Who says dating is just for humans? Given how much love and companionship our dogs provide us, they deserve to be taken out on a day long date from time to time to enjoy a range of activities that they might not ordinarily get to do.
Doing fun activities together will strengthen your bond and also provides physical and mental stimulation for your dog which is vital in keeping them healthy and happy.
So what would the ideal doggy date look like? Well it will no doubt mean different things to different breeds, so here’s some ideas to choose from and you can decide which of these activities you think your pooch is going to most enjoy.
1. Take a walking tour of your city
So often we tend to head to the same park, beach or along a regular walkway with our dogs, and whilst they do like to catch up with their mates, taking them to new environments can open them up to a whole new world of smells and exciting opportunities to meet and greet new people and dogs.
You might not want (or be able to) to book into an official city tour or a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb with your dog, but you can still explore some of the nooks and crannies that you may not usually visit yourself, so that you can both enjoy some time out doing something new and interesting.
The great thing about Australia is that you can pretty much combine a city exploration with a picturesque river or harbour walk in all capital cities:
• Melbourne’s Yarra River along Southbank
• Brisbane River and South Bank precinct
• Sydney’s Darling Harbour
• Darwin’s Wharf Precinct
• Perth’s Swan River walk or South Perth
• Adelaide’s River Torrens
• Hobart’s waterfront
• Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin shoreline
2. Stop off for a Puppaccino or Pupcake along the way
With dog friendly venues popping up everywhere, it isn’t that hard to find somewhere you can stop off for a spot of brunch or lunch together. If you’re lucky you might even find a café catering specifically to the gastronomic tastes for your pooch.
Not far from Melbourne’s CBD is the Doghouse café in Johnston Street Collingwood specifically catering to it’s dog clientele, whilst in Sydney’s Leichhardt, Café Bones in Hawthorne Canal Reserve is the ultimate destination for dogs and their two-legged friends. If you live in or are visiting the Coffs Coast of New South Wales, you can stop by the latest dog café to open up called Maggies Dog Café in Moonee Beach. There are plenty of dog-friendly cafes across the country offering Puppacinos on the menu as well.
3. Drop by the park so your pooch can brag to friends
Even though a day out with you is the ultimate reward for your pooch, they will be thrilled to stop by their usual park on the way home so that they can brag to their mates about the great day they have had out. You can also then pass on the news to their owners as well, so they might consider take their pooch on a tour of the city too!
4. A doggy massage
After such an exciting and exhausting day out, treat your dog with the ultimate treat of a relaxing head to toe massage. Just like us humans, our pooches can get a bit weary and sore in the bones after a large bout of exercise and will reap the same benefits that we do from a nice all over body massage. You might want to leave out the oil for this one though!
5. Cuddles on the couch
This could be a tricky one if your dog isn’t allowed up on the couch, but in our household pooches are ‘invited’ to join us on the couch for cuddles and we love it as much as they do. So if your couch is a dog friendly ‘destination’ then what better way to end your date together than cuddling up to watch a bit of TV – perhaps you are home in time to watch Pooches at Play together? If not, you can always watch it on your computer or TV from this website!
About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog walking, dog minding and dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.