Year of the Dog: 3 Ways to Make it a Great One For You and Your Pup

Did you know that 2018 is the Year of the Dog on the Chinese calendar?  Did you also know that your zodiac sign may be a dog if you happened to be born in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946 or 1934? And you’re in good company if you were. Other famous dogs include Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley and Steven Spielberg.

But whatever your zodiac sign, there’s one thing we can all agree on…our four-footed dogs rule and deserve to be celebrated every year. In celebration of this official Year of the Dog, here are 3 ideas for making 2018 awesome for your pup!

Learn a New Sport
There are a growing number of options for dogs to get active, agile and wet, while having a blast. Dock Diving is now the fastest growing sport for dogs in the country and it’s more accessible than ever nearby. Head up to The Dog Mall in Carver where they’ve got a top notch canine aquatic center available for public rental (they also offer lessons).  Not only will you have a blast, but you can show off your pup’s newly honed skills at this summer’s Paw Palooza dock dogs competition hosted by our very own Agway of Cape Cod’s Charitable Foundation!  Don’t worry if your pup prefers the land to the sea.  Landlubbers can check out the weekly agility classes held by The Cape Cod Kennel Club. They’ll also be showcasing their skills at Paw Palooza this July!

Get Certified
Therapy Dogs provide important emotional support to thousands of people on the Cape annually.  The Companion Animal Program in Pocasset makes over 5,000 visits each year to senior citizens, disabled individuals and children.  And they’re looking for more volunteers!  We realize that not every dog’s personality is suited for therapy work, but if you think your dog is a good candidate, consider CAP’s wonderful training program.  They work with owners and their dogs to transform you into a Therapy Team. Check out this sweet video to learn more about their program.

Make New Friends
Dogs are social so let them mix, mingle and make new friends. There are several dog parks located throughout the Cape, offering free, fenced-in areas for big dogs and little dogs (The Mashpee Dog Park even has a third area for senior dogs).  From the Pilgrim Bark Park in Provincetown to the Yarmouth Dog Park to the Falmouth Dog Park, there are parks the whole length of the peninsula.  We say why not make a game of visiting all of them?  It’s a great way to explore the Cape, romp off leash and make new friends (for both of you!).  And as a side note, if you’re wishing your town had a park of its own, here’s your chance to take the initiative.  Brewster residents, for example, have formed a committee and are working on developing a space – click here if you’d like to get involved.