50 bucket list ideas for dogs

Every dog has its day - or at least they should have 50 essential doggy must-dos under their collar in their lifetime. We've worked with TV vet Marc Abraham and Visit Britain to compile a "Bucket List" for our canine friends.

We spoke to vets, dog behaviour experts and dog owners across the UK, to compile the Bucket List and managed to detail a variety of experiences from the lavish (having a personal kennel), to the loving (appearing in the family portrait), to the more unusual (being a ring bearer at a wedding).

Janet Connor, former Managing Director at MORE TH>N said: “Being a responsible pet owner isn’t just about making sure your dog is fed the correct food and exercised regularly – it’s also about providing them with life experiences, having fun and sharing quality time with them. By unveiling the ‘Bucket List for Dogs’, we believe it will help pet owners strengthen the already solid bonds they have with their beloved pets.”


50 things a dog should do in its lifetime


1. Flop down in front of a roaring fire
2. Go for a swim in the sea    
3. Go mad in the snow
4. Do the ‘Beethoven shake’ and soak everyone around you    
5. Dig up a flower bed    
6. Have your own spot on the sofa
7. Accompany your owner on a run/cycle ride    
8. Attend a family picnic    
9. Help your owner bag a date
10. Cheer your owner up when they are down    
11. Visit a different continent    
12. Roll around in a really stinky, muddy puddle
13. Ruin a pair of slippers or shoes    
14. Sleep in your owner’s bed    
15. Wake your owner up with a big wet, stinky kiss
16. Chase a cat during a dream    
17. Learn another language (so you understand the word for ‘sit’ in at least two languages)    
18. Join in a football game in the park
19. Meet a famous dog    
20. Try your paws at dancing    
21. Learn to speak English (or at least convince your owner you can howl words)
22. Get filthy within 30 minutes of a bath    
23. Howl along to your favourite song    
24. Ride in an open top car
25. Learn to skateboard    
26. Have a personalised Christmas stocking    
27. Show the postman who’s boss
28. Try to follow a squirrel up a tree    
29. Be a ring bearer at a wedding    
30. Go to work with your owner
31. Have your own social media page (Facebook/Twitter)    
32. Bound through a forest    
33. Have a personalised Kennel
34. Go on a boat and get your sea legs    
35. Play Frisbee on the beach    
36. Receive your own birthday card
37. Steal someone’s lunch when they’re not looking    
38. Create a diversion and steal another dog’s dinner    
39. Watch an entire episode of ‘The Washing Machine’
40. Eat doggy ice cream    
41. Receive a doggy birthday cake    
42. Run a doggy marathon
43. Rip the stuffing out of a pillow or cushion    
44. Unwrap Birthday presents    
45. Watch Lassie on TV
46. Be in a family portrait    
47. Have a stand off with your own reflection    
48. Have a favourite local pub
49. Star in a YouTube video    
50. Sleep in a boutique dog hotel


Canine Experiences

Once we completed the list we set about asking dog owners which of the 50 things their pets have partaken.

7% of British dogs have completed the full Bucket List with the most common canine experiences including going mad in the snow (46.5%), going for a swim in the sea (39%) and ‘doing the Beethoven shake and soaking everyone around you’ (33%).


Regional Differences

Our in-land areas are home to the most quest-driven pups, as more dogs in the West Midlands have completed the list than any others (11%). East Anglian are close at their heels (10%), followed by canines in the Capital (9%).

Going some way to explaining why so many British dogs remain so un-enlightened, the new data also reveals why our pets might not have had the chance to carry out some of the exciting canine capers on our list.

Two reasons were cited more than any others - owners admitting to not thinking about doing such things with their dogs and claiming that they were ‘unaware of where, or how, to do them’.


Online Guide

With that in mind we've embarked on a crusade partnering with Visit England, Scotland and Wales to create an online guide that highlights the many dog-friendly places across the UK where the top 10 outdoor activities on the Bucket List can be fulfilled.


Marc Abraham

Talking about the campaign and the research findings, TV vet Marc Abraham said, “Make no mistake about it, we’re undoubtedly a nation of dog lovers but it seems a lot of owners have become stuck in a rut.

Taking our dogs on morning and evening walks during the week and out to a park at the weekend has become the crux of what we do. Understanding and appreciating the many different things you can do with your dog will greatly enrich both your four-legged friends, and you.”


(First published on 12/10/2012)

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