7 FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR DOG
7 Fun Activities To Do With Your Dog In Norfolk This International Dog Day
This International Dog Day, it makes sense to spend all your time with your four-legged best friend. Luckily there are plenty of things to do and see in the summer months, so you don’t need to look far for pet-friendly fun. In this article, we’ll look at some doggy-centric activities from pro-pooch pubs to dog-friendly hotels, beaches, and days out.
So, ready to bring your dog along on your Norfolk adventures?
When is International Dog Day 2022?
International Dog Day takes place on August the 26th and serves to raise awareness of dog rescue centres, charities, and adoption programmes. It’s a great day to celebrate with your dog and donate to a local rescue centre to help all those looking for forever homes.
1. Try paddle boarding
Over recent years, paddle boarding has taken the world by storm. You may have seen them floating along the Broads, but a paddle board is a bit like a surfboard but far thicker and more stable. You can sit or stand on them and use an oar to move through the water. As they're less physically demanding and more stable, some owners have taken to paddle boarding with their dogs (Check out @Adventuringwithnala and @isla_and_skye on Instagram for some epic doggy paddle boarding and adventures).
So, if your dog loves wading into a river or splashing around in the sea, paddle boarding might be the ideal joint activity. Your furry friend will need to be able to sit or stand in the same position for a while and follow commands easily, so it's worth taking some time to get them comfy with the board on land first. And they'll need a doggy life jacket with a grab handle for safety, too.
There are paddle boarding opportunities across Norfolk on the coast, in the Broads and Norwich City.
2. Take a hike
What’s better than exploring the beautiful Norfolk scenery with your furry best friend? No matter your or your dog's walking ability, there is a trail to suit everyone. Some stunning local trails include:
- Sheringham Park
- The National Trust Felbrigg Estate
- Winterton – through dunes, woodland, and countryside
- The River Bure Walk
- Brancaster Staithe - through salt marshes and woodland
If you’re unsure where to go, check out some of our recommended local walking routes.
3. Take a trip to the pub
There are many great things to be said about Norfolk, and one thing you may have noticed if you’ve been here a while is that it’s a super dog-friendly county. Some hotspots include:
- The Lighthouse Inn (Walcott)
- The Hermitage (Acle)
- The King’s Head (Holt)
- The King’s Arms (Great Yarmouth)
- Vernon Arms (Cromer)
4. Go on Holiday (Of course!!)
Thousands of Brits have fallen back in love with staycations instead of going abroad. A staycation is where you either take time off to explore your local area or go on holiday to another UK destination.
Norfolk is a great place to go on holiday, thanks to its beautiful beaches, scenic walking trails and dog-friendly businesses. We pride ourselves in being SUPER dog friendly and have cottages to suit all kinds of sizes and personalities, so why not pop over to our dog-friendly unique properties or cottages to see which one is best for you and your dog??
5. Go on a playdate
Socialisation is essential for dogs of all ages, especially younger dogs and puppies. You could meet up with owners and dogs from puppy-training classes or arrange a gathering with your friends and their pets. But there are also Facebook groups for Norfolk Dog Owners where you can arrange to meet up and walk your pooches together.
6. Explore the beach
Norfolk is home to miles and miles of gorgeous sandy beaches that are ideal for dog walking. During the summer months, some beaches will operate restrictions to keep dogs and visitors safe, so it’s worth checking where you can walk before a visit.
Local’s best-loved dog-friendly beaches with little to no restrictions include:
- Old Hunstanton (Named the Best Beach in the East)
- Holme Beach (some restrictions for nature conservation)
- Thornham Beach
- Holkham Beach
- West Runton (small restriction area)
- Happisburgh (One of the Top 5 Beaches in the East)
In Norfolk, you’ll sometimes come across areas of nature conservation or large groups of sunbathing seals, so it’s a good idea to keep your dog on a lead and pay attention to signage and guidance.
7. Take your dog to work
If you work somewhere that allows pets, why not bring your dog to work with you? Office dogs are great for companionship and can help boost the morale of your colleagues. However, some dogs can find it challenging to adapt to an office environment, so you should make a few adjustments to help settle them:
- Make sure you bring in plenty of treats to reward your dog for good behaviour
- Bring in their bed
- Bring several toys
- Let your colleagues know you’re bringing in your dog
- Let your colleague give your dog praise and treats too.
It’s also a good idea to scope out areas near work where your dog can go to the toilet and somewhere to take them for a walk.
Quick Summer Dog Tips
The summer weather poses a few unique risks for dogs, especially in unfamiliar environments:
- Check the floor or sand isn't too hot – if you can't touch it with the back of your hand for 5 seconds, then it's too hot for your dog's paws. You could try doggy boots though.
- Keep an eye out for overheating – symptoms include panting, excessive drool, lethargy collapsing and more. Always take water with you.
- Avoid being out in the sun too long – stick to early morning or late night adventures or choose shady, cool walks.
- Don't let them eat sand or anything on the beach – it can mess with their intestines or be toxic.
- Be careful of strong tides – swimming is tiring and waves can suddenly build, so be wary.
- Don't let them drink seawater.
The key is to make sure your pup is trained to follow your commands and is well-hydrated with all the kit they need. So, prepare with portable water bowls, healthy treats, booties and protective gear as needed, and you'll be ready for a great International Dog Day.
Now you know how to spend more time with your dog whilst enjoying the beautiful Norfolk countryside. Which activity will you try first?