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Doggy Date Nights are a time honoured tradition at Casa de Kolchak.
And not just because I am chronically single. (What? Let’s call it what it is. I could see my friends getting sassy and my mom texting me that I don’t have to be single; There’s this nice man at her [insert place I didn’t realize she went and details about a guy I don’t want to meet here].) In truth, I’ve been planning doggy dates with the boys since they first joined the family. Single or not, making time to bond with my dogs is really high on my priority list.
I try to set aside a little time every single week just to hang out with Kolchak and Felix and do something to make them happy. A few people who are working on our #BestLifePets memory planner project with us have noticed that Friday tends to be doggy date night at our house. I like Friday because I’m usually too tired to go out with people, but I like the idea of being able to tell them I already have plans. (WHAT?! Hanging out with my dogs totally qualifies as having plans, especially if it write it in my planner. Don’t judge me.)
Last year, Jessica at Beagles and bargains shared her totally adorable Doggy Date Night Jar.
You guys it’s so darn cute. I immediately adored the idea. I’m also tragically lazy and the feeling of wood popsicle sticks against my finger nails makes my skin crawl, so I never actually got around to making one for myself. Whoops! So this year, instead of guilting myself for what I didn’t do, I’m celebrating what we did. Every week, after our date, I write down why it was special and what I loved about it on a piece of scrapbook paper. Then I fold that up and toss it into my jar. At the end of the year, i’m going to put a pocket in the back of my planner, so I can save all the pieces and start the jar a new.
I absolutely, 110% recommend scheduling some doggy dates with your favourite pooch.
And just in case you need some ideas for great ways to spend that time together, I ask a group of my favourite pet bloggers what they would do on their ideal doggy date night. Keep in mind that no two dogs are alike, so what works for some dogs, won’t be the right fit for others. Always choose outings that suit your pets and check with your vet before sharing new foods or undertaking a new exercise.
Here’s what they suggest:
Just remember to keep pizza’s dog safe – check the ingredients and make sure there is nothing dangerous like onions, fatty meats or go the dog friendly route with these homemade pizza dog treats from Doggy Dessert Chef.
It sounds ridiculous – and it IS, but it’s also so much fun to run around the yard chasing the ball and trying to teach your dogs to “herd” it. This is like a legit sport called Treiball with rules and competitions, but when we play? Anything goes. Kol’s fav. move is to body slam the ball and watch me trip over it.
Jodi from Heart Like a Dog says “Sampson, Delilah and my perfect doggie date is a long hike in our woods, then a nice steak cooked on the grill, and then a snuggle in front of the fire. (I may or may not be watching a Lord of the Rings movie.)”
Annie from Cat Obsessed might be well, cat obsessed, but that doesn’t mean she can’t plan a great doggy date. “It’s been a while but mine is getting a sitter for the cats (my husband!) and giving her an hour long massage (unlimited petting and scratching). Followed by cuddles and a nap for both of us.”
Bitey face might not be everyone’s dream date, but Flea from Jones Natural Chews blog says “The perfect doggy date night is all four dogs piled in the bed with me and Hunny, playing bitey face and having tummies rubbed, then snuggling.”
Starbucks is my happy place and you know I’m all about a dog friendly patio. Even when it’s brisk walking for a warm latte and a puppuccino or two is the best.
Hiking sounds like the worst date to me, but Alex for Happy Paws Pet blog says “Being a Denverite: Going on a fun day hike with a picnic. I carry my lunch and he carries his! Great use of that doggy backpack, and he feels like he’s working too.”
Perhaps a little pampering is in order for you AND your pooch. Christine at My Life With Dogs PDX tells us “My date with your dog suggestion is to visit a pet friendly hotel! We have a hotel here in Portland called Hotel Monaco and they have packages where your dog is pampered and you all can order room service!”
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. (No seriously, Kol wails like he’s been stabbed when we go buy without grabbing a cone.) He wants to go live with author Judy from Animal Human Connection who says “Our dogs Focus and Rosie love to go to Dairy Queen where they get a small cone every Monday.”
All this hiking and camping, yikes. Kandace from Prospector Pups tells us “The campfire thing is our perfect date night. With a twist. A hike in the late afternoon to where we would set up camp. Then enjoy the sunset with each other (AZ sunsets are amazing lol) & the some hot cocoa & treats by the campfire before crawling into our tent and passing out.”
