I don’t know about everybody else, but I think my dogs get tired of seeing the world from behind the backyard fence or from the end of a leash. I KNOW they like to run full speed and sniff every spot any other animal has ever walked near.
I also know my cats are tired of desperately looking out my windows and scratching at the back door in vain, thinking it may suddenly and miraculously open one day like my kitchen cabinets do.
While we are celebrating our freedom as Americans this Fourth of July, let’s make sure to help our pets get a taste of that freedom, too!
Dogs Choose Freedom!
One of the easiest and most fun ways to let your dog run wild is to go to an off-leash dog park like Overton Bark or Shelby Farms Unleashed in Memphis, Wagging Tail Dog Park in Dallas, or Green Springs Dog Park in Birmingham. Most big cities have at least one off-leash dog park available for free public use! Your pups can run free, meet other dogs, sniff grass and trees and swim in lakes! They can play fetch on a seemingly endless landscape at some parks. A short thirty-minute visit will have your dogs exhausted for the rest of the day.
If you’re not into the off-leash dog park experience, think about trying an invisible fence for your dog. If your dog is already calm and easily trained, this is perfect for you! If your dog is high energy or stubborn, more effort and training will be necessary before this will be the right option for you. Think about your dogs getting to see the full view of the world around them instead of what they can put together through fence slats. Your doggies will be so excited! There is a training process that goes along with teaching your dog how to use an invisible fence, so this should only be an option for you and your dog if you are willing to put in the training effort! Check out PetSafe and their electronic products for pets here: http://www.hollywoodfeed.com/training_pet_safe/ If off-leash is not for you but you still want to get into the great outdoors with your dog, do it! My dogs enjoy boating, hiking, swimming, and running next to bikes! I know many dogs who love camping or going for jogs with their people. Your dog will pretty much love anything you do together outdoors unless she is an extreme couch potato, and the fresh air and sun will be good for your both.
There are also a lot of pet-friendly restaurants and retail stores out there, so get your dog out of the house the next time you go to have margaritas with friends on a patio! Your dog will have a blast, and most dog-friendly restaurants will bring out a bowl of water for your dog if you ask them!
Set Your Cat Free, Too!
If you already have an outdoor cat or indoor/outdoor cat, then your furry feline gets plenty of adventure and freedom. But for an indoor cat, the doors and windows of the home are a barrier to keep them from getting to the magical world outside.
You can try to trick your cat into thinking he is outside nibbling on some delicious green grass with some indoor cat grass. You can get a little container to put near his favorite spot and he will delight in taking little nibbles throughout the day.
Does your cat love to lie lazily in the sun? Consider making him a comfortable window seat where he can get a great view of your street while being a lazy sunbather.
Something that I would love to do, and that my husband and I talk about often, is to hang several cat shelves around our home so that our cats can get from room to room without ever having to touch paw to floor! This would be a super fun adventure for cats, but also at my house, would serve the purpose of allowing cats to stay safe from any guest dogs in my home with my dog-sitting business!
If you think your cat is really ready for an adventure, try harnessing and leashing your cat and actually taking him outside. I do this with my cat, Fender sometimes. He mostly just lies prostrate and refuses to move as he makes a low growling noise in his throat, but then sometimes he explores and really seems to enjoy himself.
What are some other ways your pet enjoys some freedom at your house? Share your ideas to get pets out of the house and into an adventure in the comments below!