With 2019 underway, it is time to carry out those New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s get our exercise routines started and our dietary changes in order. Start setting aside that money for your emergency fund or to pay for a down-payment on that boat you have always wanted. Plan your long-desired vacation to New Zealand. And make sure to spend more time with your best friend!

Of course, the best friend we’re talking about is man’s best friend. Your dog spends all day waiting for you to get home, possibly alone if there are no other pets in the house. With society demanding us to work long hours, exhausting us to the bones sometimes, it can be easy to overlook the emotional needs of our best friends.

Here are some creative activities you can do with your dog to enrich their lives and have fun.

Walk the City

You have to take your dog out for a walk anyway, why not take them on a tour of the city. Most cities are walkable, friendly to foot-travelers with concentrations of stores, restaurants, and parks concentrated in each of the neighborhoods. It will get you both out for a couple of hours, your pet will see sights it doesn’t normally get to see, and you both will get some exercise. It will also give you some time with your best friend.

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Dog Walking

You may not be the only one strolling the sidewalks of the city with your dog. Other people may have the same idea. But other people may not have raised their dog properly or trained them to respect other people and dogs. In these instances, a bite or other injury may be the unintentional outcome of a passing interaction. Because of this possibility, you will want to be proactive and take steps to ensure your safety. Even something as small as a whistle can scare a dog away from you. If you get bitten, you do have rights to tack action if you were injured.

Muffin Tin Game

All dogs are intelligent but many breeds are easily bored. You could take them to the park to catch a ball, play games with them out in the yard, or take them on a drive. While these are great ways to spend an hour or so with your best friend, why not make it a little more challenging for them.

Playing the muffin tin game — and other puzzle activities for your dog — will keep them occupied as well as encourage them to use their brains. Using a regular muffin pan, you fill the spaces with tennis balls. Underneath one (or more) balls is a treat and your pet has to discover which one it is under. Then you praise them and do it again. Some dogs can spend hours on this game, outlasting your own attention span, but your best friend will enjoy it and the time they get to spend with you.

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Travel Together

If you like to travel for a week or two at a time, don’t leave them in a kennel or with a friend or family member. Consider destinations where you can bring your best friend with you. Especially if you are a huge outdoor adventurer! Take your dog along for those long mountain hikes, they are just as capable of jumping up inclines as you are walking up them. Going somewhere snowy? Most dogs love trudging through the snow, leaping and burying their faces in it like little children. Don’t leave them behind to miss out on all of the fun!

Boat Rides

Dogs love going to the lake as well. They love splashing and swimming in the waters. They also enjoy boat rides on the water. The wind in their faces as the boat speeds along the water’s surface, the chances to jump into the water whenever they want (not that we always want them to…), and the opportunity to be with their best friend is all they want. Put them on the front of a kayak as you paddle down the river; they love that too.