If no one’s said it yet, happy Father’s Day! You’re doing a great job as a pet parent. Some may argue that it’s not the same as having a child, but pet lovers would disagree. It’s a pretty big job, taking care of a pet. There’s the monthly (or weekly) ordering of pet supplies, the vet checkups, the worrying when they ate something they shouldn’t, the dropping off at the doggie daycare—just to name of few of the duties of a pet lover.
So, for Father’s Day, you deserve to have some fun with your four-legged friend. It just so happens we’ve got a few ideas.
Catch Some Rays
Who says you can’t take your pup along with you to the beach? Well, OK, there are some rules about that, but you can definitely take her to the dog beach! It’s a magical place where dogs can take their humans to soak up some rays, play water games and mingle with fellow dog lovers.
To start off Father’s Day right, start packing for a day in the sun. Take along plenty of water to keep her hydrated. The Lixit Travel Dog Water Bowl stores 3 quarts of water, and it has a built-in bowl. Keep your pup cool in the heat with the Ultra Paws Cool Coat that reflects the sun and uses dehydrated ice packs to help prevent overheating. While you’re packing for the beach, take some dog fetch toys, especially one that floats in the waves like the Booda Soft Bite Tail Spin Flyer. And for the ride home, be sure to protect the back seat of your car from wet fur and sandy paws with the Solvit Waterproof Sta-Put Hammock Seat Cover. Don’t forget to pack some snacks!
Explore a New Bike Trail
You might be a hardcore cyclist, or you might have a bike in the garage that hasn’t seen much use. Either way, get out your fixie, mountain bike, road bike or rented cruiser and gear up. Dog lovers should pick up a bike basket, or a special leash, so your best friend can come along.
If your pup’s pretty small, try the Solvit Tagalong Sport Pet Bicycle Basket that easily attaches to the front and has a spot for a water bottle. Bigger dogs can run alongside with the Petego Cycleash Universal Bicycle Dog Leash for a safe, steady ride.
For seniors or dogs that tire easily, let them enjoy a stress-free sightseeing trip in the Solvit HoundAbout II Aluminum Pet Bicycle Trailer.
Prepare a BBQ for Two
What better way to spend Father’s Day than with a traditional barbecue? This time, you can do it how a dog lover should. It can be an exclusive cookout for just you and your buddy, or invite your pet parent neighbors to join in on the festivities. Some are charcoal purists, and others swear by the precision of gas, but either way, it’s time to fire up the grill.
A kiddie pool for the dog(s) is the perfect touch for a summer backyard barbecue—they can play while you cook. Hungry pups can eat at the same time with doggie-friendly grub. Pick up some Merrick Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout Recipe for the main course and Zuke’s Z-Filets Grilled Chicken Recipe Dog Treats or Rachael Ray Nutrish Grain-Free Burger Bites with Bison as an after-dinner treat.
Go on a Hiking Adventure
Uncharted trails await you and your best friend! Father’s Day is the ideal time to go on a journey with new sights and tons of new smells for your dog to discover. Be sure to pick a path that won’t be sharp on the paws and has some shady spots for resting, hydrating and refueling. Give your friend his own backpack with the water-resistant Outward Hound DayPak, and fill it with your pet’s favorite treats for a snack along the way. Be sure to make stops, offer your dog water and watch for signs of overheating or exhaustion.
And even though you want to think that you can do a 10-mile hike with no problem, maybe you should start small the first time out if you’re not the outdoorsy or athletic type. Even if you do exercise a lot, you should still take your dog’s activity level, age and physical abilities into account when you’re planning.
Turn Your Pet Into a Mini Me
Haven’t you always wanted a mini-me to enjoy all your hobbies with you? Well, if your pet’s going to play that role, then he has to look the part, especially on Father’s Day. All you need for a doppelganger makeover are the right clothes! Sports fan can cheer on their team alongside their pet in matching football, baseball or basketball jerseys. If you like polo shirts, don’t worry—we’ve got one that will fit your pooch, too. Laid-back dog dads might love hanging out, relaxing with their dog in a comfy hoodie or Hawaiian shirt. If you want to make your own version, you could go as far as screen printing your own shirts. You’ll be twinning for the win in no time!
Build the Ultimate Cat Fort
We haven’t forgotten about the cat dudes! This Father’s Day, do something a little different and build a living room castle for your little lion to rule over. You can make a basic fortress or a sprawling palace depending on how much you pride yourself on being a cat lover and how many Chewy boxes you have laying around.
We suggest starting with a multi-level tower. Cut out two archways on opposite sides of a box for a tunnel on the lower level. You can make little lookout windows big enough for paws to fit through on the other two sides. Make sure the top is taped closed and stack another box on top, this time with just one doorway. A third box can be secured to the second box, and you can cut out a turret pattern along the top.
With all of these fun doggie-and-me activities, you’re sure to have a Father’s Day to remember—and to brag about!
Nikki Naser, Pet Central Senior Editor
Instead of owning 30 cats, Nikki has an impressive collection of 30 cat-themed T-shirts, and just 4 pets—a ginger-haired senior cat, a senior Maine Coon, a middle-aged Choodle, and a young kitty who showed up one day on the back steps. A former Orlando resident, Nikki worked on several tourism publications before moving to South Beach. When she’s not stopping to take pics of community cats to post on Instagram, Nikki spends her time with the office pets at Chewy, writing for their Pet Central blog.