Although Mother Nature apparently hasn’t gotten the memo, spring is technically here.  After the exceptionally long winter we’ve had, we thought you might enjoy a list of activities to do with your pooch and/or your entire family.

Frisbee – Some dogs have a knack for it, some dogs don’t. Does yours?  Go out and toss one and find out!

Hiking – Hiking is a fun family activity that gets everyone moving and enjoying the great outdoors. Make sure that the park or trail you choose is dog friendly. And please leave your retractable leashes at home. Hiking (especially trails with any type of drop offs or steps) requires complete control of your dog 100% of the time. And idf you are going “off-leash”, it is a good idea to have a remote training collar, such as The BigLeash by DogWatch, to help you communicate with your dog.

Swimming – Did you know that not all dogs can swim? Start shallow to see what your dog does in the water. They may love it or they may hate it, but either way finding out will be fun.

Long walks – With this winter being one of the longest on record in many parts of the country, it’s probably been quite awhile since you and your dog were able to enjoy a nice long leisurely walk. Get out there and go. It will be good for both of you.

Photo Shoot – You do photo shoots with your kids all the time, but when was the last one you did one with your dog?

Dog Parks – Dog parks are always a fun place for your dog to “let his hair down.”  Be sure to check park rules before you enter so that everyone is happy.

Pet Events – Spring/Summer is when many outdoor pet events start. They are great places to meet pet vendors, other pet owners and dogs, and to meet and support local rescue groups, and take part in a variety of other activities. Never been to one?  Give it a try!

Shelter visits – Have you ever been to a shelter? Have your kids?  Shelter visits are a great chance to learn about animal responsibility and care. Warning: You may leave with an additional family member.

Sign up as a trainer at a shelter – Speaking of shelter visits, if you have any talent for dog training, shelters are always looking for people to help train the dogs, which makes them more adoptable. If that isn’t your particular skill, they are always in need of dog walkers, too.

Become a Pet Therapy volunteer – Do you have a pet that is remarkably friendly and loves being around people? You should think about making your pet a pet therapy volunteer. These animals visit nursing homes and hospitals spreading cheer and smiles. Everyone needs a little animal love every now and then.

Become a reading dog – Reading dogs are used throughout schools and local libraries to help kids learn to read. Apparently reading to anyone or anything that will listen helps to increase kids’ confidence when reading out loud. Really, what’s better than spending time with kids AND dogs?

Agility training – Does your dog like a challenge? Is he especially agile or quick?  Agility training may be just what your dog needs to burn off extra energy and keep his skills sharp.

Try something new this spring! Your dog will thank you and we can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time yourself.