In the past, going to the hall cupboard, lifting the lead and pronouncing ‘walkies’ at the top of our voice was enough to have our furry friend bouncing off the walls. These days, it’s just as likely that you’ll be sharing the sofa together, perusing the #dogsofinstagram hashtag, with its 144 million posts, and having a good chuckle. But it’s time to get those bottoms off the couch, the pair of you, and get out there. So, whether you’re potty about your pug, in love with your Labrador or just plain canine crazy, with the help of Cliverton, providers of dog grooming insurance, here are 4 IDEAL things to do on your next doggy date.

A DOG-TAIL OR TWO

If you’re looking for a doggy day out, there are a handful of eateries in London that not only welcome furry patrons, but fully cater for them too. The Smith and Whistle in central London offers an entirely dog based cocktail menu, or ‘dog-tail’, as they prefer to call it. Bubbly Bow Wow and Poochie Colada — yes, you read it right – are not only are all the drinks suitable for canine consumption, but also healthy treats for your for legged companion. Obviously, depending on the occasion, there are lots of different options in London and there are currently around 5000 dog friendly pubs across the UK. Great stuff.

DOGA

When you heard of downward dog for the first time, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was some fad that involved dangling your canine friend in an uncomfortable position. Thankfully, yoga’s huge exposure these days means that you’d have to be living under a rock not to know what the term refers to. Enter; ‘doga’, and yes, it is exactly what you think. Its benefits? Well, apart from the obvious flexibility and mindful elements, Doga is a yoga practice that helps support the natural bond we have with our dog

Created by Jacksonville yoga teacher Suzi Teltelman, the concept, which is booming in popularity across the pond, is being described as one of the most perfect ways to bond with your buddy. In general, yoga has proven to be one of the best ways to remain physically fit while also establishing complete mindfulness, but throw your dog into the mix and your entire experience is turned on its head.

This is particularly rewarding if you’re a new dog owner, and adjusting to each other’s routines is proving to be a little more complex than you first imagined, ‘doga’ could be the answer. Yoga is all about relaxation, concentration and deep focus, which goes hand-in-hand with dog training as well.

A PUP PARTY

Who doesn’t love a good birthday party? Have you ever considered the amount of times your beloved has watched you tucking into a slice of cake or glass of prosecco and felt a little pang of jealousy, puppy dog eyes at the ready? While they might not be able to enjoy the real deal, did you know that’s possible to make dog-friendly versions of your favourite celebratory treats? The shared experience never sounded so succinct.

Throwing a birthday party for your dog is the ideal way to show your bestie just how much you appreciate their presence in your life. If they have loads of furry friends, consider casting the invites far and wide, just be prepared for a cuteness overload ( just ensure the house is going to be able to cope with the inevitable chaos). If your dog is somewhat of an introvert, buying a party hat for both of you, baking a cake and spending the day in the garden could be just the ticket, and not the sad scene it sounds in anyway at all. Much. Nope, this is all about showing the animal in your life how much you love them — it’s the thought that counts.

BIKEJORING

Undoubtedly the most exhilarating option on our list, but beware, this activity is not for the faint-hearted, and if you do decide to participate, proceed with caution. With a Snow Dogs like vibe, ‘bikejoring’, effectively involves attaching a harness on your bike or scooter and letting them start shifting at their own pace. For a dog, restraining them by holding tight on their lead isn’t good for them, so allowing a dog to run at its own pace in this manner will make for a fitter and healthier pup.

For the more physically fit among us, if you have ever taken your dog for a run, you’ll know going full pace with a dog on a lead is effectively playing a massive game of risk ball — unfortunately they fail to consider the potential effects of us landing face first and therefore will often change direction with no warning whatsoever. If you do decide to take your dog ‘bikejoring’, or ‘ski-joring’ for the even more adventurous dog-lovers, make sure to wear protective clothing.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.