Hey reader, do you ever feel romantic feelings for anyone? Maybe someone who you know in real life, or maybe someone in your imagination, but either way, someone who just makes you feel all nice to think about? Someone who you want to spend time around? Maybe smeone who you'd like to kiss with? Does that someone wiggle their nose a lot and have a very beautiful coat of hair all over their body? Does that someone have a tail that they wag when they're happy? Does that someone bark when someone knocks at the door?
Do you ever feel romantic feelings for a dog?
When two humans like each other in a romantic way, they often arrange little meetings where they can spend time together while doing something. It's called a date! And if a human and a dog have romantic feelings towards one another, then humans and dogs can go on dates too!
So if you're looking for some fun ideas on where to take your Golden Girlfriend or Beagle Boyfriend, or just want some ideas in your back pocket for someday when you do have that special somedog in your life, this article will be going over 5 date ideas for humans and dogs 🐕
1- Go Out To Eat!
Between humans, getting dinner together is a very common, solid date idea. Being in a restaurant together is a nice context to be able to have conversation starters in ("Oh what are you thinking of ordering?" "Ooh how does this ziti look?" "Oh my god don't look now but look at the shirt the guy by the window is wearing"), and eating food also really gets those brain chemicals moving around and makes us feel elevated and aware.
Depending on where you live, the idea of taking your dog out to a nice sit-down restaurant might not be as crazy as it sounds! You can Google something like "dog friendly restaurants" and you might be surprised at the number of hits that come up, if you live nearby to even a small city. If the idea of going out to Olive Garden But With Dogs Too sounds like something that you and your special dog would enjoy, for the food, for the novelty, and for how much it shows to them that you think they're important, maybe it's worth looking up what's around. You can even lowkey really zoo it up, letting them eat off your fork if they know how, and speaking to them as your partner throughout the meal.
And even if your local options begin and end with "McDonalds" or other fast food chains, you can still make a date of it there too. If you're able to drive, hit up the drive through! Order something just for them, let them sniff and say hi at the window, and then sit in the parking lot or anywhere else and have your meal, giving them their special-ordered item (and probably sharing some of your own food with them too). Options like a burger with no toppings have been very well-liked by canine kind, in my experience.
Also, hey, here's a secret tip in general, if you put a vest on your dog you might be able to get away with quickly bringing them into places like a McDonalds long enough to order and then eat outside, as long as they're polite. It makes them look like a service dog, even if perhaps you don't have any actual service dog paperwork with you or anything. It might work it might not, but if you're not able to hit the drive through then the vest disguise route is just another idea.
Where you go out to eat doesn't have to be a restaurant or a fast food place either. Those can certainly be convenient and nice and fun, and can make it feel like a special occasion rather than each of you getting your usual dinners. But if you make a big chicken sandwich for your dog and an imitation-chicken sandwich for yourself and pack it all up in a bag, you and your dog could also go on a lovely picnic somewhere, and it's pretty likely they won't be complaining about the food not being from a restaurant when you reveal that the big chicken sandwich is for them.
2- Build Something!
Okay okay okay, this one is maybe a bit of a non-standard date, in human-on-human dating or in dog-on-human dating. Like, maybe it actually is a thing in some way that I'm not thinking of, but off the top of my head I don't feel like I read many books where the love interests are like "Gosh Sue I had a great time with you tonight, maybe next Tuesday we could renovate my uncle's garage together?" But hear me out, because I have had a lot of fun with this one.
Basically, the idea here is that you, as the human, are going to build something. If it's wintertime and snowy out, some fun options could be a snow fort or a snowman. If it's not winter and you live in a wooded area, maybe a stick fort or a campfire. If you live near a beach, maybe a sand fort or a big huge hole in the ground. Whatever it is, while you're building it, the dog is free to run around, check out what you're doing, check out what smells are over by that tree, check out what you're doing again, check out what smells are over by that bush, and so on. Maybe they are curious about what you're doing, maybe it's kind of beside the point to them that you're doing anything at all, but they get to have fun either way knowing that the two of you are going to be outside in this area for a while.
