We all may have been spending a lot more time with our pets lately thanks to the COVID restrictions. You may not know that February 3rd is National Doggy Date Night so you can actually make a day out of slowing down and spending some quality time with the one who is always there for you- your dog.
People have kept dogs as pets for 12,000 years. Throughout history, humans have benefited from that relationship with dogs, from service dogs to police and firehouse dogs to just everyday pets making extraordinary saves. Over the years man has grown to appreciate our relationship with dogs so much more. There are countless songs, movies, books, and TV shows built around our relationship with canines. From the timeless classic “Old Yeller” to “Lassie” and “Wonder Dog,” dogs have become more than a part of society, they’re a part of our families, and with good reason. They are steadfast companions and there are enough types (more than 150 breeds!) out there for everyone.
Dogs can live for as long as 15 years, making them a significant part of their owner’s life. For years, scientists have studied the special connection between dogs and humans, consistently finding that dogs provide social and emotional benefits for their owners, and the bond promotes positive well-being for both the owner and the dog. So they aren’t just good for your Instagram, they’re good for your health. They give us so much love and affection, it only makes sense that we return that love, right? They don’t call them man’s best friend for nothing: dogs are loyal, protective, and always excited to see you! On this February 3, spend a little extra time with your dog: play games like fetch or Frisbee, or go on a nice long hike. Go beyond the standard walks and couch snuggles and make an event out of it to make your pooch feel special!
Here is a list of Date Night Ideas to enjoy with your best friend!
1. See a Drive-In Movie
This is a seasonal activity, and some folks do not live within a reasonable distance of a drive-in theater. They are slowly dying off, but they still exist and are a cultural relic of the 20thcentury that you should experience before they are all gone. Most drive-ins do not care if you have your pet with you—if it brings in customers, it's all good. For your hound, it's a dream date. It gets to go for a ride, and then sit in the car with you and eat snacks while enjoying a throwback dating activity.
2. Visit the Local Big Box Home Improvement Store
The big two allow you to bring your well-behaved and leashed partner with you. It is a great opportunity to check out those new appliances or power tool you have been drooling over. Your dog will get to stroll the aisles and get pets from a slew of new people.
3. Shop for Some Bling
Home improvements stores are not the only venue you can take your canine into; many pet stores allow it as well. If you take a look at your dog's collar, you will likely find that it could stand replacing. Shopping for a new one is an outing any pooch will enjoy. Plus, it is filled with toys and treats, letting them work those puppy eyes, guilting you into purchasing more than just a collar.
4. Go on a Sniffing Expedition
Most of us walk our dogs, and all of us experience Fido wanting to sniff every scent along the way, resulting in repeated tugging on the leash to move along. Instead, take a stroll down a local trail or on the sidewalk in your neighborhood. Let your dog sniff everything it wants for as long as it wants. This is an activity that is best done during the summer months when darkness doesn't come until late, and the weather is more human-friendly, and the exercise will be good for you.
5. Go on a Play date
One of the reasons humans go to clubs, bars, and other date friendly places, is to socialize. We crave human interaction, no matter how much we love our pets. While your dog loves you even more, there is nothing like romping around with someone of your own species. After meeting your dog's potential playmate in a public place and giving that person a proper sniff down, if they meet your approval agree to meet up at a park and let both of your dogs chase each other around. It is a much better alternative to a dog park where there are scores of strange dogs that yours may not care for. Plus, you are more likely than not to step in dog poop. Keep socializing more intimate, and plan for a one or a few other dogs in a more tranquil setting.
6. Movie and Grooming
Sometimes you just need to sit on the couch and watch an old Meg Ryan movie to help you cope with your dateless weekend or help you get over a recent breakup. Pop that chick flick into the DVD player and have your furry friend lay next to you. While you watch and pine away, have a brush in one hand and give your dog's fur a good grooming. By the time the couple in the movie get back together, you probably won't feel any better; but your dog will have a shiny coat and have enjoyed every minute of it.
7. Play Hide and Seek
That same game you loved as a kid will also be enjoyed by your dog, who never seems to lose its child-like playfulness. Tell your dog to stay (it does know how to sit and stay doesn't it?) and then hide somewhere in the house and call your dog. Dogs love hunting, and there is nothing more they would rather hunt for than their favorite human.
8. Let It All Hang Out
One of the mysteries in the world is why dogs do not like it when humans blow in their face, but the first thing they want to do on a car ride is hang their head out the window and let the wind make their jowls flap. Sticking its head out of the window on a fast car trip isn't the safest thing for your pet to do. Instead, join the local neighborhood watch group, and a few times a month, take a slow drive through the streets and let Rex put his head out and bark at anything and everything it wants.
9. Strike a Pose
One thing many of us regret is not having enough images from our youth, important events in our life or of the people that meant something to us. Most dogs, like myself, are extremely photogenic. Spending an evening photographing your four-legged bestie is a fun activity that will have both of you laughing. Our furry friends cross the rainbow bridge far too soon, having pictures to remember them by will be one less regret in your life.