Happy dog, smile

Pack a Picnic Dinner and head to the dog park after work. Where this plan often fails to get off the ground is in over-thinking the proceedings. The picnic need not be fancy; throw together a cold dinner of cheeses and charcuteries, perhaps some leftover tabouleh, potato salad, or cold roast chicken from the night before, and you’re ready to go. The idea is to get to the park fast and enjoy the remaining light, not to mention to free oneself from the kitchen. Once at the park, set yourself up in a quiet corner, unfurl a blanket, and let loose the hounds. Bringing a fetch toy for the dogs and a disguised bottle of chilly rosé for yourselves (how civilized) just might.

Freeze treats and toys into your dog’s water dish or an empty five-quart ice cream pail. Add a rubber squeaky toy or two, drop in a food-stuffed Kong, sprinkle in a few non-sogging treats like buffalo jerky bites, cover with water, and freeze. Once solid, briefly run under warm water to remove from dish, and give to your dog—outdoors, of course.

Hire a dog walker for a once-a-month excursion. Rates and services vary, from half-hour group walks with Manhattan’s Pet Club NYC to two-hour mountain hike group excursions with Release the Hounds in Vancouver, British Columbia. Group outings like these provide your dog with exercise and a new socialization opportunity, and you with a day’s reprieve from feeling that perhaps your dog didn’t get as much stimulation and exercise as he wanted. Money well spent, if you ask us

Go for a cruise with your dog. If you have a high-energy canine pal, biking is the perfect way to let him run off some steam. A Bike Tow Leash Attachment makes cycling with your dog safe and enjoyable for you both. If your dog is smaller, older, or just not up for expending that much energy, she can still come along for the ride in a pet bicycle basket or trailer. To the beach—under your own steam!

Get some exercise and support local small businesses. Clip on your dog’s leash, take a stroll to your neighbourhood dog store, and let your dog pick out a new toy or little treat.

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