I’m sure many of you have heard of making a bucket list. It’s possible that you even have a bucket list for yourself.
But here’s a million-dollar question…does your dog have a dog bucket list?
The idea of a dog bucket list may seem a little odd at first, but it makes total sense that your dog would desire to have a bucket list as well.
After all, our canine companions enjoy indulging in life’s luxuries from time to time, too!
As much as you hate to think about it, one day your dog won’t be with you, and you don’t want to look back with regret at the things you never did.
So, today I thought we’d put together some items your dog would want on his bucket list.
Remember this is your dog’s bucket list. We are thinking of the things your dog would love to do…not things YOU want! (That’s your bucket list!)
So, I’m not talking about taking a photo of your beloved dog Milo with Lady Gaga or Jim Carrey because your dog really doesn’t care about that sort of thing.
Here are a few things I know my dogs would love–and I’m sure yours would, too!
Playing in the Snow
For all of you who have a dog from a cold climate, such as a husky or malamute, playing in the snow would definitely be on the list.
In fact, just about any dog with a warm coat would enjoy a nice romp around in the snow.
I’ve seen a lot of dogs on videos who discovered snow for the first time, and it’s quite amazing. You can see the joy on their faces. And for those dogs with a thick, wooly coat, there’s probably nothing more relaxing and enjoyable.
If you live in a cold climate, great! Make it a point to bundle up and join your dog for some outdoor playtime during your next snowfall.
If you live in a really warm climate, there’s some logistics to work out, but you can work around it. I like to get together with a group of friends and hire out a ski slope or an ice rink for an afternoon.
It’s a blast!
If you don’t have a ski slope or ice arena in your area, simply fill a kiddie pool with bags of ice for your dog to play in.
It can be easy and inexpensive, and your dog will love it just the same!
Or you could decide to go the other way and make a real adventure of it by turning it into a road trip!
Spend a Day Out at the Ocean
Dogs are all about experiences, and there are few greater experiences than having a day out at the beach.
Whether there is warm sand, rock pools, or just vast, expansive space, the crashing waves and blue sea will be enough to make it a day to remember.
There’s really no better way to cool down with your dog on a hot day than splashing in the waves!
If your dog has never seen the sea before, then be prepared that he may be a little timid to start with. The crashing waves and windy shoreline can be a little intimidating.
One way to overcome this is to go to the beach with some other dogs who are confident.
Tip: Walk parallel to the water, rather than trying to drag your dog straight out into the waves.
Once your dog gets used to the beach, he’ll never want to leave!
Make Your Dog an Amazing Meal
Many dogs live on a pretty basic diet, with the same kibble being served up 7 days a week.
So, you can imagine what it’s like for your dog with her super sensitive nose smelling all those delicious smells that come out of your kitchen, living in hope that one day she will be served up that special meal.
Surprise your dog and one day add an extra portion while cooking your meal. I once did this with my dog Peanut, and served her up meatballs and rice with gravy and grated parmesan.
Needless to say, the bowl was licked clean.
Disclaimer: Always check to make sure your meal doesn’t contain ingredients that will make your dog sick. Check with your vet or do an online search to make sure the human food you are feeding your dog is safe.
Give Your Dog an Amazing Massage
Last week I treated myself to a Thai massage, and it was truly amazing. I really didn’t want to wake up at the end. Dogs love massages, too!
For those who have affectionate dogs who love to be petted, this will be on their list.
You don’t have to be an expert masseuse to help your dog relax, but it’s important that you are able to hold a calm space where your dog can relax.
Usually just calling your dog over to your bed and asking her to lie down is all you need to do.
Then, take your time and very calmly and gently massage your dog’s body.
If you’re not feeling up to giving your dog a massage yourself, you can always book your dog in with a professional dog massage parlor.
Go on a Camping Trip
Everyone loves camping, and your dog’s no different.
The thing about dogs is their nose is so sensitive that walking your dog in the woods is like a stroll down memory lane.
They can smell all the other animals that have been there, not just in the moment, but also many previous days before.
So, as well as seeing the beautiful sights, they also get to experience all the bunnies, squirrels, and chipmunks that have been playing around.
