Outdoor Activities with Your Dog

With the weather turning warmer and the days growing longer, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! There’s tons of ways to include your dog in outdoor activities, but here’s a couple ideas to start with:

  1. Biking – Many dogs would love to tag along during a bike ride. With the proper training, yours can too! You can buy bicycle attachments that aid in preventing your dog from running too close and getting hurt. Remember to keep in mind your dog’s stamina as well as your own and not overdo it. Dogs, like us, need to build up the proper stamina and conditioning over time.
  2. Camping – Camping is great activity to include your dog in. Be sure to find a campground that is dog friendly and make the appropriate arrangements. You can even buy special “dog tents”. Don’t forget any of the essentials such as a crate, collar and leash, and food and fresh water.
  3. Fetch – Most dogs love a good game of fetch! Playing fetch actually has been benefits. Not only does it burn off some energy, but playing fetch with your dog also strengthens your bond and makes returning to you enjoyable (because you’re going to keep playing)!
  4. Jogging – If you’re the athletic type, jogging is a great way to exercise your dog too! Just as with biking, keep in mind that your dog might need conditioned to jogging long periods of time or distances.  It’s important your dog has a solid heel and can maintain your pace without falling behind or pulling ahead. Once you’ve gotten your rhythm down, you can even invest in a hands free leash to make things even easier.
  5. Swimming – One of the great things about swimming as exercise is that it’s low impact, so it doesn’t stress the joints of older or arthritic animals. Not all dogs are natural swimmers, but most can learn. If your dog is unsure about the water, just take it slow and don’t force him in. Try filling a kiddie pool at first!
  6. Walking and Hiking – Walking is good for you and your dog! If you’re a hiker, consider getting a lightweight backpack for your dog to carry food and water in. Remember to keep your dog on leash in public areas where leashes are required and until you have a solid recall. The benefits of walking and hiking together are unbeatable!

While adventuring outdoors always keep in mind that dog’s suffer from the heat more than we do. Always be mindful of the temperature and your dog’s level of exhaustion. It’s also never a bad idea to consult a veterinarian before beginning any new activities with your dog, especially if he wasn’t previously very active.  Safety first!

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