The best ways to spend the weekend with your dog (as voted by you!)

Words By Elise James

March 12, 2021

2020 was a year that saw most of us being cooped up inside or not able to get out as much as we wanted on the weekend. Now that life is returning a little bit back to normal, we’re ready to make the most of lost time with more fun activities to do on the weekend (or even sneak into the week for those still working-from-home).

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been asking our community of dog lovers and pet parents how you love to spend the weekend with your pups. So, if you’re looking for more inspiration of what to do with your pup, where to do it, and when, here’s what your fellow dog owners suggest!

What are the most popular activities?

“Long walkies.” 

“A run through the national forest and swim in the river.”

“Beach days.”

“Going to the river for a swim and jumping in.” 

When it comes to spending the weekend with your dog, most dog owners (and their pups!) say you can’t go wrong with a long walk or a swim, particularly coming out of the summer months.

The best part about both these activities is they can be done as close or far to home as you want. Whether you’re taking a long walk on your local walking track, going to the local lake, heading up for a hike in the mountains, or talking a long, romantic walk on the beach with your one true love (your dog, of course), these popular outings can be done anywhere.

Overall, more of you would prefer to take your dog for a walk than a swim. The majority of you also said you’d prefer to go for a hike with your dog than a run, and personally, I feel that too!

If taking your dog for a long walk, particularly in hotter months, make sure to take plenty of water for you both, avoid the hottest parts of the day, and avoid any tracks that might be prone to snakes. If going swimming remember clean water (so your dog doesn’t try to drink out of a dirty creek or salty beach) and check for clear entry and exit points for your pup to get in and out of the water. They might be keen on swimming, but we know you might not be so keen on going in after them!

Overall, more of you would prefer to take your dog for a walk than a swim. The majority of you also said you’d prefer to go for a hike with your dog than a run, and personally, I feel that too!

Where should I go for an adventure?

Beach, forest, city or park? There are so many areas to enjoy with your doggo and so few weekends to do it in.

We can’t blame you for wanting a bit of a sea change this year, with an adventure in the suburbs or city not an appealing thought for most of you. Instead, the beaches and forests came out on top as the most popular places to take your doggo on the weekend.

I’m quite partial to a hike in the forest myself and there are so many beautiful places you can take your doggo. However, it’s also super important to make sure you check the guidelines for where you can or can’t take dogs in National and State forests, as well as what areas might be on-lead and off-lead. One of the reasons walking in the forest is so beautiful is because we look after them, so it’s up to all of us to make sure we keep them that way for the future (don’t forget your 💩 bags!)

The same goes for the beach. No one wants to repeat THAT beach scene in Marley & Me.

Is that your doggo? 📸 Photographer: Grier Morris-Obst

Making the most of your time together

“Brunch/meal and then a walk in the park.”

“Camping.”

“Coffee, swimming, baseball.”

Of course, we know that as things get back to normal the weekends are going to get busier as well, with kid’s sport, weekend catchups, holidays (finally!), and just life in general. So why not incorporate a bit of your pup into your weekly routine to spend that bit more time together?

Quite a few of you mentioned that you do multiple activities with your dogs depending on what you have on for the weekend. It could be walking to and from brunch, whether you have your own brunch date with your dog or spend the time catching up with friends. You could spend the time watching your kids play sport together or incorporate a walk into your morning coffee routine (if you haven’t already). If you’re going away for a long weekend you can also look at camping with your dog, as there are plenty of dog-friendly camping spots available to fit in a weekend of walks, swims, and plays for the whole family.

Fun fact: most dog owners prefer spring to autumn, and sunset to sunrise, so if you’re looking for more inspiration to get out try mixing it up to the golden hour for a more stunning walk.

Say cheese! 📸 Photographer: Grier Morris-Obst

Don’t forget a little ‘you’ time

“Cuddles and catchups.”

When asked if you would prefer to spend your weekend hanging out with friends, catching up on some ‘you’ time, eating your way through new food, or going on an adventure, most dog owners voted that ‘me’ time was most important to them. But it’s not just you! It’s just as important for your doggo to get some downtime from all the excitement of the week and weekend to properly rest.

Dogs usually sleep between 9 and 14 hours per day depending on their age (and even more for puppies!) So, if you spend all of Saturday exploring on an adventure together, it’s probably good to spend some time watching Netflix and having a cuddle on Sunday instead so your doggo can catch up on their beauty sleep.

Fill that picnic basket with treats for you or your doggo? 📸 Photographer: Shelby Huckstep

Whatever you choose, we hope that you get to spend as much time with your dogs as possible. Because we know you’ll both love it!

Author

Elise James

Elise is a communications and marketing professional with a background in journalism and TV production. She loves writing about topics she is passionate about - especially dogs! Elise grew up with dogs from a young age and now likes to spend her time with her own two furbabies; a chocolate labrador named Zeus and a golden retriever named Odin. Bush hikes, beach walks, playing fetch and snuggles on the couch are some of their favourite family activities.