Keeping our dogs happy is one of the most exciting parts of being a dog owner, seeing them wiggle their tails and excitedly greet us when we arrive home is the best part of the day.
Dogs love the simplest activities (as long as they are with you) and always return their love with with dedication and honesty.
However, repeating the same activities over and over without any significant changes to your routine can get boring, even for dogs.
You must strive to find new ways to make your dog happy so you can have a great time with your canine friend.
In this article, you’ll find 25 activities that can change things up a little, making new and exciting experiences that both you and your dog will enjoy while keeping your dog healthy and happy.
1 – A Good Session of Exercise
Dogs love being active, it’s in their nature to jump, run, hunt, and play all day long. If you’re an indoors person and want to surprise your dog, take them out for something more than a walk. Go to a park to play, run, fetch, and keep moving so your dog gets the exercise they need.
2 – Practice exciting new tricks
After you’ve taught your dog the common tricks, go for some slightly more complicated actions, like fetching specific things (like the newspaper), crawling, bowing, or even boxing! There are hundreds of tricks that you can learn together to have a good time and keep your dog sharp.
3 – Compliment Their Achievements
If you spent the whole afternoon teaching your dog new tricks, don’t waste forget to compliment them and show them love. Like humans, affective words of encouragement of good habits will make them feel happy and look forward to trying new things to receive compliments. Just say yes to training your dog with treats and praise
4 – Give Them Treats
Like complimenting, treating your dog with special, tasty treats will make them happier. Be careful of giving treats without reason, every single thing you give to your dog must make them feel special and that they earned it.
5 – Play Some Children Games
Games like and hide and seek are perfect for dogs especially if you include your family and friends. This activity is ideal if you’re staying indoors since the dog will explore its house searching for you and will love finding you. Make sure to give them a treat or compliments when they’ve found you!
6 – Take a Day Off
Some owners leave their dogs for long periods of time due to work, if you can afford taking a day off from work to surprise your dog by changing the routine – it’s like a day off for both of you! They’ll feel appreciated and excited, even if you only spend the day at home cuddling watching netflix together.
7 – Get Them an Interactive Toy
Treat dispensing toys, and other similar mental stimulation toys will keep your pet entertained and healthy. Interactive toys might help you reduce the ‘hyperness’ of your dog as well as things like excessive barking (which has been linked to boredom).
8 – Socialize With Your Dog
Take them out to visit your relatives and friends! Dogs like socializing just as much as humans, and during their formative years meeting dozens of new people will make them kind and friendly towards strangers later in life.
9 – Go Hiking With Your Dog
Do you like hiking? Have you ever considered taking your dog with you?
They make excellent companions and will love the change of scenery. Of course, some dog breeds are better suited to this activity than others, but most of them will enjoy even a small trek through a hiking trail. Make sure to bring plenty of water to keep your dog hydrated, especially during summer.
10 – Change your Route While Walking your Dog
Similar to hiking but without the physical stress, changing your common walk route will feel new and exciting to any dog. To you, it may be a little detour through another street, but for your dog, it will be like going on a totally new adventure.
11 – Don’t wait for him to catch your attention, Surprise Him!
We usually only start playing with our dogs when they come seeking OUR attention while we’re working, sitting at the PC, or stuck on our phones. Instead, seek them out! Surprise them with a random round of tickles or loving pets and you’ll see how much they enjoy the attention.
12 – Respect their individuality
On the contrary (and much like many humans), some pets prefer being alone. Watch your pet, and look for signs they need some time alone. Even if you want to cuddle your dog at that moment, restrain yourself and give your dog some time, it will come back to you once he’s done exploring.
13 – Swimming Time!
If you have a pool or access to one, or if you can take a trip to a local lake, consider taking your dog swimming for a change of pace!
It’s great exercise and healthy activity, older dogs will love it since it’s a low impact effort for their delicate bones. If your dog is not used to swimming, you might want to start out in shallow waters to prevent an accident.
