So you’ve been spending all day watching YouTube videos of dogs or sobbing over the movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, and now you absolutely need to get your dog fix. The only problem is you don’t have a dog around. Maybe you just don’t have the financial means or maybe you live with an allergy sufferer. Well don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can hang out with dogs and plenty of chores–I mean opportunities–that you can ask your dog owning friends and neighbors about. Here are ten ways to “get your dog on” if you don’t own a dog, yourself.
1. Bring Toys To The Dog Park
Most dog parks don’t have any rules about you needing to have a dog just to visit. You can join the pack and bring some toys to get a group game of fetch going. You may just end up making a new friend. See if you can meet some dog owners in the area. It always helps to have friends with pups that you can visit.
2. Volunteer At A Shelter
Shelter dogs are in desperate need of love and companionship, and you’re in desperate need of a dog to love and be a companion to. It’s a match made in heaven. Most shelters and rescue groups are happy to have extra volunteers to share some of the burden of having to care for so many animals. Stop by your local shelter and see what their volunteering options are.
3. Offer To Dog Sit For Friends And Family
This is in no way a ploy to get you to watch our dogs for free while we’re on vacation. Okay, maybe it is. But there’s no reason this can’t be a win-win for both of us. Dog owners need to go out of town sometimes, too, and our pups still need love and companionship. So do a friend or family member a solid, and you’ll get to love on a pooch while you’re at it.
4. Ask A Senior Neighbor If You Can Walk Their Dog
Dogs bring a lot of comfort and friendship to elderly people who can’t get out of the house as much as they used to. These dogs need exercise, but it’s difficult for seniors to provide that to their pups. Most would appreciate you stopping by to lend a hand with their furry best friends, and you’ll get to have your fix of dogs.
5. Sponsor A Dog In Need
Lots of shelters and rescue organizations provide you with the opportunity to sponsor a dog. Most will send you a photo and updates about the dog you’ve sponsored, and even though you’re not there in person, you can still hang your pup’s photo on the fridge and know that you’re caring for a canine that needs you.
6. Hang Out With The Dog At A Party
If you’re heading to a party and you know dogs are going to be around, hang out with the pups. They’re way more fun to party with than most people anyway. Ask your host if you can take the pup out for a potty break. I know that they’ll appreciate you taking care of their buddy while they get back to the human party animals.
7. Visit A Sanctuary
There are plenty of dog sanctuaries out there that have visitation hours and tours that let you go and see the pups. Best Friends Animal Society, for example, has a sanctuary called Best Friends Dogtown that cares for dogs from all walks of life that are looking for a second chance. Find a sanctuary close to you and see if you can plan a visit.
8. Swim At The Dog Beach
Dog beaches provide fun in the sun for canines, but humans are welcome to join in, too. Instead of heading to a popular tourist beach, try visiting one that allows dogs to splash in the waves and run free. The doggy paddle is always more fun with dogs around.
9. Go To A Dog Friendly Event
There are plenty of dog friendly events around the world, and it shouldn’t be hard to find a local one that you can go to. Lots of park districts have movie nights in the park that allow dogs to attend. Several cities have dog pub crawls and dog parades. Check out events where you live and prepare to pet all the pups.
10. Volunteer For Meals On Wheels
Meals On Wheels delivers food to seniors in need, but they also cater to seniors’ pets. If you deliver for Meals On Wheels or a similar program, you’ll get the chance to help a senior care for their pup, and I’m sure most wouldn’t mind if you asked to take their dog for a quick walk around the block sometime. It’s a chance to make a human and a canine friend.
What other ways do you hang out with dogs without owning one? Let us know in the comments below!