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The Best Things To Do with Dogs in the UK

If your dog is anything like ours here at DFG, they won’t like to be left behind wherever you go, so we have put together a list of things you can do together.

Whether you prefer to enjoy a drink in a sunny beer garden or want to “shop until you drop”, We have found the best things to do throughout the UK with your canine companion.

10 Great Things Dog Owners Can Do With Their Best Friends

  • Holidays – Log Cabins, Hotels, Lodges, Cottages that allow dogs, Chalets
  • Days Out – Local Attractions, Dog Activities
  • Pubs – Old fashioned bars, good food, beer gardens where dogs are welcome.
  • Beaches – Remote, local beaches, great for kids, facilities, sandy
  • Walks – Forest trails. coastal walks for dogs, National Trust dog walks
  • Places to eat – Dog welcoming cafés, coffee shops, bistros, restaurants
  • Dog Parks – Safe areas for dogs to socialise, training, doggie meet-ups, activities for dogs
  • Shopping with your dog – Dog bakeries, chain stores where you can take your dog, garden centres, Boutiques.
  • Swimming – Lakes, rivers, the coast, specialist dog swimming pools, safety
  • Museums – Rainy days, best museums you can enjoy with your dog, open-air museums.

1) Take a doggie holiday or short break

You work hard; perhaps your canine companion sits waiting by the door every evening for you to come home. Don’t you deserve some quality time together, where you can relax and have fun?

Booking a holiday or mini-break with your dog has never been easier; there are thousands of dog-friendly getaways across the country; choose from a pet-friendly hotel, self-catering holiday cottage, lodge with hot tub or campsite, even a city break.

From the South Downs to the Highlands of Scotland, you are sure to find something for even the fussiest of hounds.

Many of these are surrounded by dog-friendly attractions, superb walks for dogs and pubs that will give your dog a right royal welcome. You are guaranteed to make memories with your best friend that will last a lifetime.

2) Days out: family fun for all

How can you enjoy a family day out when you know your canine companion is pining for you at home and of course when you are on holiday there will be sights to see and attractions to enjoy.

Fantastic news! Many of these are happy to welcome you and the family pet. Magical castles, National Trust properties, ancient ruins, museums the list is endless

Perhaps you like messing about on the water if so the Lakes are ideal, with dog-friendly boat cruises plus countless “pawsome” attractions surrounded by spectacular scenery for your best friend to discover.

Maybe you prefer being on terra firma delving into the local history, in that case why not check out some of the amazing English Heritage sites around the country

From the Inverness to Cornwall, you are guaranteed to find the perfect day out for you and your dog.

3) Visit a pub (or two) where dogs are welcome

Most people enjoy a drink and meal in a pub, so whether you are on a road trip with your dog or fancy somewhere local, it’s good to know that tons of pubs welcome our four-legged friends.

From traditional country inns in Cumbria, such as the Royal Oak in Keswick, you can tuck into hearty pub grub or swanky cocktail bars in London, like the Smith and Whistle Mayfair, where your dog can partake in a doggy cocktail such as the bubbly bow wow. There are dog welcoming pubs across the UK to suit everyone.

What better way is there to unwind after a days adventure than to take in the sunset with a beer on a terrace with beautiful views, or if the weather isn’t great warm your toes by a cosy open fire with Fido by your side.

So next time you fancy a pint check out the pet-friendly pubs in your area and take your dog along too.

4) Beaches & sandy paws

There are approximately 5000 miles of coastline around mainline Britain; that’s a lot of beaches, and what furball doesn’t enjoy chasing tennis balls across the sand or paddling in the shallows.

Even in winter, is there any better way to blow away the cobwebs than to wrap up warm a brisk walk by the sea.

Whilst there are restrictions on the more popular beaches in coastal resorts throughout the summer months, there are still miles of beaches for your canine companion to explore the rock pools and chase a frisbee on

From the long stretches of isolated sands in Scotland to quaint little coves in Devon, why not spend time with your best friend at the seaside.

Great fun for dogs and their human companions.

5) Take scenic walks

Dogs need walks, and it’s a great way for us to exercise while Rover investigates the sights and smells. The good news is – you don’t need to just go around the block.

There are thousands of dog walks around the UK, whether you want a woodland adventure or would like to explore a national park.

From exotic gardens, ideal for an Instagram photo shoot, short distance strolls for the older dog to mountain hikes, dog walking for more active dogs, there’s something for everyone.

You could even try a breed-specific meet-up, where you can teach your dog to socialise in a fun way.

Not only will you have fun for a few hours, but you will have one tired dog that, at the same time, will be a happy pup.

6) Go for lunch

If you are going on holiday or even a day out with your dog, you will want somewhere where you can stop off and get a bite to eat or a drink, and these days there are more and more places where you can take your dog too.

Starbucks welcome dogs outside their shops so you can stop off for a coffee in town, and many independent establishments are going all out to welcome dogs with doggy menus and tasty treats.

