Just like us humans, dogs also thrive when given the opportunity to discover and explore new environments. In fact, in many cases it is much preferred to bring your pooch along with you on your daily adventures rather than leave them waiting for you at home.
Of course, sometimes it is unavoidable to take your dog with you everywhere you go… to work, for example. Though some may be lucky enough to have a workplace that is suitable for a dog - a great source of calm and a perfect coffee break partner.
In this blog we will provide some inspiration on new places to take your dogs (when you’re not at work), the benefits of new environments and also tips to make it safe and enjoyable. Here’s to taking life in stride, with our dogs by our sides. It is always better this way, don’t you agree?
We all have our classic favourites. Perhaps our favourite stroll or view from a particular park bench. For this reason, it is of course extremely comforting for our dogs to be able to walk and play in their local park. There will be familiar scents, friendly faces and a sense of home. Equally, it is as important to introduce new parks/ forests to your dog’s routine. They bring new excitement: lots of new sensory experiences including new noises, smells, sights, new dogs and people to socialise with. Often forest walks can be very stimulating for dogs as they bring new trails… and maybe even water!
Whether it is a stream, a lake or a pond, dogs often love playing in natural water sources. Though, it is very important to note that this of course does depend on the breed - Labradors absolutely love to eat and swim, for example. What is more, it is usually better to find a moving stream rather than an area of water that has been standing for a long time: stagnant water can carry bacteria and fungi that might make dogs sick. Finding a moving stream or brook has many benefits for dogs. For one, swimming has a lot of health benefits (of course if done safely): it increases joint mobility, increases fitness and relaxes the muscles. When it comes to swimming, we must not forget the ocean: a beautiful, irreplaceable and global resource that brings much joy to animals and humans. When the water is calm, the ocean can be a wonderful play spot. Not to mention, seawater is naturally healing for wounds and softens the coat. Unless you live by the coast, for many dogs (particularly urban pooches), the beach is a perfect day out, bringing new senses, stimulations and, well… perhaps lots of sand! Unfortunately, not all beaches are dog-friendly, so you must check this before you set out on your adventure. Check out this guide for the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK here. A beach with dogs is better than one without, at least we think so.
Why not make your dog an ultra-adventure buddy? If you enjoy spending days lost in the mountains (with a map, of course), then you could consider bringing your dog with you, too. Of course, the company of a dog is like no other and should never go unappreciated, but also mountainous hikes can be very engaging and beneficial for our dogs. The mountains provide a completely different terrain. Naturally, depending on the type of expedition, there is a lot to consider before embarking on these types of adventures… including the weather, first aid supplies, food and water and the general health/ fitness of your dog. It is also key to remember to check daylight hours for both your own and your dog’s safety. Perhaps it is also worth bringing a light or high-visibility collar to make your dog more visible in the case of a dawn or dusk walk. Happy hiking!
Much different from the mountains, let us talk about cities. Whether you live in a city or not, bringing your dog to explore busy streets can be extremely fun and also important if you want your dog to get used to being around other people. Of course, there are many things to explore in an urban environment: cafés and restaurants, shops and also public transport. We are sure that you’re aware that not all shops and restaurants allow dogs to enter… well, that is their loss. For those places that do welcome dogs, let them sniff and explore, bring water, treats and perhaps even their favourite meal with you so they can join you in the eating experience. It is a good idea to get your dog familiar with urban environments so that they don’t associate busy crowds with fear. This is very useful when it comes to taking them to the vet for example, and generally makes traveling that bit easier. Speaking of travel, why not bring your four-legged family members with you on the bus or train? Like all new things, it is a good idea to get them used to public transport quite young as the movement/ noise can be a little scary and unfamiliar. Perhaps you might want to explore less conventional modes of transport, like the Thames River boats for our London pooches. Even bicycles can be a great experience for your dogs. Whether your dog runs alongside you as you cycle or for the more pampered / smaller pooches they may love feelings the wind through their ears as you while they are safely attached to you with a front harness. Either way, urban environments host an array of new scents, noises and scenes… a good tip is to remember to bring treats in case the city gets a bit too overwhelming!
Dreaming of a weekend away with your pooch? Us too. Whether it is a camping holiday, city break in a hotel or staying with a friend or family member, it is always much better with our dogs by our side. It can also be really enjoyable for the dogs: meeting new people and continuing to explore new places, further from home. Just be sure to bring with you some home comforts, perhaps their bed, favourite toys and definitely food. Sleep tight.
Ultimately, our dogs want to be with us and we want to be with them, as much as possible. Plus dogs love to check out new places. So, whilst it is always nice returning to the same park, make sure to also relish in the new. Like for everyone, new places and change can be scary, so to make the experience as comfortable as possible, be sure to come fully prepared.
Snacks always go down a treat; you could even try our wet food squeezed into mini tubes for on-the-go goodness. Of course, we have the wild nature which is beautifully welcome to all. Hopefully in time, we hope that more indoor places will become equally as accepting to dogs. In the meantime, enjoy those places that are. Have a life full of adventure with your unconditional loves.