National Pet Month is here, and as you dream up fun ways to display how much you care for your canine companion during the 31 days of dogged devotion to companion animals, why not transform your compilation of ideas into a barket list! Much like a bucket list, just replace writing a bestselling novel, learning a new language, riding a gondola in Venice or other popular bucket list items for people with a roster of ideas for your dog.
Following are just a few suggestions of activities that will help your pal with paws live his or her best life (and if you need more inspiration, check out the ideas on our National Pet Day list). What will you add to your dog’s barket list? Let us know in the comments below!
For the Travel-Loving Tail-Wagger
If nothing makes Rover happier than being out on the open road with you, embark on a Spot-inspired sojourn! “From the mountains, to the prairies, to the ocean white with foam…” you and your canine companion can discover the beauty of the United States at several dog-friendly national parks. including Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, Natchez Trace National Parkway in Alabama and Mississippi, and the Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.
From fictitious Fidos like Old Yeller (whose statue stands guard over the tiny town of Mason, Texas) and Ribsy, who can be found in author Beverly Cleary’s beloved children’s books (and in sculptural form in the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in Portland, Oregon) to statues that salute military working dogs, seeing eye dogs, K9 officers and other courageous canines, show Spot depictions of dogs who have carved out a special place in the hearts of animal lovers by visiting some of the many dog-inspired sculptures that grace the United States.
Cast off on a cruise that welcomes canine companions! You can live the high life on the high seas aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 or simply setting sail for a few hours’ getaway on a more budget-friendly pet-loving barge.
Book a stay at a pet-friendly hotel or bed and breakfast! (Be sure to check out our “Tips for A Tail-Wagging Hotel Stay” before checking in!)
You may think that you know every nook and cranny of the area where you live, but you’ll see the sights with new eyes when you explore your city with Spot by your side! Take a stroll past the stores that dot the downtown area, let your pup can leave paw prints in the sand at a nearby beach, or take a moment to stop and smell the roses with Rover at a botanical garden that admits flower-loving Fidos.
For the Scholastic Spot
Teach your clever canine a trick! Whether it’s learning how to shake hands, wave, roll over or take a bow, learning a trick offers mental stimulation for your dog, and teaches pet parents to learn how to enjoy the moment.
Do you think that your dog might be a canine Gene Kelly or Leslie Caron? Even if your four-legged family member has two left feet (er…paws) you might want to give dog dancing classes a whirl. A choreographed combination of training and tricks performed to a catchy toe-tapping and tail-wagging tune, musical canine freestyle offers a workout for Spot’s body, mind and spirit. If you are unable to find a class in your area, you and your barking buddy can bond as you learn together with the help of online videos or an instruction book, like Dancing with Dogs, which was co-authored by professional dog trainer Mary Ray.
For the Four-Legged Foodie
Homemade dog treats generously sprinkled with the love of a pet parent is guaranteed to make tails wag! From kibble cupcakes to a peanut butter and banana sandwich dog treat recipe inspired by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you can find all the ingredients to create happy culinary-themed memories in our dog treat recipe section.
Chow down on the patio of a restaurant that welcomes Rovers.
Drink a toast to your tail-wagging chum at a dog-friendly watering hole.
Mix Fun with Philanthropy
Sign up for classes that will transform your compassionate canine companion into a therapy dog! Mild mannered dogs with good social skills who earn certification can brighten a person’s hospital stay, bring joy to nursing home residents or offer a nonjudgmental ear to children learning to read aloud.
You and your “good boy” or “good girl” can help a good cause and have a good time in the process by signing up for a dog-friendly fun run/walk for charity in your area. If your canine companion has more interest in couture than keeping in shape, you and dog could rule the runway in a pet-friendly charitable fashion show, or you could both dress to the K-nines for a pet parade that raises people’s spirits as it raises funds for those in need.