All dogs need to be walked and exercised daily to keep them fit and healthy and to provide mental stimulation, as well as to provide your dog with a valuable opportunity to play and socialise with other dogs.
As well as giving your dog their daily walks and play sessions, it can also be nice to arrange special trips or walks now and then too, to give your dog a change of scenery and the chance to enjoy a new environment, experience, and to make some new friends.
If you are looking for inspiration on what to do with your dog and want to provide them with some new experiences and chances to play and have fun in 2019, check out our list of fun things to do with your dog for each month of the year.
At the start of the year it is a good idea to start getting your dog a little fitter after Christmas and the New Year, when both ourselves and our dogs often pile on a few extra pounds!
Structure a plan for the month and start gradually to ensure that you don’t overestimate your dog’s abilities, and to form the foundations of a fit, active year trying lots of new things with your dog.
During February we often face snow and bad weather that can make giving our dogs as much exercise as they want a challenge, and dogs that are getting older, that suffer from bone and joint problems or that particularly feel the cold can find this time of year quite uncomfortable.
This is a good time to think about booking your dog in for a canine hydrotherapy session, which allows your dog to swim under supervision at a special dog swimming pool, to provide low-impact exercise and warm up those cold joints.
Doggy daycare centres and play centres have become popular and common across the UK over the course of the last couple of years, and these venues can be invaluable for working dog owners looking for something for their dogs to do during the day.
Book your dog in for a day at a doggy play centre, and take your dog along to have a great time playing with new friends and toys.
As the weather starts to warm up a little, many of us start looking for things to do with our dogs over the summer, and if your dog is fit and reasonably smart, canine agility might be a good pick.
Most agility clubs and groups run taster sessions or welcome newcomers to come along and have a go, so find a local club and schedule a day to take your dog along and see what they can do!
May is a great time to pack your car up and take your dog along to a beach, when the weather is mild but not overly hot. Many of the UK’s more popular beaches restrict or forbid dogs on the beach either at certain times of the day or during certain months of the year, which are normally the peak times of the summer tourist season.
Plan ahead and pick a dog-friendly beach, and remember that the water itself is still apt to be quite cold, so don’t let your dog go bounding in and potentially run into difficulties.
A hiking trip to a new area is a great way to spend time with your dog and let them enjoy exploring a new area, and the UK has a large number of national parks and beautiful, unspoilt areas that can allow you to do this.
Check out the rules in the area that you plan to walk in, and ensure that you keep your dog on a lead around livestock and always bag and bin the poop!
Get your friends with dogs together or join a local dog walking group and take your dog along to meet some new dogs and people, that may result in brand new friends for both of you.
If there are no group walks scheduled in your local area, why not consider setting up a group of your own? You could even consider hosting a sponsored dog walk to raise money for a canine charity in your local area too!
August is holiday season for many of us in the UK, and there are a huge number of brilliant dog-friendly holidays that you might want to consider booking if you plan ahead.
Camping holidays, many cottage holidays and rural guest houses and hotels all welcome dogs, and there are a number of other options too, such as a boat holiday or activity holiday for both dogs and their owners.
If your dog got on well with that agility session earlier in the year, why not consider seeing how they fare at flyball too? Canine flyball is a fast-paced and very exciting sport for competitors, which requires speed, accuracy, and the ability to work as part of a team with other dogs and owners.
As is the case with agility, most flyball clubs and groups hold have-a-go and taster sessions, so contact your local group to find out more.
There are over 3,000 miles of inland waterways in the UK that provide a perfect place for rural walks with your dog, which are off the beaten path but often, highly accessible from our towns and cities.
Always keep your dog on a lead on the towpath and pick up after them!
During November, why not book your dog in for a training refresher session or a short course to teach them some new skills and identify any special talents they might have?
Whether you want to go back to basics or teach your dog some complex commands, there will be a local trainer or group who can help.
December is a very busy time for many of us, and your dog won’t want to be left out of the action. Why not take them carolling with you (assuming that your dog has the type of temperament to enjoy this) and maybe even raise some money for your favourite canine charity at the same time.
Have a great year!