As a bonus, the exercise your dog will get from running around is also great for him. And the chances are, you’ll both have a wonderful time.
Just Be with Your Dog
Dogs aren’t about things…they aren’t into the materialistic world like humans are. What’s really important to them is the experience.
One of the things I think dogs would love more than anything else is to just spend quality time with us.
This means it’s important to set aside time with your dog where there are no distractions and your mind is with your dog. It doesn’t matter where you are, so long as you can relax and your dog can relax, and you can just chill together.
You know you’ve connected with your dog when you look at her and she looks at you, and you know you are thinking of nothing but each other.
You can sit there for hours, or just minutes. But make sure you take the time whilst you still can.
Find a Best Mate
For those of you that have a dog that loves other dogs, but for whatever reason hasn’t been around any for a long time, having a friend could be on his wish list.
What’s better than being able to run and play with another dog…a like-minded soul?
Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try, we’re never going to be able to play like a dog. Which is exactly why dog-friendly dogs need other canine companions to be happy.
The best part…it’s amazing how many dogs discover their youth when a younger pup turns up.
I’ve seen old, tired dogs come to life in front of my eyes when they find a younger, more playful friend.
How great is that!
Treat Your Dog to Some Creature Comforts
As your dog gets older, just as when a human gets older, he tends to appreciate creature comforts like extra snacks, a soft blanket, or maybe even a special toy.
It’s possible that when they were younger and tougher, these things didn’t matter, but now their bodies are old and more fragile, and these things will make all the difference.
So, it may be that you bring your dog inside at night or buy him an extra comfy bed with extra thick padding. Perhaps you move his bed closer to the fire so that he can stay warm at night, or you let him up onto the couch or your special chair.
Whatever it is, be sure to take the time to spoil your dog a little.
It’s these tiny little gestures that can make a world of difference to your dog.
This list is just a small list of all the amazing things you can do for your dog to fulfill his bucket list. I’d like to hear what your dog would love to do.
Please add your dog’s bucket list items in the comments!
And whilst you’re here, don’t forget to check out my other posts to get more information and training tips!
Or, if you’re looking for a fun way to spend more time with your pup while also doing a little training, I recommend you check out my program, The Dog Calming Code. This program will teach you how to get your dog to relax and listen to you so he can enjoy a happy and safe life!
~Doggy Dan 🙂
I rescued a collie from dogs trust. .he used to love going long walks. .he hurtled his leg and had to stay overnight at vet’s and stay in gate for 4 week’s. .he is a very nervous dog and now doesn’t want to leave gate have you any suggestions Dan please z
My advice would be to gradually try and reintroduce your dog to the process of going for a walk by doing a little practice here and there throughout the day. Start off by calling your dog to you to place the leash on and then walk him around your house and yard for a few minutes and then end the session. The next attempt you would look to extend the duration and maybe even head out into the Street but I would work at your dog’s pace and if he doesn’t seem ready to go out then keep practice to your home. Remember to use treats to make the process a more positive one and remember to be patient.
My website TheOnlineDogTrainer.com shows you very clearly how overcome issues on the walk…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan
My two German Shepherds and my senior rescue snauser cross are my replacement children since my human children grew up and moved out. Needless to say, they are very spoiled. They live in the house with me and eat better than I do. We have a big yard and live close to the mountains and we love to explore but if I could choose a bucket list item for them, it would be to meet the best dog trainer in the world. Yes, I mean you Doggie Dan! You have helped us become a happy well mannered family. Thank you!
Thanks Estella, that means a lot to me… Really appreciate it. Give them my love and keep up the good work, cheers Dan 🙂
my dog Hamish is super active…what about a mini trampoline…just for him…a sand pit…just for him and a child’s clam with water……just for him….
Yep, some dogs just love the trampoline. I once saw a dog use a trampoline to bounce on and escape over a fence…The dog would jump with straight legs to get extra bounce then get up and over the fence! So funny to watch…
I recently lost my Chihuahua, Zoro Slyboots, to kidney failure; way before I’d expected to have to say good-bye. So I think it’s important to try to do things my next dog will enjoy, as often as possible.