And when you're done, you can excitedly tell your dog partner all about how good the snowman turned out and thank them for helping, or you can playfully go into the stick fort and see if they want to join you or not. You don't have to like, insist that they be super impressed or anything. The fun is just in being out there together and doing stuff.
This one is an off-leash activity, so it might not be for all dogs, unless you're able to do this in a fenced-in yard or something to that effect. It's also worth noting, obviously you shouldn't build something that's going to frighten the dog. Like, I wouldn't take a dog on a date to a machine shop to learn about welding together, even if that might be a fun thing to do with a human friend, it's probably not going to be a great environment for a dog to be in, with lots of scary noises and dangerous moving parts.
That said, if you live around the right kind of outdoors areas, going out and building something can be a great occasion to rack up some outdoors time with the four-legger.
3- Visit Other Dogs!
I am so happy when I go to the dog park and see other dogs. Most dogs who I've known are also very happy when they go to the dog park and see other dogs. Letting them spend time running around together and sniffing each other's butts can make for a great day out for the both of you.
Maybe if you know any other interspecies couples, or even any non-romantic dog-owner pairs, you could set up a double date. Going together to a non-dog park to play around with just the two dogs, or going on a walk as a group. It's good to let them socialize with their own kind, and it can make for a fun outing.
4- Go On A Sniffing Walk!
Longtime readers of this magazine will have heard all about this before, but it's a classic for a reason.
Dogs love to smell things. If your canine romantic partner likes to go on walks, you can make that walk all about them by letting them have a lot of leeway in pausing to sniff things that they find interesting, or letting them lead the way back and forth across the path as they find their way to the next smell. If you're yanking them off of smells all the time, it's like if you were trying to play a video game and the screen kept going black for 50 seconds out of every minute with only occasional visibility. You'd obviously be annoyed and not able to flex your fullest abilities or get the most enjoyment. With many dogs, smelling is what they do, it's their video games, their social media, their jam. And it's good to let them explore that as much as they want to. They'll appreciate it, and I think even as a human getting to watch, there's something that we can appreciate too, just getting to look at this beautiful creature engage with their special interest.
Maybe midway through the walk, you can find a place to stop and sit for a while. Give some pets, and maybe if the two of you are alone or don't care what people will think, share a human on dog kiss or two, before getting back to the sniffing walk.
5- Stay In And Pay Attention To Them!
Okay, sure, is it really a "date" if you didn't go out? Maybe not, but I think that you can still bring some of that caring energy to an evening in too. Just like with a trip out to a restaurant or to the park, you can make this evening at home all about showing this canine how much they mean to you, and how much you appreciate spending time together with them.
The details here will depend on the dog. Running around the furniture chasing each other like wild foxes is a lot of fun if the dog has that playful energy and if you're physically able to (no shame if you're not). Playing around with toys with them is great, even if they do a lot of the playing on their own just chewing on the toy, I often find that dogs are more engaged with toys like that if they know they have an audience, and so you can make the playing more fun just by being down on the floor with them watching close. If the dog isn't really feeling very active but does still want your company, you can also just show you care by snuggling while you watch a movie, giving them relaxing pets and maybe an occasional smooch on the top of the head.
All of these possibilities for dates, whether staying-in dates or going-out dates, are things that can hopefully bring some excitement and enrichment into the romance between a biped and a quadruped. The dog will probably be pretty transparent about how much they liked each of these ideas, and the ones that got the most tail-wags from them and delighted laughs from you are the ones that are hopefully worth repeating sometime.
We wish you all the best, and many happy moments for all humans who are dating a dog and all dogs who are dating a human. Get out there and zoo it up! Awoo!
Article written by Alissa Dogchurch (February 2024)
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