If you’re a dog lover like me, you’re probably searching for fun things to do with your dog 24/7. However, during busy times, spending quality time with our dogs is not just fun, but also reassuring and relaxing.
That’s why I jotted down the following list of things to do with your dog that are fun, enriching, and enjoyable…for both ends of the leash.
If you’re searching for novel things to do with your dog, I hope this list below inspires you.
I’ve included things that are little indulgences, fun activities, unique ideas, dog-loving experiences, and some new dog-centric things to learn.
With 30 ideas on the list, I hope that you find a few that are just right for you and your doggo.
Most of all, I hope that by spending time with your dog, you both find happiness and contentment.
30 things to do with your dog
Note: Happy-Go-Doodle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
1. Plan a special spa night with your dog.
Fluffy towels. Relaxing music. A favorite beverage for you. A fresh bowl of water for your furry friend. Choose all your favorite comforts of home and treat your dog (and yourself) to a dog-friendly version of a spa night.
2. Let your dog choose your outfit.
Looking for a fun, not-so-serious thing to do with your dog? Why not let your dog choose your outfit!
If you’re debating on what to wear in the morning, go ahead and choose two options. Then show both of them to your dog and get your furry pal’s opinion.
The outfit that your dog sniffs first is your clothing decision for the day! Of course, it doesn’t have to be an outfit.
You could let your dog choose your sweatshirt, your jammies, or a sweater. You get the idea.
Remember, give plenty of praise to your dog for a job well done.
3. Enjoy a day of “this or that” with your dog.
This is an amped-up version of #4.
Let your dog make the decisions for you all day long (within reason and safety, of course).
For each activity, present two options and ask your dog “this one or that one.” Let your dog choose by sniffing. The item your dog sniffs first, is the activity of choice.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Playtime: Show your dog a ball in one hand and a leash in the other.
- Dressing: Show your dog your jammies in one hand and your favorite hoodie in the other.
- Snack time: Show your dog a favorite treat in one hand and a bit of kibble in the other.
- Bandanas: Show your dog one color bandana in one hand and another color bandana in the other.
4. Practice online yoga with your dog.
My dog enjoys lying beside me on my yoga mat (or staring at me) while I do online yoga. My favorite online yoga program is Yoga With Adriene. She has a calming spirit. Plus, sometimes her dog pops in during her workout. Bonus!
5. Improve your pet parenting skills by reading a positive dog training book.
Our veterinarian recommended this book us when we were introducing a new puppy to our pack. What makes this training book my favorite? For me, there are two reasons:
- Zak George is 100% focused on positive training
- He has coordinating YouTube videos (free) that demonstrate key points in each chapter.
6. Brush up on brushing your dog’s teeth.
If you’ve been thinking about learning to brush your dog’s teeth, now is the time.
You can start by committing five minutes now to reading my article on how to brush your dog’s teeth.
Then plan to gradually introduce your dog to daily tooth brushing.
Not only is it a healthy habit, but it’s also another fun way to bond with your dog.
7. Birdwatch (or squirrel watch) with your dog.
Communing with nature, much like spending time with your dog, is good for the soul.
If you have a backyard, grab your binoculars and do some bird watching with your dog.
Another version of this, (and one that my dog especially loves) is squirrel watching!
8. Get inspired by planning your next dog-friendly vacation or adventure.
Going to dog-friendly restaurants.
Walking along dog-friendly beaches.
It’s fun to imagine all the pet-friendly adventures you can take with your dog by your side! Why not start a bucket list of vacations and places to take your dog.
Your list could even include dog-friendly adventures based on your dog’s own interests. For example, if your dog loves hiking in the woods, you could plan a weekend adventure to a dog-friendly national park.
Then, when you have plans made, you can pack up your dog road trip essentials and head out on dog-friendly vacation or adventure with your pupper by your side.
One of our favorite beachy spots is dog-friendly Amelia Island, Florida.
We had so much fun meeting friendly dogs on Amelia Island’s beaches and visiting pet-friendly restaurants and attractions.
If you’re looking for small-town charm combined with outdoor adventures, you might want to check out my post on pet-friendly Eureka Springs.