Any date that can legit involved the GG is totally cool by me. (related: #thisiswhyImSingle). Jen from Puppy Leaks has big doggy date name plans: “My perfect doggy date night would be a trip to the park for a nice nature walk, followed up with some take out and ending it all with a nice snuggle on the couch with a great movie (or a Golden Girls marathon).”
Sherri from Dog Trotting loves getting away from it all and says her dream date is a “weekend away at a dog-friendly hotel and then a snowy romp in the nearby state park.”
The drive in is legit one of my favourite places to chill out with the dogs. They love being out. I love the big screen and the outdoors. Beth from the Daily Dog Tag totally agrees saying, “My old dogs loved to go anywhere with us, including the drive-in movies.”
I’m lucky that my small town has some exemplary window shopping, but the adorable heritage town give it a run for it’s money with it’s old timey candy shops and antiques store. For maximum awesomeness, make this a group date, so you can pop into one of the stores if you see something you love.
Is there anything quite as lovely as watching the sunset? Jeanette from Fido Universe doesn’t thinks so. “Spike and I like going to our local trattoria on Ventura Boulevard a little before sunset. I have a glass of wine; he has a bowl of water. We watch the world saunter past, the sun set and the lights of the city come on.”
There’s nothing quite like a quiet Friday night in and this is one of our favourites. I set up a few of the boys favourite puzzles to play with, then they settle down with their favourite chew, while I enjoy a glass of wine and a magazine.
Snuggling is like 85% of all my favourite date nights. I love cozy movie nights at home and so does Carleen from Some Pets who tells us her favourite date night is “Cuddling on the double wide chair with popcorn and a movie. My dogs love popcorn.”
There is something so freeing in allowing your dog to follow their nose where ever they please. We’ve discover so many cool things and shared so many happy walks this way. You have to try it sometime. (Fact: This is how we discovered the great new restaurant at the end of our block!)
I love when I can share a meal with my dogs. One of my favourite things to do is whip up a dog friendly story fry and share a taste with my to favourite food hounds.
Dogs get so much mental stimulation from their sense of smell. Checking out a new place isn’t just physically tiring, it gives their brains a work out too. I love watching as they sniff every inch of a new park or walking trail.
Did you know a lot of wineries are dog friendly? Call ahead to see if any of the spots in your area will allow you to bring your dog, then as Denise from DeniseGruzensky.com suggests, enjoy a day of wine and cheese with a dog friendly picnic.
If there’s anything better than brunch, I don’t know what it is. I love making eggs and hash browns and my dogs love knowing that they just might get a taste.
My computer got broken a few months ago and went to the shop for a few days. While it was there, I discovered a crazy thing: when there’s no computer in my lap, a dog almost finds his way to cuddle there. I love reading books like The Art of racing in the Rain while snuggling my own favourite boys.
Kol loves to smell food. He loves it. anytime he gets to follow his nose is a great night. Play nose work games by hiding treats around the room and letting your dog find them.
Learning tricks can be fun because there’s a ton of treats and at the endm maybe a cool new skill to show off.
OK, so this is a tough one because like…the dog DIES in too many moves. At Casa de Kolchak, we like Milo and Otis.
We love doggy games night. We play tug of war and chase,I hide snacks, there’s some wrassling. It’s just good, silly fun.
There are pet friendly events springing out all over the place. Check out a local pet expo, join a local choir in the park, visit a food truck rally – there’s almost always something going on that you can bring your dog to. (When in doubt if dog’s are welcome at an event – ask!)
Rebekah at My Rotten Dogs loves to drink on patios 😉 “There are plenty of dog friendly breweries around me. craft beer and a bite to eat on the patio with my dog at a local brewery.” As a blogger whose entire site is dedicated to dogs and beer, Brynn from a Dog Walks Into a Bar echoes that sentiment: “There are many dog friendly breweries, wineries and distilleries. I’m currently working on surveying all of the breweries across the country to see if they’re dog friendly. I just got past the A states, so I have a ways to go!”
Nothing fancy! Jump over chair cushions, weave around traffic cones, and dash through through ikea laundry baskets with the end cut out. It’s about running around and having fun.
My dogs won’t fetch, but they love to play fetch it yourself. (A horrible game designed to humiliate humans. You throw the ball and they chase it, but never retrieve it. Every throw, you race to get to the ball before they do.)
