Spring is in the air.  With warmer weather, we all want to break free from the confines of winter and take-off into the great outdoors.  And if you think you’re tired of being cooped up all winter, imagine what your four-legged companion is feeling.  So, let’s go have some fun.  Here are a few ideas of fun things you and your dog can do together that just might give you both a new “leash” on life!

But before we get started on the fun ideas, let’s review a few important “to do’s”:

• Make sure flea and tick treatments are up to date.

• Always carry waste bags with you.

• Always carry water with you.

• Make sure you are aware of leash laws wherever you go.

• Start Slowly! If both you and your dog have been a bit sedentary over the winter, you might want to consider starting slowly and working up to more strenuous activities over a few weeks.

Fun activities you and your pet will love:

• Play Date:  Reconnect with your friends who have dogs and set up a play date.  Ideally this would be at a dog park or home where leashes are optional.  While your dogs romp and have a good time, you can catch up with your friends.

• Go to the Park or a Hiking Trail:  Whether it’s playing at the park or taking a long walk on your favorite hiking trail, it will be great just to get outside to get some fresh air and sunshine together.  It is great exercise and a wonderful opportunity to break out of those winter doldrums.

• Hit the Water:  If your dog is a water lover, then what better way to have fun than to head for your favorite lake, river or beach.  Safety is always important when you are around water.  Make sure you know your dogs swimming skills and know where he/she is at all times.  You’ll also want to pack extra towels for drying your dog’s coat and paws.

• Camping:  For those of you who really love the great outdoors, camping might just be the ticket.  Just make sure you know where your dog is at all times and be aware if your dog is prone to chasing whatever moves in the woods.  Also make sure to pack plenty of fresh water as well as waste bags.  We want your camping trip to be fun and relaxing, but we also want to make sure you respect the environment by cleaning up after your dog.

• Around the Neighborhood:  Don’t forget about those long relaxing walks around the neighborhood.  Your outing doesn’t need to be glamorous for your dog to enjoy going out with you.  A simple walk together around your neighborhood will be just as priceless to your dog as any other activity you choose.

So, get out there and enjoy the spring.  We’ve given you a few ideas, but we bet you can think of more.  Just remember, at the end of the day, your dog will be thrilled to be with you no matter where you go.  Enjoy!!