy, and get to tugging! Just be sure to get rid of the toys when they start to fray, to avoid the risk of your pet ingesting string.
Agility course – Build your own agility course using things around the home, like balls, chairs, poles, boxes, tubes, kiddie pools, and so on for your dog to jump over, through, and around. You can also buy a course online, but the DIYer in you may want to try your hand and make your dog’s fancy new course for free.
Digging box – If you have a dog who (unfortunately) wants to dig, you can solve this behavior by redirecting them to their own digging spot. Create a place in the yard you can fence off and backfill with sand. You can also buy a sandbox filled with sand for your pup to play in.
Scavenger hunt – Dogs who love to smell out clues, will love this go-seek game. Teach them to slueth out interesting toys, treats, and small pieces of kibble. This is great fun for them and can help minimize how much they eat and how quickly, if you disperse their regular meals in smaller portions.
Water games – Staying cool during the summer months is imperative. You can do this by combining outdoor fun with water. Fill a kiddie pool with clean water and allow your pet to splash around. If you have a pool, you can teach them to swim by starting slow in the shallow end. Many dogs also love to try and “catch” the spray from a hose, too. Cool, cheap, and fun!
Retrieval games – Fetch is a universally loved game for most canines. Whether you choose a Frisbee, ball, or some other toy, your pet will get lots of exercise. On hot days, just do a short session, perhaps a few times a day, rather than giving them too much time under the sun in rigorous exercise.
Hide-and-seek – Your Fido friend will love this interactive game. Just go outside and hide in various places and call them to find you. You can enlist family members to also hide to make the game longer and more enjoyable for your pet. Increase the challenge over time as they get used to the game.
Trick training – If your pet has mastered basic commands, try your hand at teaching them more complex commands and tricks. Roll over, bed, play dead, and the like are challenging for your pet and can be for you as well.
Doggie play date – Invite your friends and neighbors’ well behaved canines over for some backyard play. This is a great option for socialization time and will give your pet the opportunity to play with peers in a safe and supervised way.
Doga and aerobics – If you are a downward dog kinda guy or gal, teaching your pet yoga, or doga as it is called, is a great idea for patio fun. There are also several aerobic classes you can consider that include dogs, such as dog dancing (yes, it’s a thing).