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Activities to do with your dog during pet appreciation week

Activities to do with your dog during pet appreciation week

On top of being cute and cuddly, our dogs are also affectionate and loyal. What better friend could we ask for? Our dogs are always there for us through all the ups and downs, so it only makes sense that they should have their own dedicated holiday. Mothers have mother’s day and father’s have fathers day but did you know that there is also a special week in June devoted to appreciating our pets!

What is pet appreciation week?

Mark your calendars and get ready for pet appreciation week June 5-11! Pet appreciation week was originally created by the American Veterinary Medical Association way back in 1981. The purpose of this unofficial holiday is to create awareness around the importance of our pets in our lives and to appreciate pets for everything they do to enrich our lives.

10 fun activities to do with your pup throughout the week

Nothing is more important to our pets than their human companions. Show your dog how much you love them by doing a few extra special activities with them this week! Here are 10 fun activities to try with your pup this week:

Throw them a dog party

Plan your dog the ultimate house party and invite all of their puppy pals. Your dog will be thrilled that all their favorite people and pooches are all in 1 place. Here are a few must haves for any pup party:

Pup-cakes and snacks 

Food is a must at any good party (especially one for dogs). Luckily there are a number of healthy dog-friendly foods that you can make right at home!

Check out this recipe by Recipetineats for some delicious pupcakes:

Another great idea for some tasty party snacks is to make a doggy charcuterie board. Here a few healthy ideas to add to your spread:

Cool canine decorations 

Set the scene of your party with banners and streamers! We live in the age of dogs and social media so your guests are going to take photos of the dogs having fun. Make sure that your party is equipped with all of the necessary dog-themed decorations and props for the perfect puppy photo opportunity.

Cocker spaniel at a birthday party wth confetti

Party bandanas 

While party hats are very cute, most dogs are not overly keen on wearing them. Our solution? Make your guests their own party bandana from upcycled fabrics! Simply find some old fabrics from your closet or the thrift store that have fun, crazy colors and patterns. Then cut each one into an obtuse triangle design that fits each of your guest’s size.

Pattern for how to make a dog bandana

With party bandanas, all of your guests will be comfortable and on theme. You can even make matching bandanas for the human owners!

Terrier wearing a bandana at a party

Games and prizes

You need to have activities for your guests to enjoy at the party! Plan a list of games to play with your guests and kick up the competition with prizes like treats and toys. Check out a few of our favorite doggy game ideas from Fidosavvy:

  • Catch the treat: have all the pups sit in a row and their pawrents to stand approx. 5ft in front of them. Each owner is given 10 small, tasty treats which they've got to toss to their pup, one treat at a time. The dog that catches the most treats is the winner!
  • Competitive fetch: Have the puppy parents stand in a row, with their pups sitting beside them. Every parent has a ball to throw. At a signal, all the puppy parents throw their ball or stick and tell their puppies to 'Fetch'. The first pup to fetch AND GIVE UP their object to their owner is the winner!
  • Best party trick: For this game you'll first need to pick two or three 'Judges'. Then get each parent to have their dog perform their very best trick and the judges get to decide which trick was the best/coolest/funniest etc.

Goodie bags

Cap off a memorable party with swag bags for each of your guests. A few ideas to add into your doggy goody bags are Monch Bars, tennis balls, poop bags, polaroids of the dogs at the party, and homemade dog biscuits.

Learn a new trick

Many dogs are highly intelligent and eager to learn. Taking the time to teach them a new trick is not only mentally stimulating but it is also quality time that your dog will really value, especially if there are toys and treats involved! Does your dog know these 3 fun tricks?

  1. “Kiss the queen”
  1. “Play dead”
  1. “Twirl”

Take them to a pet friendly store

Treat yourself (and your pup) to a shopping spree at your favorite pet friendly stores. Society is growing evermore dog friendly and as a result more and more stores are allowing dogs into their establishments. Unless it’s a patio, dogs generally aren’t allowed in food establishments but garden centers, certain clothing stores, pet stores, and home decor/repair stores are generally accepting of our furry friends. Check out our full list of the best pet friendly stores in Canada!

Yorkie on a shopping spree in the mall

Go for a car ride

Is there anything better than cruising around with the top down and the tunes pumping? Take your pup for a car ride through town and maybe make a stop at the pet store or dog park! Just make sure that they are traveling safely:

  • Look into keeping them in a doggy seatbelt or carrier
  • Make sure the car isn’t too hot
  • Have water and a bowl on hand

Take them for a hike

Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We have no shortages of natural wonders and each province offers its own unique experience. Leash your dog up and take them for a day hike in one of Canada’s many national parks. Make sure to pack your pup an easy grab-and-go Monch Bar so they don’t get too hungry and some clean water to keep them from getting dehydrated!

Check out our list of the best hikes in each province:

Spaniel on top of a mountain

Make them a gourmet meal

Treat your dog with a fresh, home cooked meal. Dust off your cooking skills and whip them up an extra special treat this pet appreciation week. Need a little inspiration? Check out our recipe for salmon and sweet potato food for dogs:

Recipe card for salmon dog food

Not much of a chef? That’s ok! Order your pup a box of Kabo fresh cooked food. It’s like making your pup a home cooked meal but without all the work! Kabo food is gently cooked with human grade ingredients (the same way you would make it at home) and shipped straight to your door.

Shiba inu eating fresh food at a table

Take them for a swim

Some dogs live to swim, particularly labradors, retrievers, poodles and Newfoundlands. Make their day by taking a trip to the beach, lake or dog friend swimming pool. Remember that if your dog is new to swimming, get them a little doggy life jacket to keep them safe!

Up the ante by bringing a buoyant toy or ball with you. Hunting dogs love to swim out and fetch toys from the water. It is also great exercise for them as swimming burns 2.5X the calories as walking does. Wow!

Terrier swimming in the ocean

Take them for a boat or paddle board ride

Not all dogs like to get wet but some may still appreciate a day at the lake. For those pups who prefer a paddle over a swim, take them for a boat or paddle board ride!

2 dogs on lake in a kayak

Go on a picnic

Get your checkered blanket and straw baskets ready because you’re going on a picnic. Find yourself a nice quiet spot in a scenic park and have a picnic with your pup. Pack snacks that both you and your canine friend can enjoy. A few snack suggestions to add to your picnic are:

  • Blueberries
  • Cucumber slices
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cheese cubes
  • Apple slices

Do an agility class

Agility classes are the perfect way to spend quality time with your dog. It is an activity that not only provides your pup with a mental challenge but it is also a fun way to exercise them and wear off some of that excess energy. Most cities in Canada have facilities that offer beginner courses where you can eventually work your way up to competition level. Agility is also a team sport so it is a great opportunity for them to get out and meet some new doggy friends! 

Border collie jumping an agility hurdle

Dogs are the best friends we as humans could ever ask for. All they really want to do is spend time with us. This pet appreciation week, show your dog how much you love them and value their companionship by doing an activity they love!

 woman kissing her smiling labrador on the cheek
 woman kissing her smiling labrador on the cheek

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