14 – Go to the Beach
Some dogs love playing in the sand and chasing the crashing waves. Moreover, they can also practice swimming!
Don’t forget to bring a bunch of toys!
15 – Buy a Kiddie Pool
If you don’t have access to any of the locations above, there’s still a chance to give your dog the water experience they want. Small kids pools are excellent replacements, which may not be large enough to accommodate the larger breeds, but small dogs will love splashing around and cooling off!
16 – Let Them Smell the Roses
During your walks, take your time and let your dog explore and smell the place, they love sniffing the grass, plants, flowers, to find out what has happened since they last took a walk. It will make the walk more enjoyable for the dog as they will feel it’s not rushed exercise but a relaxed stroll. Also, for us humans, slow walks are a good reminder to slow down and enjoy life.
17 – Dog Grooming
Whether you do it yourself at home or take them to a professional dog groomer, grooming is an essential part of a dog’s health that you shouldn’t neglect. Brush their coat, trim their nails, brush their teeth, and give them a bath to keep them healthy.
They might not like grooming, but the health benefits and advantages of being neat and clean will keep them happy in the long run.
18 – A Fun Bath
Yes, the previous points about enforcing good behavior during bath time are important… but every now and then, taking a messy bath in the yard can be lots of fun for a dog!
Take out the hose and let them play in the water, let them run around… throw in a couple toys, you’ll see how happy they get!
19 – Make the Visit to the Vet and Groomer Fun
This may be harder for older dogs who hate going to the vet or grooming, but if you have a puppy, you might want to give them treats and make the trip feel like an exciting visit rather than dreadfully pushing them into the vet’s office.
Complimenting your dogs good behaviour and making them feel safe during the process will make future visits more enjoyable for everyone involved.
20 – Find a Vet and Groomer That You and Your Dog Both Like
If you make the trip to the vet fun, but once you’re there the veterinary mistreats your dog or treats him in a way you dislike… then all the effort of the previous point is lost.
Seek out a friendly and reliable vet, and an experienced groomer that will keep your pet calmed and comfortable during their treatments, that way the experience will be much smoother and enjoyable.
21 – Find a Friend for Your Dog
Most apartment dwelling dogs lack the interaction of friendly animals. Sometimes you can’t afford to have two pets, and those trips to the park are scarce. If this is the case, find a friend with a dog who can come over to play so they can have some fun together.
22 – Go to a Training Course
Although it seems like a chore to go through a discipline course to train a dog, there are dozens of different classes available each with various activities, most of them can be enjoyable for both the dog and their owners.
Moreover, learning new tricks and gaining some discipline will make other activities much more manageable, for example, taking a walk or going to the park will be more enjoyable after learning some simple commands or ‘tricks’.
23 – Let Them Sleep With You
Not for everyone! Some owners might not be able to pull this one off due to allergies, lack of space, or feeling uncomfortable sharing the bed, but dogs love sharing their sleeping spot with their owners, they’ll feel safe and very comfortable all night!
24 – Buy new toys, or make new games with old ones
Dogs get tired of playing with the same toy over and over again. Us humans would get bored pretty quick too!
You don’t have to spend thousands on high tech toys, even the cheapest ones you can find on Amazon are enough to change things up for your dog.
If you don’t want to buy something new, you can play new games with old toys, like hiding them or storing treats inside of them. Fun!
25 – Relax with your dog
You can do this in your yard, your kitchen, during a hike, or at the beach! Teaching your dog to sit down and relax can make for great bonding time. Quietly sit or lay down together to watch the ceiling, the stars, or the waves crash.
While it may not seem like an exciting activity, you’ll see how your dog will open up and relax to its fullest, feeling comfortable and safe by your side. This is a great bonding exercise that you too can enjoy to relax after a long day of work.
There you have it, 25 ways to make your dog happy. What do you think about them? Do you have a special activity you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.