June 12 2019

Summertime brings out the best in us all, carefree moments spent making memories with those we care for.  The hustle and bustle of life continues but becomes more jovial and relaxed.  Adventure reigns supreme as we toss on those sunglasses and head outdoors.

Possibilities are endless for activities that intrigue, entertain and inspire us with each step we take.  Whether our days and nights of summer are spent close to home or crossing foreign borders one thing is certain, our dog, our best friend, simply MUST come along.

Many of us maintain our financial success through the process of keeping a budget.  In doing so we can keep our short-term and long-term goals in focus.  So how do we enjoy these moments spent with our best friend on a budget right in our own backyard, as in neighborhood?

Below are ideas to inspire thought and creativity, like a blank canvas summer awaits its colors.

1.  Doggie Walking Tours

woman walking dogs in new york city

The walking tour is one of the most creative and innovative ideas when it comes to entertainment and fun.  Whether it is our hometown or the village 20 minutes away, wherever we explore entertainment is close by.

We spend a great deal of time using a variety of transportation modes, sometimes we may forget what the scenery looks like on foot.  By getting out and exploring the local flair our town, or the next town over has to offer it gives us and our best friend a chance to commune with like-minded people and dogs.

That small restaurant that serves amazing food and doesn’t mind well behaved dogs is a wonderful place to stop by for friendship and fare.   What about that unusual museum that offers guided or self exploration tours that a dog would love to tag along on?   The old abandoned building on a dead-end street that reminds both you and your dog of a horror flick might prove highly entertaining.  Maybe the well-worn labyrinth that you both walk together amidst solitude and peace we bring you both closer to the beat of life.

Possibly after a few blocks of walking, a theater in the park is discovered.  A renaissance themed show is just about to start, the snacks are inexpensive with a few vendors catering to dog lovers, and there are plenty of four legged friends to keep pets entertained.

Walking tours offer a variety of diversions for every person and dog.  If schedules allow, taking a walking tour once a week or every other week could turn into a regular occurring adventure.  Big cities and suburbs alike offer a chance to venture beyond the neighborhood we live in and explore new territory with our dog.  The possibilities are endless and convenient.

Spending little or next to nothing due to walking allows this to be extremely budget friendly.

2.  Have a Canine Friendly Picnic

mom with girl and pet dog at picnic

Who doesn’t enjoy a picnic?  Dogs absolutely love them!  All that great food to eat while hanging out in nature, plus the extra snacks of a few bugs here and there, what’s not to love?  Toss in a frisbee, a ball or their favorite toy and this will be a guaranteed success.

There are numerous location possibilities for this type of backyard fun depending on where you live.  Maybe there is a lake on the other side of your hometown or a beach 10 minutes away?  Does that local municipal park have a shady grove of trees?  That menagerie of bird feeders in your own backyard will delight your best friend for quiet sometime too.  Whatever you and your dog choose it is sure to be memorable for you both.

Food can be as simple or elaborate as you choose, your best friend won’t care.  The company is good, the food is plentiful, the fun is nearby, what more could anyone human or dog ask for!

We must eat anyway, changing the scenery and sharing it with our dog makes this adventure inexpensive and memorable.

3.  Visit a Pet Friendly Spa or Salon Together

Who doesn’t need some good old-fashioned rest and relaxation?  Visiting a spa or salon with your dog offers you both the chance to be pampered and unwind.  Depending on where you live spas and hotels around the world offer a variety of perks for those dogs who love to travel with their best friend.  From dog massages and acupuncture to reiki treatments and shampoos and pedicures you and your dog can restore mind, body, and spirit together while keeping it on a budget by staying close to home.

Each facility offers their own brand of treatments for your best friend, so research is essential.  Whichever spa, salon or hotel you choose, your best friend is bound to do back flips after being pampered from head to toe or dining on a meal fit for a king.

By staying close to home there is a savings on fuel which helps keep the trip economical.  The few dollars spent on these delights for you and your dog will be well worth it when you are both relaxed and rejuvenated afterward.

4.  Bring Your Dog to Work Day

To ring in the official start to the summer season, there is bring your dog to work day!  If your place of business is open to this idea you can bring your best friend to work with you.

Depending on your work situation it can encourage employers and places of business to see the joy and happiness of having a dog or other pet (notice we didn’t say the c-a-t word!).

Bringing your dog to work on this day allows your them to socialize with other people who may not have pets. This can potentially open the eyes and hearts of people who don’t have dogs to owning one themselves when they see how happy their life can be.  If nothing else, it gives your dog the experience of what you do everyday while you are away from them and at work. 

According to Pet Sitters, this year is the 21st annual event.  If your schedule allows, this will be a great way for you and your best friend to start off the weekend together.

Participating in this pet friendly event can cost next to nothing unless you factor in some bags of dog treats you bring for your dog to share with other dogs they might meet along the way.

5.  Visit a Dog Friendly Museum

Depending on where you live, visiting a historical site can be exciting for both you and your dog.  Discovering bits and pieces from the past of your local community can be educational for you both.  Your dog will find new smells from days gone by, not to mention a few secret hiding spots for other animal creatures.

Hiking stairs in buildings of ancient architecture or gazing out through aging windows of a lighthouse to watch a seagull below will delight your dog. Their sense of smell will be on full alert while scenting past visitors.

