Keelie and I have both always had dogs. All through our childhood and our entire marriage, we’ve had at least one dog, usually more. One thing we’ve never really done is doggy dates. Our poor old beagle isn’t exactly in her prime and ready for a night on the town. However, it’s a cute idea overall.
Nat is here with us today from Rover.com to tell us about 10 ideas for doggy dates you can try.
You love your honey; you love your dog. Who’s to say you have to choose which one to spend time with? Here are ten creative ways you can bring your dog along on date nights and daytime excursions, courtesy of the humans at Rover.com.
#1: Hike & Picnic
Many local trails allow dogs to hike on-leash. Check the rules beforehand to find out whether dogs are allowed and what leash restrictions apply. Bring along DIY puppy treats, water for both of you and your pet, and a picnic spread. While you’re noshing, be sure to have a bone or stick for your pup to chew on. You might want to pick up a collapsible water dish to keep your dog hydrated on the go, too!
#2: Outdoor Patio Dinner
Have a favorite restaurant with a dog-friendly patio? Bring your pooch along and treat them to a high-class dinner at your side. Either share from your plate, bring delicious treats along, or find out whether the restaurant does doggy plates (you’d be surprised what leftovers they might be able to provide at a discount). You may even meet some other couples and their dogs!
#3: Countryside Drive
If your doggy loves car rides, they’re in luck. The driver can choose a scenic drive for a daytime excursion. The other person gets to plan a playlist of favorite music. Everyone sings along loudly with the windows wide open (bonus points if the pup joins in!). Add a park stop for the puppy to get a potty break and burn off some energy. Don’t forget to take pics!
#4: Citywide Scavenger Hunt
This one requires some planning, but it’s well worth it–especially for partners and puppies who love surprises. You can make the clues easy-to-find and interactive by sending them via text. For instance, your first clue might be a silly rhyme that sends your scavenging partners to the tree under which your dog loves to pee.
Once they’ve found the right spot, you can send the next text, and so on. The final stop could have a bone buried for your pup to dig up, and a special surprise for your date, too. You might even enlist help: get a friend to bring your boo’s gift, and snap a photo of your happy family at the end of your hunt.
#5: Doggy Spa
You all love being pampered, so why not make a day of it? Bring the spa home to you or find local businesses that fit your needs. You and your date can give your dog a bath and follow up with any other grooming your pet enjoys. Next, hire a Rover sitter while you enjoy a couple’s massage. Once you’re all relaxed, you can cozy up for the evening in a cuddle dogpile.
#6: Pet Supply Store
Your pup will love roaming the aisles of their favorite pet store with the two of you in tow. Pick up some brand-new treats for your pet to enjoy, and get a long-lasting chew toy like an elk horn that will occupy your doggy back home. Let your dog sniff out their favorite parts of the store, and see what you discover!
#7: Playground & Dog Park
Fido can’t say no to the dog park. But when’s the last time you got on a playground swing? Let out your inner child at the local park. You and your partner can take turns spinning each other on a tire swing, then running around the dog park for a family game of tag. You’ll both get lots of fresh air and exercise, and you’ll feel like a kid again!
#8: Beach Day
If you have a beach nearby – even a local lake or pond – make a day of it. Plan a walk along the dock, run in the sand, and bring snacks and water for all. Start a seashell hunt, and see what your pet discovers on the way. If it’s nice out, top off the day with a casual swim or a watery game of fetch with a floating toy.
Head for a lake or river and rent a canoe. Bring along life vests for the two of you and your pup, to stay on the safe side in case of a flip or choppy waters. Make sure everything you bring along is packed in a dry bag, including your picnic and doggy snacks. Dry socks may also come in handy!
Plan your route ahead of time and know how you’ll be getting back to the car. If you’ve never taken your dog on a boat before, do a tiny harbor test run to make sure they feel safe and comfortable in the canoe and won’t jump out.
#10: Double Date
By now, you’ve probably met a few other couples who also have dogs. Invite friends over for dinner, along with their canine companion(s). Be sure your dogs get along. Then, while you enjoy your steak, your pets can play in the next room.
Want more flexibility? Hire a Rover caregiver to look after the dogs while you’re eating, or to take them out for a walk. Then, join them in the backyard for playtime, or to watch the dogs play while you sip a coffee.
Nat Smith is a community member at Rover.com. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.