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Owning and taking care of a dog is a rewarding experience shared by millions around the world. Your best friend provides unconditional love and companionship that few domestic animals can offer. Canines thrive on human companionship, and they can become upset and anxious when their emotions are ignored or neglected. Spending time with your dog is just as important as feeding and walking your pet. Here are some of the fun ways you can spend time with your favorite animal.

1. Relaxing at Home

Dogs require daily exercise, but sometimes, it’s nice to lay around the house and relax with your pet. Like humans, dogs like to take it easy, and they would rather spend their lazy hours near humans. You can read a book with your companion or listen to Fox News Radio. If the weather is agreeable, you can relax outdoors in a lawn chair or hammock and take a nap with your dog at your side. A lazy afternoon is an ideal time to groom your dog and check its teeth and ears.

2. Fixing a Favorite Meal

Although you can find several gourmet food options for your canine at the pet store, several homemade pet recipes are available online that are less expensive and more nutritious than commercial brands. Dogs love table scraps, and you probably know which types of food drive your pet crazy. However, before making your animal a special meal, check with your veterinarian to ensure the food is safe. Any food with chocolate, grapes, small bones or coffee should be avoided due to their toxicity. Older dogs require less protein in their meals than younger dogs, but you can find several recipes that are developed for pets of all ages. Fix your companion a special meal instead of their standard dog food and watch the animal’s tail wag excitedly while the food is devoured.

3. Playing Frisbee or Catch

Most dog breeds are natural retrievers, and their favorite activity (besides sniffing other dogs) is retrieving a ball or frisbee. Spread out in the backyard and see how long it takes your dog to become tired of playing catch. It’s likely that you’ll wear out before your pet. Although some dog owners use frisbee golf discs to make long-distance throws to their companions, the discs are made of a harder plastic that can damage their teeth. Use a standard drugstore frisbee that’s slightly flexible and light.

4. Visiting the Dog Park

Since many public parks forbid dogs, a dog park is an ideal location to get some fresh air with your pet. Before going to the park, check your animal’s rabies vaccination status and the time remaining on their flea and tick medication. Your pet will encounter several other animals at the park, and you don’t want them to bring something home they caught from another dog. Flea and tick treatments usually last from 30 to 60 days, but some take a day before providing complete protection.

5. Taking a Short Road Trip

Dogs that enjoy traveling in the car are always up for a brief road trip. If you plan to drive for more than 30 minutes, remember to bring some water and a few doggy treats. Plan a visit to some nearby friends or family and let your dog run wild in a new backyard. Although all states have different laws about transporting an animal in a vehicle, most states require owners to keep their dogs in a carrier during travel.

6. Installing an Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses for kids are becoming more popular in suburban backyards, but some courses can also be used with dogs. You can place a treat at one end of the course and see how fast your dog can navigate to the end. Several commercial kits are available online, but you can save money if you have time to build a homemade course.

Dogs struggle with boredom sometimes just like humans. With the previous tips, you can entertain your favorite companion and give them the emotional support they need.

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