Sorry to hear that Roberta, what a great name…I agree you need to make the most of every day with your dog. You never know when it could be their last. Same as our lives…every day when we can see the sky sun or clouds is a great day to be alive.
For a real bucket list … I had a goodbye party for my dog Chakotay.. he was almost 14 and having major health problems so the week before we knew he was going to be put down we had a party and invited all the humans that he loved and that loved him. I think he knew what was going on and he loved seeing people he hadn’t seen for awhile. He used to be able to go Nordic Walking with me and the instructor came to say goodbye. He hadn’t been fit enough to go for walks with us in many months. Old roommates came to say goodbye and the owners of his girlfriend came to say goodbye. His girlfriend Joscha had passed away over a year before he went. Having to put a beloved dog out of its misery is one of the hardest things to do… but this party helped us all say goodbye. He really loved all the attention.
Wow Taylor, thats a nice thing to do. I know my dog has some friends she hasn’t seen for a while…I am about to make my bucket list for Peanut Butter. I am not sure how long she has left on this planet. Its going to be tough when she passes for me…I know that 🙂
Nothing better on a hot day than a small dish of vanilla ice cream for you dog!
Nice! I shall try that one for sure 🙂
Imagine sausage flavoured ice-cream for dogs! Ha ha now there’s a business idea!
Continuously teach your dog something new even if it’s just shaking hands going through a hoop with a treat on the other side rollover etc. their minds have to be used as well as their bodies or either one will get stale . The praise and treat they get after word is very meaningful to them. As it is said Cats live to please themselves and dogs live to please their owner. Don’t be offended I am also a cat lover.
Yep. Nice one Bobbi. I have to say, some dogs seem to enjoy learning new things more than others…(a bit like children and humans! although its probably finding the type of learning and training that they enjoy that is key, again same as humans!) I have a cat too but I have not mastered much training. He bites me less after 12 years so I guess its getting better slowly!
Have a birthday party for your dog! My dog Peaches went wild when we made him a hamburger birthday cake decorated with pigs ears and chicken strip treats. It looked like a lion. It had a hot dog nose and treats for eyes. We invited a few doggy friends over and it was a blast! He knew it was for him and was over the moon. I used to do this for my last dog every year ( for 13 years) and my doggy birthday cake talents improved from a simple round hamburger to one decorated with many treats. All the dogs got toys and they all had a really good time!
Excellent…Yep it never ceases to amaze me how my dogs “especially Peanut” seem to KNOW when I am making something for them. Even if I simply look in a pan and scrape the last bit of porridge into a pile thinking I could give it to the dogs…Peanut will be there…drooling. She just reads my mind 🙂
Our dogs love walks through our paddocks and long grass. They love to chase each other through the long grass, hide and then pounce on each other. When they come across a kangaroo or 3 that’s even better!!
Hi Margaret, yep, sometimes the simplest things in life are the best…I watched yesterday as Jack raced around our field…Moses simply watched in awe…his power was terrific, it was like the grass tickling his tummy gave him a turbo boost! No Kangaroos round here!
My Trek (Portuguese Waterdog) is spoiled for sure as he gets to play in the snow and water, gets homemade meals once a day, has several playmates in the neighbourhood, walks in the forest every day and spends lots of time with myself.
Oh lovely, sounds like a dogs life…
I add one or two of the following things in tablespoon amounts:
Raw instinct chicken
Yep…those all sounds like good powerful additions! Nothing like a little bit of real food for your dog 🙂
While I may never see snow myself, I must take my Snowy to the beach at least once in his lifetime. And if possible, every year. Great bucket list
I have a Beagle and the thing she loves the most is hunting — scenting anything — with me following her. She starts to bay and it’s even more joyous for her when I come see what she’s making noise about. I make time to do that now since she’s starting to get grey eyebrows and I can see she’s not a puppy anymore. 🙂
Yep, some dogs just get the most fun out of the chase, be it the ball or something else! Lovely to see them after a good chase, my dogs are the happiest after a good run in the woods, then they all come and collapse at home in a heap!