Now that there is more daylight time in the afternoon and the weather is comfortable, this is the perfect time for dogs and kids to go outside and play together. Here are some games they can try:
Treasure Hunt – Hide your dog’s dish with a few treats somewhere in the backyard and see how long it takes for her powerful nose to sniff it out. Should the kids give her hints? Or make it an Easter egg style hunt, with treats hidden throughout the yard.
Sprinkler – a simple sprinkler spray for everyone to romp in on a warm day never grows old. Your dog will have fun chasing the children through it.
Obstacle Course – set up things for your dog to climb on, crawl under and and maybe wiggle through. A large cloth draped over outdoor chairs makes a tunnel, a ladder laid on the ground teaches your puppy how to step through the rungs. Cardboard boxes can be made into a number of obstacles to climb over, around or through. It’s a chance to use imagination.
High Five – A simple command that helps to bond your dog and children if done in a kind manner. Gently teach your pet that she can raise her paw and tap your children’s hands when they hold their palms outward. Reward with treats and lots of praise. It will take perhaps several tries, which will also teach the children the value of patience.
Fetch – Use a soft ball that is too big for your dog to swallow, and toss it for her to fetch. Does she prefer to chase it along the ground, or is she happier leaping for it as your children toss it high in the sky? The way that suits her best should be used. After all, play should be fun for everyone.
Basketball – The kids can teach their dog to take the fetched ball and drop it into a laundry basket. A treat for every goal achieved!
Sandbox – It’s simple enough to get a plastic kiddie pool and some bags of sand make a sandbox. Hide dog toys inside for your dog to dig out. Children will enjoy playing in it with toy bulldozers and dinosaurs.
Snow Slide – The children can take an old blanket, let their dog sit on it, and pull her around (gently) in the grass as if it is a toboggan in the snow. The kids can take turns riding on it, too.
Chasing Bubbles – Get bacon or peanut butter flavored dog bubble stuff. Your kids can take turns blowing bubbles for your dog to chase. Once she gets a taste of the popped bubble, this could become a favorite game. Reward her with a solid bacon or peanut butter flavored treat afterward.
After an afternoon of active play time, both your children and your dog should be ready for a good night’s sleep.
Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.