Spending time with your dog lifts the spirits of both owner and pooch alike. Not only that, petting your furry buddy for just 10 minutes a day curbs your stress and improves your well-being. That’s according to a recent study published in American Educational Research Association Open.
Who’s always there when you come home after a tough day with a smile and maybe a chewed-up shoe? National Doggy Date Night on February 3 means it’s time to give back some of that unconditional love. So mark your calendar and start gathering your best doggy date night ideas to get tails wagging.
Stay-at-Home Date Ideas for You and Your Pup
If the weather’s bad or you’re just in the mood for an at-home doggy date night, no problem. With a little effort, you can put together a memorable evening that doesn’t require stepping a foot — or a paw — outside. Consider the following ideas:
Movie Night with Spot
Grab a cozy blanket, pop some popcorn for yourself, get a rawhide chew for your pooch, and cuddle up together in front of a favorite film. The two of you may want to unwind with a dog-related comedy like “The Secret Life of Pets” (2016) or “Marley & Me” (2008). If you’d prefer a film that tugs at the heartstrings, choose something like “A Dog’s Journey” (2019) or a true canine classic like the original “Benji” (1974).
Do you and your pet need some pampering? How about giving yourself and your canine buddy a mani-pedi? Buy some pet-friendly nail polish and get creative. Mix and match colors, and maybe throw in a paw massage. (Just make sure to only use nail polish and nail polish remover made especially for pets. Nail products made for people aren’t safe for dogs.)
Yoga, Canine Style
It’s time to learn downward-facing dog from a true expert. Roll out your yoga mat, exhale a nice long Om, and give “doga” a try. You can try holding your smaller dog in standing poses for strength-building benefits, or practice stretching poses alongside your larger dog. Some yoga studios even offer doga classes, if you need guidance. You can also find videos and articles across the internet that offer tips for getting the most out of a doga session.
Game Night à la Pup
Arranging a game night with your pup can get the blood and laughs flowing. Try blowing bubbles for your dog to chase or playing a game of tug-of-sock. Another option: Create an agility course for your dog using objects like a hula hoop, broom, and soccer cones and test out your training skills. Don’t forget a hefty supply of treats to encourage your dog along the way!
Bubble Bath and Toys
A bubble bath full of toys and a soggy doggy can make for the perfect doggy date night. If your pup doesn’t mind getting wet — and neither do you — draw a warm bath, pour in some dog-friendly bubble bath that won’t dry out their skin, and put your massaging hands to work. While you’re at it, throw in some squeak toys. When it’s time to drain the tub, have a big towel nearby and a good dog brush to comb out the tangles.
Doggy Dinner Date at Home
Enjoying a delicious meal of favorite foods can be a great way to share an evening with any loved one, including your pooch. Cook up some pet-safe recipes and sit down to a dinner at home with one of the best dates you could ask for. Bone appétit!
Perfect Doggy Date Excursions for You and Your Pup
Maybe you and your dog could use a little adventure outside of your home. If that’s the case, why not try one of the following ideas to celebrate National Doggy Date Night:
Romp in the Snow
It’s not just huskies and Samoyeds who love a good roll in the snow. Most dogs can’t get enough of sledding with their best friend. So grab your toboggan and head to a local park for some slipping and sliding.
Adventure Walk Led by Your Dog’s Fabulous Sniffer
Dogs discover the world through their sense of smell, which is thousands of times more acute than humans’. Though you may feel inclined to charge forward during walks, dogs typically want to stop all along the way. That’s because they gain loads of information by tracking scents to experience the world around them more fully. So why not indulge your dog’s incredibly sensitive nose? Take a walk together and let your dog stop and smell everything they want to. See where the adventure leads!
Dog-Friendly Shopping Trip
Many stores, especially pet shops and big hardware chains, welcome dogs. While you check out the latest tools and appliances, your dog can sniff around, get petted by other shoppers, and spend some time with their best friend.
Doggy Play Date
Like humans, many dogs love to socialize. Arrange a doggy play date with the dogs of friends or neighbors so your dog can chase, tackle, and roll around with other furry critters. Finding a compatible playmate for your pup is key to a successful play date, though. While you can never know which dogs your dog will like or dislike beforehand, it’s a good idea to find doggy playmates who have energy levels and play styles similar to your dog’s.
Dog Park Visit
Roaming around leash-free in the dog park puts a smile on any dog’s face. A trip to the dog park also gives owners a chance to play Frisbee and catch with their pup in a large open area. You and your furry friend may already have a favorite dog park that’s due a visit, or maybe it’s time to check out a new one.
Doggy Dinner Date in Town
Not interested in cooking for your doggy dinner date? Why not head to the nearest dog-friendly patio that serves up delicious eats for you and your pup? Some restaurants even have dog menus! While many places don’t keep their patios open during colder months, you may find one that does. Just wrap a blanket around your shoulders, sit close to the outdoor heater, and snuggle against the warmth of your dog as you share your meal.
Outing to the Dog Bakery
An outing to the local dog bakery (barkery?) will surely get your four-pawed friend up on their hind legs for a look at the display case. Spoil your pup with bacon pancakes, snickerpoodle cookies, or peanut butter bones.
Get Ready to Spend Quality Time with Your Favorite Pooch
National Doggy Date Night is right around the corner, and it offers the perfect chance to destress and take a break from school and work responsibilities. To make the day extra special, choose one of these activities, or come up with your own, and enjoy a memorable time with your very, very good boy or girl.