A favourite is Rick Stein’s Fistral in Newquay, where you can tuck into fish and chips, and your pup is welcomed with open arms and Etore’s in Edinburgh where you can enjoy tea and patisseries during the day and Prosecco and Cocktails in the evening.

Some places allow you on the terrace or patio. Still, many now offer a full dog experience inside the restaurant too, from fine dining to a sandwich, you are guaranteed to find a dog-friendly café or restaurant near you.

7) Try a specialist dog park & meet new furry friends

Dogs get bored, leading to all sorts of unwanted behaviours such as excessive chewing and barking. That’s why its important to keep your dog entertained or do some dog work.

At home, you can try puzzle games or trick training, a fantastic way to keep your dog’s mind active, but why not get out and about too.

Check out local dog parks where they can meet new friends and play or a local training class. Whether you have a new puppy needing obedience training or older dogs wanting to learn new tricks, they can work alongside other dogs and have fun. It’s also a lot easier to enjoy days out with a well-behaved dog.

There are places you can try dog agility or even dog sports such a sled dog racing, flyball or Canicross. It’s a good idea to check these out at an event or show first to ensure your dog enjoys them.

Check out the latest news for the nearest dog park and dog-friendly events in your area.

8) Go shopping for their own doggie treats.

You might think shopping is off-limits with a dog, and the only option is the pet store, but we have found tons of stores that welcome your furry friend with open arms. Go Outdoors welcomes dogs in all its stores across the UK, as does Lush Cosmetics and White Stuff.

There are also tons of trendy boutiques, such as Seasalt and Oliver Bonas, where you can indulge in some retail therapy. Usually, garden centres are pretty relaxed about allowing well-behaved dogs on leads too.

Plus, there are independent pet clothing stores and doggie bakeries in many towns, so you can bag a few items for your pampered pooch, which will have them wagging their tail.

9) Water babies

Most dogs love a swim or at least a paddle, and it’s a great way for them to get rid of excess energy. There are hundreds of places your pup can practice his doggy paddle.

From rivers to beaches, lakes and even a canine-friendly swimming pool like the Sherwood Canine Fun Fitness and Hydrotherapy Centre in Nottinghamshire. 

Dog Owners can book appointments in 30 minute or 1-hour slots, and they even provide life jackets for less confident dogs.

If your furry best friend is not so keen on water, how about a boat ride instead.

Always make sure it’s safe for your canine companion to swim; some rivers have strong currents. Check the size of waves on beaches and look out for warning signs.

10) Check out a museum

A visit to a museum is the perfect activity for a rainy day, and why should your pooch miss out on a bit of culture too, as well as open Museums like Beamish in the North East or Crich Tramway Village in Derbyshire. There are plenty of interesting indoor museums you can take your dog.

One of our favourites is Inveraray Jail in Scotland, where you will meet costumed characters on your walking tour. Another gem both you and your dog will love is the Cotswold Motoring Museum, where you can see vintage cars, toys and all sorts of memorabilia. There’s also some fantastic dog walks nearby.

So, if the sun isn’t shining or you just fancy spending some time together with your furbaby, why not see what museums nearby allow your dog to accompany you. We think you’ll be surprised.

FAQ's

What should I do with my dog every day?

There are some essential things you should do every day to keep your dog happy and healthy. Exercise, of course, is important, but some breeds such as German Shepherds and Border Collies need mental stimulation too – try brain games and puzzles or nose work.

What activities can you do with your dog?

There are dozens of activities you can do with your dog, from walking and swimming to specialised sports such as Canicross and agility even doggie dancing. Check out your local area for clubs, events and training classes.

How do I entertain my dog indoors?

You can keep your dog occupied indoors in many ways, trying hiding treats for them to seek out, give them something to chew on, buy one of the many puzzles on the market or indulge in a good old game of tug and war. Mental stimulation for your pooch is just as important as physical exercise.

What to do with your dog when you can't go outside?

It’s not always possible to take Fido for a walk, and often you need something to occupy them when they are alone. Most dogs love a good chew, antlers are great, and there are plenty of indoor activities to keep your best friend amused; searching for treats is an enjoyable activity, especially for Spaniels and dogs bred for nose work. You could also invest in one of the many interactive puzzles for dogs available.

The Last Word

What every dog owner should check before heading out with their pup.

These days there are countless days out and ways to have fun with your dog, whether it’s meeting new dog friends or spending time together. However, there are some things to consider.

Always make sure your dog is healthy before taking on any activity; get a vet to provide medical advice if you’re not sure. If you have an adult dog, ensure they get on with other dogs before letting them off lead in a dog park.

A museum might not be the best place to take an over-excited golden retriever pup and if your dog is swimming anywhere, make sure it’s safe.

Always take a supply of poo bags and freshwater if you’re going out for the day.

Have Fun! and for loads more start here.

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