Celebrate National Doggie Date Night With These 10 Activities Your Dog Will Love
Yes, National Doggie Date Night is actually a thing—and, yes, we know there's zero chance of things ever getting stale between you and your perfect pupper. Still, every long-term relationship can benefit from shaking things up once in a while. (And we're not just talking about your furry friend's post-bath shimmy!)
Instead of sticking to your usual routine day in and day out, why not plan a special doggie date night for your pooch? But before you start scouring Yelp for a dog-friendly restaurant where you can create your own Lady and the Tramp meatball moment, take a step back and think about the things that you and your pup really enjoy doing together; then, consider how you can make some of those experiences a little extra special.
When Is Doggie Date Night?
Now, of course you can set up a date night with your doggo any time you like—but as we approach National Doggie Date Night on February 3, it's the perfect time to come up with a fun night with your furry best friend. Whether you're planning to go all out for the official holiday or just looking for a new way to spend Friday night with Fido, don't be afraid to get creative.
10 Doggie Date Night Ideas Your Pup Will Dig
Just as you would if you were planning an evening to remember for a human partner, begin by thinking about what your date loves most. Got a lovable Labrador with an insatiable appetite? Try a fun, food-focused activity. Does your Dachshund delight in following his nose? Oh boy, he's going to love going on "sniffari."
Whether your enchanted evening is full of activity or consists mostly of cuddles, your dog will be thrilled to have you all to himself—and you'll enjoy having some Q.T. with your cutie, too.
1. Attempt an Art Project
Doing a creative project together can be a fun way to bond—not to mention the fact that, at the end of the night, you've got some new décor for your living room that'll always remind you of your canine companion! Instead of handing her a brush and paint and turning her loose, Try this kit with pet-safe clay to catch a perfect paw impression of your furry friend's foot, or you could use a pet-friendly ink pad and paper to record a print. Once you're done and the clay or print is dry, you can frame it alongside your favorite photo of your pal.
2. Bake Homemade Treats
If food is the way to your doggo's heart, here's an activity your chowhound is sure to love—baking up a dog-friendly delicacy! This homemade peanut butter oatmeal dog treat recipe isn't only popular with every pup we know, but it makes enough that you'll almost certainly have extras you can freeze (or give away to your dog's BFFS). Feeling a little more fruity? Maybe these cranberry oatmeal dog cookies will be more to your pup's liking. Either way, just remember that yes, food is love, but treats are best given in moderation, so stick to one or two a day.
3. Go on a Sniffari
Date night is a special night, so why not leash up your pup and go on sniffari? Turn the metaphorical reins over to her and let her set the pace, allowing her to sniff anything she wants, for as long as she wants (just so long as all the things catching her interest are safe to snuffle). To make it extra exciting, choose a path less traveled or try a new park. Grab a hands-free leash and take it all in.
4. Set Up a Scavenger Hunt
Truth be told, a doggy scavenger hunt is hard to beat; there are loads of ways to customize it and your dog gets to experience the thrill of the hunt. Hide a few dog treats or toys within a designated area then encourage your dog to sniff them all out, praising her wildly for each new find. This whole process might require a little guidance, especially at first, but she'll catch on once she figures out the game. Use low-calorie training treats so you can provide more "finds" without overdoing her daily eats. Save the really high value treats for trickier hiding spots, and be sure to really celebrate with her when she brilliantly tracks each one down!
5. Dip Your Toes in Agility
It's no secret that the time you spend training your dog is an excellent opportunity to bond, and if your pup is the kind of pupil who's always up for a new lesson, a night learning agility tricks could be a ton of fun. You don't need to go to a special park or dog agility training class—there are all kinds of agility kits out there to make introducing your doggo to various obstacles right in your own backyard (or living room) a snap. You could even go the DIY route and create your own course using objects like brooms, cardboard boxes, and garden stakes. Start slow and easy with beginners, provide plenty of positive reinforcement, and always remember, this should be fun—for both of you!
6. Read a Book Together
In the Venn diagram of book lovers and dog lovers, there's a pretty large intersection. If you fall into that subset, then the perfect date night might be a quiet evening at home with you, your pup, and a favorite book you can read aloud. Bonus points if the book is a heartwarming story of the unbreakable human and animal bond—you might need to keep the tissues nearby!
7. Have a Movie Night
More of a movie buff than a reader? Snuggling up for some movie magic is a classic date night, and if you want to take things up a notch with your pup, get yourselves some cozy matching PJs, pop some popcorn for you, and give your pup an exciting movie-themed chew toy set (after all, they might get bored halfway through the movie anyway!).
8. Pack a Picnic
Whether you're outdoorsy in the truest sense, or just outdoorsy in that you enjoy drinking your kombucha al fresco, packing a little picnic for yourself and your fuzzy buddy is a fun way to shake things up. Grab some water, treats, and a portable dog bed so your pup has a comfy place to rest! Heading to a nearby park could be fun, but there's nothing wrong with setting up in your own backyard—or even your living room—if that's a little more manageable.
Looking to level up? Take your date night overnight by setting up a tent outside, either in your yard or a nearby campground, so you and your pooch can snooze beneath the stars.
9. Have a Photo Shoot
Pics or it didn't happen! You probably have a phone full of pictures of you and your pooch, but how many are selfies where they're actually looking at the camera? Make your date night one for the (photo) books by getting out this clever dog selfie stick attachment to pique her interest. Keep some clever props nearby and make sure you have tasty treats on hand to reward your pup for striking a pose. By the end of the night, you'll have a great selection of funny photos, not to mention the memories you made while taking them.
10. Get Zen With Doga
Downward dog is great and all, but there's nothing quite like doing a yoga flow with your dog (doga!). Now before you jump in to your first salutation, there are a couple of ways to do doga. One involves you simply practicing yoga with your dog nearby, allowing him to soak up the chill vibes. The other is to guide your dog through dog yoga poses—which you can learn in books and videos— just be aware that this should be done with care and caution to avoid putting your pup into any position that makes him uncomfortable, physically or mentally.
The real benefit from either option is the time you spend trying something new together, so enjoy the journey. And remember, doga, like yoga, is a practice, so don't be discouraged if it takes a few sessions for the two of you to find your groove!