Dogs are called “man’s best friend” for a reason. For many people, they become a part of the family. You may not be able to imagine your life without your best furry friend in it. So, it’s normal to want to do as much as possible with your dog, and include them in the hobbies you enjoy.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can enjoy with your dog that can benefit you both, increase your bond, and even improve your dog’s overall behavior by providing both mental and physical stimulation.
More places are starting to become dog-friendly to appease the 84 million families in the U.S. that have a pet. Even some workplaces are starting to allow dogs to boost employee morale since it’s been found that 88% of employees said that having their furry companion with them at work helps to reduce stress and improve their wellbeing.
So, if you want to spend more time with your dog and feel closer to them than ever, what hobbies can you tackle together?
Like humans, dogs need to get regular exercise, too. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs need different amounts of exercise based on their age and energy levels. But, there are plenty of ways you can exercise with your dog so you can both reap the rewards. Some of the best workouts you can do with your four-legged friend include:
- Having them walk alongside while you cycle
- Running up and down stairs
Not only will your dog benefit from the regular exercise but they can help you to stay active and fit, too. Exercise is incredibly important, especially as you age. Even just 20-30 minutes of activity each day can make a difference in how you feel, keep you at a healthy weight, and reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
Dogs are great motivators for staying active because they need exercise too. So, they can help you to stick with your diet and exercise plan and be the perfect “workout buddy” when you don’t feel like exercising.
You don’t have to leave your dog behind to see the world. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, leaving your dog at home or in a kennel isn’t your only option. Instead, turn your pooch into your favorite travel companion.
Again, more places are becoming dog-friendly, so it’s not uncommon to see outdoor patios at restaurants letting dogs join in or more parks allowing dogs to walk the trails. Traveling with your dog can offer you new experiences and you can create new hobbies while you’re on the road.
For example, if you’re into photography, why not travel to new places with your pup to try to see things from their perspective? Get down a little lower and take some shots from the angle where your dog might see things. It’s a unique approach to photography that can get your pictures noticed. Or, you can take pictures of your dog on all of your travels, creating a sort of digital scrapbook of memories.
Metal detecting is another great hobby you can do with your dog while traveling. The two of you can become great “treasure hunters” wherever you go. Metal detecting offers the ability to learn more about:
- Soil types
But, it’s also a great way to discover unique things and even learn more about history, depending on what you find. Your dog will love helping you “sniff things out,” and they can even help with digging!
Do you have a love of cooking? Why not make your own “gourmet” dog food?
While your pooch may not be able to be your sous chef, you can try out different healthy recipes for them and quickly learn more about what they love to eat. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen by making your own dog food and snacks. There are plenty of recipes online, but it’s more about knowing what your dog needs to stay healthy, as well as foods they should avoid.
Some foods that are healthy for humans can be toxic to dogs, including:
- Avocados (pits)
But, by educating yourself on things that are good for your dog, you can control the ingredients in their food rather than buying processed, pre-packaged options. It’s a great way to keep your dog healthy, give them a special treat, and foster your cooking hobby all at once.
There are so many more hobbies you can enjoy with your dog, so think outside the box! If there are certain things you already enjoy, consider how you can get your best friend involved. They’ll love spending that time with you, and you just may get a new outlook on life by seeing things from your canine companion’s perspective.