Can you imagine how happy Koly would be if I pampered him like this?? Joely from Fashion Beyond Forty says “Mine and Lyla’s perfect doggie date night involves us both enjoying a spa night together. She gets a puppy massage, I do our nails, she gets an oil treatment for her dry skin, I do my favorite mask and eye treatment, and she gets warm cotton pads on her eyes to help break down the matted gunk from the corners of her eyes.”
Only good things start with a shopping spree, right?! Jane at Pawbellish thinks so. Tootsie & I would consider a perfect date night to be a shopping spree at Petsmart, followed by a nice bubble bath and then snuggling on the couch to watch a chick flick.”
Kongs are like tasty puzzles and my dogs LOVE Kong night. I love relaxing in the bath while they lay on the floor trying to solve their Kongs.
I mean, food is love, right?? I love to get in the kitchen and Kol loves to taste test the batter, lick the beaters and cry at the oven until his treats are done.
Felix is ALL ABOUT a new toy. I love picking up something he’s never seen before and the way he runs around so excited to play with it.
I had no idea so many bloggers were so particular about their snuggle chairs! Where do you snuggle your dog? Rebecca from Mattie Dog says” a long walk in the crisp, cool fall air taking in the explosions of colorful foliage – followed by a snuggle, wrapped in a blanket in a sturdy adirondack chair!
This is a great way to work on a rock solid stay, while playing around. Place your dog in a stay in another room and then hiding, making little sounds to help them find you. Celebrate like a crazy person when they do.
OK, so this one is probably seasonal, but it’s one of my very favourite things to do and the thing that most gets me in the holiday spirit.
My dogs LOVE the car. Anywhere we’re going, they really want to come. Go somewhere unexpected.
Not all dogs are cool on Halloween, but my dogs love the people. We’ll always go for an early walk while the little trick or treaters are out.
Alison from Sarcastic Dog knows human dating can be tough – especially when you’re dog crazy. Her perfect doggy date night? “An outdoor activity with the dogs followed by a meal we cook together. Really, any date with a guy who embraces my crew, doesn’t freak out about dog hair and who thinks that having three dogs along for the ride makes the date even better!”
Did you know lots of home stores like HomeGoods, HomeSense and Winners are pet friendly? Yeah. It’s awesome! Check with your local store before you go to make sure they’re cool and then venture out to find a neat, one of a kind item for your house. (They even have pet stuff!)
So many teams offer “dog days” events now where you can see a game with your dogs! Terrie from Barks and Tails says “We have several minor-league sports with dog friendly games or events (baseball, hockey, soccer, etc.). If we are in town we always attend with Lacey and Clayton.”
One of my favourite things about my neighbourhood is that we are less than 4 blocks from an amphitheatre! In the summer, there is always something going on down there and many times, these outdoor concerts and shows are free to attend and totally dog friendly.
At the end of our block is a retirement home that doesn’t allow pets, except for in the tea room downstairs. Visitors are allowed to bring dogs to hang out while their peopel chat, have tea and play cards. We have a couple friends that we’ve made on our walks who we try to visit regularly. I love hearing about the dogs they had in their life and Felix thrives on the attention. (Check with the home before you drop by. While many retirement buildings allow pets to visit, usually only certified therapy dogs can visit care homes.)
Ok, so this one is a little crazy, but i love love love making good memories and getting paw prints of my dogs. Check out our LOVE plate tutorial, this post on how I took ink prints of the boys feet (which later became my tattoos) or consider ordering a kit to put your dog’s paw in plaster.
Kol is a tugging MACHINE and this game gets wild and crazy FAST.
Have you heard if it? It’s basically like a scavenger hunt with an app to tell you where to go. It’s so fun. Google that and then give it a try.
There’s nothing quite like dancing in the rain, splashing in puddles and just letting the rain wash away the stress of the week. Felix soaks up water like a roll of paper towl, but man, does he love romping through a fat, deep puddle.
Our local garden conservatory allows leashed dogs on the walkways of the garden. It’s such a lovely place to walk around and see how skilled the gardners are.
We love the beach. The sand, the surf, the fish and chips smell. *swoon* This is definitely one of my FAVOURITE doggy dates and a summer staple at Casa de Kolchak.
Head over to Fidose of Reality where Carol is sharing some tried and true tips for making romance and rover mix.