Nested in the hills of Arkansas, it’s on Architectural Digest’s list of 50 most beautiful small towns in the country.
Start dreaming of your next pet-friendly getaway with your dog by your side.
9. Enroll in an online course to teach your dog new tricks.
Have you always wanted to teach your dog some new tricks?
Did you know that there are online courses in dog tricks that you and your dog can learn together?
I did a quick Google search and found an abundance of courses to choose from.
While I can’t recommend one yet, I thought you might be interested.
When I do find one that I love, I’ll share the news. If you’ve already taken an online dog trick course, I’d love to hear!
10. Brush or groom your dog.
I love brushing, grooming, and caring for my Goldendoodle dog’s coat. Not only is it a necessity to keep her coat tangle-free and healthy, but it’s also a fun way to spend time with her.
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to make brushing part of your dog’s nightly routine.
Also, if you have a Goldendoodle, check out my article on brushing and learn which brush I recommend for Goldendoodle grooming.
11. Go bananas over dog bandanas.
Number 11 on my list of things to do with your dog is bandana-mania!
After your dog’s groomed or brushed, why not make your four-legged friend’s day feel a little more special with a favorite dog bandana, hat, or bow tie.
Chloe and Little Bear love wearing bandanas because it’s their cue that they’re going on an adventure or having their picture taken.
12. Create a playlist of dog-themed or dog-friendly music.
What music does your dog seem to enjoy the most? Classical? Reggae? Jazz?
Listen to a variety of music with your dog and then create a playlist that you both enjoy.
Before you get started, you might be interested to know that a study from Colorado State University found that classical music helped shelter dogs relax.
Additionally, according to a study by Dr. Deborah Wells in Queens College in Belfast, “dogs spent more time resting when exposed to classical (music) and more time barking when exposed to heavy metal.”
Also, if you’re up for a challenge, how many dog-themed songs can you add to your playlist? (Surely, there has to be more than “Who Let the Dogs Out.”)
13. Plan a movie night with your dog.
After your dog’s had some mental or physical stimulation, why not settle in and watch a dog-themed movie together? Eight Below is based on a true story and one of our favorite movies featuring amazing canines. While you’re watching the movie, you could also color some Goldendoodle coloring pages.
14. Watch your favorite dog events like the Westminster dog show, dock diving, or other sports shows with dogs as the stars.
Does your dog like watching other dogs on the TV ? Are you interested in learning about dock diving or dog agility? Now is a great time to catch up on dog shows you may have recorded or want to watch on YouTube.
15. Learn how to clip your dog’s toenails at home.
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that I would include educational things to do with your dog. This is it!
I took an online tutorial on dog nail trimming and learned how to trim my dog’s toenails.
Now I trim both my Goldendoodle dog’s nails and Little Bear’s nails. You can master nail trims, too.
To learn more, check out my article on how I learned how to trim my dog’s dark nails.
16. Make some Kong treats to have at the ready.
Make up a batch of Kong treats using Kong toys and peanut butter. (Important note! Check the label and make sure your peanut butter does not include xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs.)
I keep peanut butter-filled Kong toys in the freezer for my furry bestie.
They make a great distraction for her while I’m trimming her toenails too! (By the way, always check with your vet to make sure you’re giving your dog the foods that are safe for his or her nutritional needs.)
17. Read a good book aloud to your dog.
Did you know your dog loves the sound of your voice? Rather than reading a book silently to yourself, why not read it aloud to your dog while your dog snuggles beside you.
18. Take your dog for a walk.
One thing that almost all dogs love to do is going for a walk.
To make walking even more enriching for your dog, rather than walking with purpose, try going on a sniffari dog walk—a “sniffing safari.” Another easy way to make a walk more enriching for your dog is to switch up your usual walking route by going the opposite direction.
19. Practice basic commands.
Does your dog know basic commands? Why not give your dog a chance to shine by brushing up on basic skills?
Or, if you have a new furry family member, you can begin learning basic commands and teach your puppy to come, sit, and stay.
