As the weather starts to slowly improve, it’s time to get excited about all the outdoor time that’s coming your way. So I thought it was high time to share my Top 5 Spring Activities for Dogs & Kids.
If you are looking for ways to make the most of this new season, take a look at these child and dog-friendly places to explore and play. Fun for all the family - furry members included!
Did you know that spending time together as a family can have huge benefits for your kids? There’s a plethora of research now showing the positive impact your pooch can have on family life, as studies have shown dogs can lead to higher self-esteem, cognitive development & social skills whilst living with a pet also builds a strong immune system.
So let’s reap those benefits and enjoy some kid and dog-friendly places this spring!
There’s nothing quite like social interaction to tire out both your kids and your dog. So why not get out the diary and plan some play dates with friends who also have little ones and pooches? This will allow the kids to enjoy letting off steam, whilst your dog can enjoy engaging in natural behaviours too.
Scientists say that social play with other dogs is good for canine welfare, so allowing them the opportunity to engage in these behaviours is a fantastic way to improve their wellbeing. Just be sure to keep an eye out for any inappropriate play behaviour - which you can learn more about in our dog park guide.
Of course, not all dogs actually enjoy the company of others. If your dog is reactive or seems stressed by other dogs, then you might want to simply head to a quieter space for your playdate and let your pup enjoy playing with his beloved human friends instead.
While we wait for the weather to allow us long days at the beach, why not switch things up with a trip to a family farm? Many welcome well-behaved dogs and kids can have a great time feeding the animals.
Not only will your kids benefit from learning about the livestock, but it can act as a great training & socialisation exercise for your dog too. Be sure to bring plenty of training treats with you and reward your dog for calmly observing the livestock. I’d also recommend using a harness like 4Pooch here, so that you are always in control of your dog.
If your dog has never seen any livestock (maybe they are an urban pup!) then you might want to do a test run somewhere before committing to paying for a full day's entry. Set yourself up for success by desensitising them slowly and then work up to planning a full farm day. This really is one of my favourite child and dog-friendly places!
With the recent rise in outdoor cinemas and vintage-style drive-ins, many more dogs can visit the movies with their families. If your dog likes the TV, why not see if they fancy the latest kid-friendly flick?
To set yourself up for success, it’s a good idea to bring a dog that’s already been fulfilled (either through training, play or a walk) so that they are in a relaxed frame of mind. You could also bring along some frozen treats, chew toys or something edible for them to chew away on while the movie is on.
Many outdoor cinemas will also let you park or set up your blanket towards the side or the back, so you can get out and have a quiet game of fetch if Fido needs a quick run around.
Time has a habit of running away from us, so why not make the most of the spring light and book in a family photoshoot? That way you can capture this special time with your kids at the age they are, with the beloved family pet they’ll always remember.
There are plenty of pet-specialist photographers now available in Australia, and the shoot itself can become a great day out. Especially if you get some action shots of the kids playing with their pooch.
Just be sure to get as much information about what to bring and how to prepare for the day, to make sure you get those magical shots to keep forever. You’ll likely want to bring a selection of toys with you, and give your dog a good bath the day before to make them sparkle on camera.
The ultimate kid and dog-friendly places? The great outdoors, of course! Camping has always been one of the best spring activities for dogs and kids alike to enjoy that quality time together. Not only can your kids get in touch with nature, but your dog can enjoy new smells to sniff out.
You’ll want to make sure you pack some portable bowls and invest in a long line to keep your dog safe in camp. Check out our travel and training collection for a bunch of useful items that can make your trip run smoothly too.
When camping, make sure you are vigilant about things like wildlife, hydration and ticks. These can affect your kids just as much as they could affect your dog, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
There you have it, 5 Spring activities for dogs and children in Australia. I hope these child and dog-friendly places have given you some fresh ideas for keeping your family entertained this season, and making the most of the warmer weather to come.
Which ones will you be planning for your next family adventure?