Battlegrounds where cannons once blared and even ghost tours through earthy pubs and inns can bring you both in touch with the history of your neighborhood or local community.  Your dog will find just as much excitement in this adventure as you do.

Other than small fees that historical sites might require this should be very budget friendly, you and your best friend can carry a lunch to share after the exploring is over.

6.  Have a Pup Party or Barbecue

Set up an obstacle or agility course in your backyard, possibly a kiddie pool or sprinkler and a variety of outdoors toys such as balls and frisbees and you will have this party started.  Invite your dogs best dog friends to attend, their human owners included.  Consider it a potluck where each guest family brings their own favorite dog treat or snack.  Provide some adult snacks and drinks, and spend the evening having a blast.

Make a hunting course for the dogs by using gravy in a condiment bottle, squeeze a couple trails around your yard.  At the finish line you could have a few dog treats on a pile.  If there is time before, you could dig a few shallow holes at the finish line and fill them with an awesome reward of a dog bone or more treats.  Dogs love to dig, why not encourage their instinct. See our article 9 Ideas for a Dog Friendly Backyard for more backyard ideas

Whatever you choose to do, the party will be a huge doggie success where you and your best friend, as well as all the guests will be smiling and laughing with this type of backyard fun.

Making this a potluck will share the expenses between guests keeping it inexpensive.  What few costs you may have a minimal, like any outside party or barbecue you would probably have this summer anyway.

7.  Attend or Start a Dog Sporting Event

There are numerous dog sports competitions around the world that are both interesting and entertaining for both humans and dogs alike.  Instead of a football party or baseball barbecue, you and your dog can enjoy watching a dog themed sport event together.  If you are lucky enough to live in an area where one of these events take place you can go, see one first hand.

Disc dog, also known as Frisbee Dog, is a competition where dogs and their human assistants compete in events of distance and freestyle catching.  This sport showcases the deep connection between dog and human, honoring the bond they share.

Dock diving or jumping is another competitive sport for dogs.  This is a competitive sport that was first organized in 1997 by the Incredible Dog Challenge which was sponsored by Purina.  Dogs compete by jumping the furthest distance or tallest height from a dock into a body of water.  As a recognized United Kennel Club Sport, it will delight both you and your dog.

If watching just doesn’t cut it for you and your best friend, there are organization’s that offer professional training.   You and your best friend could also start a group of amateurs that compete within the local community depending on where you live.

Whatever you choose, dogs love sports as much as humans’ do, watching and participating in them.

What keeps the cost down on this type of adventure is keeping the summer fun.  Expenses should be low if you attend an event with your best friend or join an organization that takes part in one of these events.

Flipping Old to New

These ideas listed below are probably things that we do with our dog already.  They are included based upon the idea of flipping the creative switch to create something new.  Sometimes we can simply take an old idea on backyard fun and make it new by changing our perspective or the way we view it.

8.  Dog Parks

Although we dog owners wish they were as common as the kiddie playground, there are plenty to be had.  Scope out an area close to home for your backyard fun, hop in the vehicle and check it out.  Every park is different, each one offering a new set of terrain for you and your dog to conquer as well as new friends to be made.  Some parks even have obstacle courses built into them.

Other than some fuel to visit a local park this summer fun should be nearly free.

9.  Biking/Jogging or Exercising Together

Exercise, we love it, and we hate it right?  At times it can get boring or dull, changing the scenery to a different location for you and your dog can breathe new life into that routine.  Your neighborhood or city should have a variety of possible trails for your enjoyment.

If we find these activities getting too mundane perhaps backpacking with our dog, soccer, baseball or other sports activity will inspire us to keep our fitness goals.  The exercise is always good for our dog as well as ourselves.

Virtually free unless you and your best friend begin a new sport together.  If you do, however start a new sport their will obviously be the cost of the equipment.

10.  Water Play

This rather obvious summer tradition makes everyone smile, from the seasoned dolphin swimmer to the life jacket wearing newbie. Whether it’s a swim in the lake, sunbathing at the beach or running through the sprinkler in the backyard you and your dog will love all the pet friendly fun this has to offer.

Probably one of the least expensive summer activities that will delight you and your dog, it can cost next to nothing.

11.  Take a Drive

Hitting the open road is a time-honored pastime everyone enjoys, including your best friend.  That glimmer of excitement as you set off on a journey to somewhere or nowhere in particular.  The wind blowing your hair or fur, the journey ahead, your mind wandering to what you might come across.  Your best friend is always up for an adventure of this sort, they love to travel!

In keeping the pet friendly theme in our own backyard, the drive can simply be across town or a short jaunt to the next town over.  We may think we know the area we live in like the back of our hand but who knows what we might find.

Proximity to home limits your spending of fuel but doesn’t prevent the fun.  If you are ready for a road trip check our our recent blog 11 Tips For a Perfect Road Trip With Your Dog This Summer

In Conclusion

The neighborhoods and close by towns we call our own backyard can be as delightful and enchanting as a trip across the world.  Sometimes the best plans for summertime fun are simple, relaxed and close by keeping things budget friendly.

See what adventures you and your best friend find this summer and comment down below.

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