My doggo loves a chance to practice her favorite commands. Plus, it’s another way to bond with her while giving her mental stimulation, too.
As an aside, remember to give your pupper plenty of verbal praise and maybe a high value dog treat (i.e. a special treat your dog really loves) as positive reinforcement.
20. Facetime with your parents, grandparents, and siblings.
If family members love your dog like family, why not Facetime them and show them your dog’s cute mug!
They’ll be glad to see your face and your dog’s too.
21. Learn how to give your dog an ear massage.
You’re probably already gently rubbing your dog’s ears, but did you know that there is a technique to it? Pet MD’s article, 4 Simple Dog Massage Therapy Techniques, explains how.
22. Create a social media fan page for your dog.
Does your dog have a TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook account?
If not, creating a social media fan page for your dog is a fun way to be part of a community of fellow dog lovers. Plus, taking all those photos is another fun thing you can do with your dog. (Need help capturing the adorable, spontaneous moments with you and your pupper? Check out my tips on how to take cute photos of your dog.)
Also, here are our Happy-Go-Doodle® social media accounts where we share happiness and dog-loving adventures:
- Twitter: @happy_go_doodle
- Instagram: @happygodoodle
- Facebook: @happygodoodle
- Pinterest: @happy_go_doodle
Please stop by, say hello, and follow along with us on all of our social media accounts.
23. Skip putting your dog’s kibble in a dog bowl and let your dog “find it” instead.
If you usually give your dog kibble in a dog bowl, why not switch things up and let your dog “hunt” for his or her next meal? Place your dog’s kibble in small bowls around your kitchen floor and let them find it.
(Note: Always watch your dog so that they don’t eat something that’s not safe.)
24. Play indoor games.
When you play with your dog, you’re showing them your love in a language that they understand. Indoor games like hide and seek will give your dog mental stimulation.
25. Play outdoor games.
If your dog enjoys getting outside, grab a ball and play fetch!
If you have two dogs, we’ve found that tug of war is a great way for them to play together. (The Kong Wubba Comet toy in the photo below is their absolute favorite!)
Related: 14 Games to Play With Your Dog
26. Give your dog an interactive puzzle.
Number 26 on our list of things you can do with your dog is giving your dog an interactive puzzle game. There are a variety of interactive puzzles and dog enrichment toys and games that are designed to provide plenty of mental stimulation, keep your dog busy, and encourage your dog’s curiosity. Just looking at the category of interactive puzzles, you’ll find a range of snuffle mats, feeder toys, and slider puzzles.
The Nina Ottoson interactive dog puzzle is one of my dog’s all-time favorite interactive puzzle toys, and it’s something I often bring out on rainy or snowy days when we need a dog boredom buster. Additionally, it’s a great substitute for a food bowl so dogs can enjoying foraging for their food.
27. Take a selfie each day.
My 27th thing to do with your dog is a twist on an old adage. If “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” a selfie a day with your dog will surely bring a smile!
Take a moment and take a selfie with your furry bestie.
28. Pull up a chair so you can both watch out the window.
Does your dog enjoy looking out the window of your home? My pupper loves to hop on my favorite chair, rest his noggin on the arm rest, and just watch out the window. I call it his morning reflection time, and I’ve learned to grab a cup of coffee and snuggle up beside him to enjoy the view out the window…together.
29. Teach your dog some nose work games that are “scentsational.”
Here’s a fun fact: Dogs who exercise their noses are more optimistic! That’s why you and your dog will both love learning some nose work games for dogs. Wouldn’t it the best feeling to know that your dog could be even more cheery simply by doing scent games? Who’s in?
Also, are you wondering if your dog is happy? Check out my article Is My Dog Happy to learn the signs.
30. End the day with a snuggle.
Whether your dog is a lap sitter who loves to snuggle or your dog prefers to have a little space but still be by your side, just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company is a great activity and a way to spend time with each other.
Our dogs give us so much to be grateful for through all of life’s moments.
Even during busy times, spending time together with our canine companions brings immeasurable amounts of happiness and love.
What are your favorite things to do with your dog?
We’d love to hear.