Free or Cheap Entertainment for Your Dog
These days, it can be hard to find creative ways to have fun. If you’re bored, your dog probably is too. So, we’ve compiled a list of free or cheap entertainment for your dog and you to do together!
Take a Run
One of the best ways to get out of the house is to hit the road! Grab your running shoes and your dog’s leash, and just start walking or running. Your dog is going to love getting out with you, and you’ll probably benefit as well! Even 15 minutes of additional exercise a day is enough to jump-start your metabolism.
You can choose to simply go around the block if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. Or you may choose to make an entire day out with your dog and find a new path to explore. Check your local forest preserves as many have maintained paths that are perfect for a run.
The best part about going for a run is that it literally costs you nothing!
Go on a Bike Ride
If you’re looking to get your dog’s energy out, the best thing to do is take them for a run. But if you’re not ready for a long run with your dog, a bike ride with them can help them get their energy out.
Just remember that having your dog run next to you while you bike isn’t going to come naturally. Dogs have to be trained to run next to a bike as it might be distracting or even frightening for them. Just be sure to start off slowly and soon your dog will be up to speed in no time. As a reminder, small dogs probably won’t be able to walk alongside you. It’s risky for them, and their endurance isn’t as long as larger breeds.
Go for a Swim (at the Beach or in Your Yard)
Some dogs hate water and will have nothing to do with it. If this is your dog, don’t pressure them to enjoy the water as this will cause more fear than anything else.
If your dog enjoys a good swim, take advantage of it. If you have a beach or a local watering hole nearby, you should make a day of it. Pack a nice picnic with plenty of dog treats and cool water. Grab some of your dog’s favorite toys too. They’ll have a great time swimming, and it’ll be a wonderful (and wet) way to tire them out for the night.
Just make sure that you are safe near the water. Not all dogs love water, and even some dogs who love water can’t swim well. It’s probably best to pack a doggy life jacket until you are certain that your dog is a strong swimmer.
Challenge Your Dog
There are so many different ways you can challenge an inquisitive dog. If your dog needs a good challenge, consider these popular activities:
- Create an agility track using what’s already in your home or backyard.
- Secretly hide treats around a room and encourage your dog to seek them.
- Put treats in a tennis ball you’ve cut a hole into and challenge your dog to get the treats out.
- Sign up for an obedience course to help your dog learn basic tricks and commands.
These are just a few ideas to get you challenging your dog’s mental and physical skills. Even if you are not able to sign up for a course, there are many tutorials online for how to properly teach your dog new commands.
Find a Place for Safe Off-Leash Play
If you or a friend has some open land, your pup would certainly enjoy some time off-leash. If you’re not sure where you could gain access to that much space, take a look online to see if there are any dog parks where your dog can enjoy some time off-leash. Your dog will enjoy the freedom, and you’ll likely enjoy watching them frolic and play!
Have a Photo Shoot
Not all dogs are a ball of energy. If you’re looking for cheap things to do with your dog, you can consider a photoshoot. Find an interesting area to serve as the backdrop of your photo. You can plan a scene in nature or even an urban area with interesting architecture. Whatever you choose, be sure to reward your model once you’re done.
Give Your Dog a Spa Day
You should already be grooming your dog pretty much weekly. Why not make it a night? You can take time brushing them, brushing their teeth, and manicuring their nails.
Did you know that you can even get pet-friendly nail polish? This pet-friendly product can be a great way to give your dog’s nails a pop of color.
Some dogs have an incredible chasing instinct. For those dogs, popping bubbles can be a unique way for them to burn through energy. The best part is that you can enjoy this activity from the comfort of a chair. Just get a bubble wand and let your dog go crazy chasing the bubbles. If you really want to give your dog a run for their money, you can get a bubble machine that will give them a never-ending supply of bubbles.
Have a Movie Night
If you’re tired from a long day and just want to relax, why not invite your dog onto the couch for a movie night? There are a bunch of dog-friendly movies you can watch like Marley and Me or Best in Show. You can even whip up a bowl of warm popcorn to share with your dog. Just remember to share sparingly and don’t let your dog have popcorn that is flavored or salted.
This was just the shortlist of the hundreds of cheap or free entertainment ideas for your dog! And the big bonus is that you’ll have a great time too. Doing things with your dog is wonderful for bonding and trust-building. So, when things get a little boring, jazz up your day with one of the activities above.