School holiday activities with your pet
The school holidays are a great opportunity for your entire family to spend some quality time together - but let's face it, it's easy for the time to fly by watching youtube videos and playing computer games. If you're struggling to come up with fun, healthy activities to entertain the kids, turn to the trusty family pet. Studies show pets contribute greatly to the happiness and wellbeing of your kids - luckily there's plenty you can all do together that will build family bonds without breaking the bank.
1) Go for a walking adventure!
We know it's still a little chilly but we promise it will be worth it - rug up, grab that leash, walking boots and a map and get out in the fresh air! Even the busiest metro area will have a new place to discover - whether the local park, dog beach or even a drive to nearby woodland. You can even pack a barbeque or picnic to relax and enjoy after you burn some energy.
Here are a few of our favourite dog walks in London to inspire you.
If you own a cat, check out our guide to walking cats - there might be a quiet local park where your kitty can get outside and have a sniff around.
2) Have a crafternoon
If your kids are feeling creative, check out some of our DIY guides - the pet will love you for giving it a fun new gift, plus your kids will feel fulfilled for building something from scratch! Who needs plastic, store-bought pet toys anyway?
3) Make some new friends
Jump onto google and find the local dog park. These are great places for pooches and people to socialise and often have strong communities of local regulars that you and your family can all get to know. There's nothing that connects people more strongly than chatting about their dogs, and it's fascinating seeing all the different breeds out there having a run and a play!
4) Furries that lunch
Get dressed up and head to your favourite fancy dog-friendly cafe or local dog-friendly pub, depending on whether puppucinos or pub fare suit your taste. There's plenty of dog-friendly establishments all over the country - here's our guide to our favourite dog cafes in Brisbane! Be sure to bring your best behaviour (dogs and little humans included!).
And as for cat lovers - though your kitty might not want to join you, there are cat-cafes around the UK that are fun to visit and use their funds to support local shelter cats. Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is a great one to visit - check them out here.
5) Create a pet photography project
For the artistic in the family - we have a great guide to pet photography that might come in handy if your kids fancy creating a pet portrait series. Why not print out their final products and create an impromptu gallery opening in the house!
6) Have a baking afternoon
These handmade tuna treats are a great way for a pup to get those essential fatty acids in their diet without ingesting too much mercury.
½ cup oat flour (blend rolled oats in a food processor until it is a floury consistency)
185gm can tuna in oil (add the oil to the mixture)
1 cup semolina
½ cup wheat germ
½ tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup water
Chia seeds for garnish
Mix all ingredients together except for the chia seeds.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Spoon your mixture onto the baking paper in whatever shapes you like. (These fish shapes are pretty cute!)
Cook at 170C for 25 mins, or until golden brown.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
7) Have a fun sleepover
Whether you want to create a sleeping bag fortress in the living room with sheets and furniture, or set up a tent in the backyard, a sleepover is exciting and fun for the kids as well as the family pet! Plus - there's no need to travel far and hot showers are only a few doors away :-)
8) Become a Pawshake pet-sitter or dog walker!
Of course, the funnest activity of all :-) You'll need to have your own pet sitting account as a parent as we require our sitters to be over the age of 18, however if you have a little furry friend come to stay, or a pet to go and visit, there's no reason your kids can't help out by feeding, walking and playing with your guest! By following your example they will learn about responsible pet care as well as have a fun project for the holidays that will earn a bit of pocket money. It's a win / win!
Sign up here if you haven't got a pet sitting account yet to get the ball rolling. Happy holidays!