1. A long walk
There’s no need to dismiss a true classic. Not only do dogs love long walks, it’s also great exercise for you and a chance to enjoy some spectacular scenery.
The National Trust has ensured that hundreds of its sites across the UK are dog-friendly, with many offering shaded parking areas, safe hitching posts, and even spare leads if you forget yours. They also have more than 160 dog-friendly holiday cottages to retire to at the end of the day.
2. A trip to the pub
Pubs are the perfect refuge after a long walk with your dog. While your local Wetherspoons is off limits (it banned all dogs from its pubs in September 2018), there are plenty of other welcoming options at hand.
The website Dog Friendly, which prides itself on having the internet’s largest directory of dog-friendly pubs in the UK, lists more than 5,000 pubs, which are included in the list by recommendation only.
Some pubs will go even further to make your pet feel welcome. In 2018, a pub in Gloucestershire reportedly introduced a Sunday lunch option for dogs.
Small music festivals have shot up in popularity in recent years as a fun and affordable experience for families. Some will also allow your dog to attend as long as you respect the rules.
Shrewsbury Folk Festival, for example, says dogs are welcome on the festival site if kept on short leads and you clean up after them (free waste bags are available from campsite wardens). If you are considering taking your dog to a music festival, it’s worth contacting the organiser beforehand just to be sure of the policy.
Meanwhile, some festivals are designed specifically for your dog to have an amazing time. DogFest, which describes itself as the ‘Ultimate Dogs Day Out’, currently has three locations across the country – Hertfordshire, Cheshire and Bristol – for an experience packed with entertainment for your dog.
4. Treasure hunts
Allow your little pal to unleash their inner pirate at a treasure hunt designed just for them.
The company Fun With Dogs hold doggy treasure hunt events throughout the year with special prizes for the winning teams, while all participating teams get a goody bag.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for events by societies and charities that you could take your dog along to for the day. For example, Dogs Trust, hold regular events, such as fun days and training classes, throughout the year.
5. Obstacle courses
No longer exclusively for army cadets, obstacle courses can also put your pup through their paces. It will help to keep them active, and it’s also a tool used by a lot of dog trainers to improve behaviour.
Obstacle courses are becoming much more accessible. Battersea Dogs’ & Cats’ Home, for example organise the Muddy Dog Challenge to raise money for the animals it looks after, with several events in 2019 taking place across England, from Tunbridge Wells right up to Newcastle.