1. Picnic with your pooch: Dogs love anything that involves cool grass, fresh dirt, favorite foods and of course, you! Hike a short trail first to earn your repast. Package the dog’s treats in a separate container. Grilled chicken, green beans, steamed carrots and apple slices are all good choices and will be a big hit with your pup. Hold the barbeque sauce!
2. Tear it up: What dog doesn’t love to shred stuff? Direct his energy to something he can really sink his teeth into: an enrichment box. Start with a cardboard box (minus the staples and tape) and swipe a small amount of peanut butter on the bottom. Then fold more cardboard, newspaper, dog toys and a bone inside; all hidden for your dog to discover. Don’t forget to record the fun!
3. Make a unique dog toy: My choice is the Sock Ball. I stuff a tennis ball down deep in the toe of a man’s tube sock and lightly knot the other end. Time how long it takes for your dog to get the ball out. Some will simply chew it out; others will systematically work the knot until it gives.
4. Dig it: Dogs love to dig, especially in the summer when they can find cooler earth under the top layer. To minimize dirt and maximize Fido’s fun, make a sandbox by sinking 1 inch by 6 inch boards, dig out the middle dirt, and fill with quality play sand. Then bury a few toys and watch your dog find a fast route to the earth’s core.
5. Get social: Find new friends the old fashioned way: get out into your town’s central shopping area and dress yourself and your dog in your best street style. If your dog’s bandana matches your outfit, you will have to slow down to soak up the positive vibes. Hang out at an outdoor café and enjoy the compliments coming your way.
by Amy Robinson