Now that the weather is getting warmer, outdoor activities with your dog can consist of so much more than that daily walk around the neighborhood, or game of fetch in the backyard. Plus who doesn’t want an excuse to soak up some extra Vitamin D?
If you’re ready to explore some new forms of exercise with your dog, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about our favorite outdoor adventures you can share with your pooch.
Running with your dog is a great way for both of you to get your exercise while spending some quality time together. Before setting out on your run, make sure both you and your dog are of comparable fitness levels—a significant mismatch wouldn’t be very fun for either of you.
There are a few different factors to keep in mind when determining whether your dog would make a good running partner. For example: don’t take your puppy on a jog until he’s older, since his bones are still growing and developing; puppies shouldn’t be exercising more than 5-10 spurts at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, senior dogs may need to take a running rain check since it can be too hard on their joints.
If you’re not sure whether your furry pal should be your go-to jogging buddy, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet for a health assessment. Additionally, you can support your dog’s hip and joint health and encourage mobility with Pet Honesty’s Hemp Mobility Chews.
You don’t have to plan a rustic backpacking trip if you want to go hiking with your dog—the nearest nature trail or state park will suffice. Of course, check the trail or park regulations beforehand to see if dogs are allowed, and if so, be sure to follow all leash policies.
You’ll want to pack enough food and water for both you and your dog, especially if you’re going on a longer hike. Larger dogs can even carry their own supplies in a lightweight doggy backpack! Know your dog’s limits; for smaller dogs, this might mean bringing a special pack to carry your pup in case he gets too worn out to finish the hike on all fours.
Fido may not be able to join you on a bicycle built for two, but he may be thrilled to tag along while you go for a ride.
Biking with your dog requires some extra precautions, though. You’ll want to invest in a bicycle attachment for your dog, which prevents him from getting too far from you, or too close to the bike’s wheels. Don’t go too fast or far, either. Remember that it takes your dog a lot of effort to keep up with your wheels, so offer plenty of rest and breathing breaks.
Your dog isn’t able to tell you when he’s hit his limit, so you’ll have to pay attention to his body language. Keep an extra close eye on any signs of heatstroke, moving to the shade and offering water as often as needed.
Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise, which is especially nice for dogs with joint and mobility issues. It’s also a great way to keep your dog cool on a hot day while working multiple muscles at once.
Many dogs are natural swimmers, but some aren’t so thrilled about jumping in a pool. If you don’t have access to a lake or dog-friendly pool, or your dog isn’t quite interested in diving in, you can try some outdoor water games. For example, let your pooch run through the sprinkler in your yard, buy a kiddie pool to lounge and play, or put some toys in a bucket of water for some splashing fun.
If you live near an ocean, be aware of any potential hazards (such as jellyfish and riptides) before letting your dog into the water.
Dog parks are a great way for your dog (and you!) to socialize. They also provide plenty of space to play and exercise. If your dog isn’t used to being around other animals, you may need to take some time to help him acclimate to a new social situation before jumping right in.
Preparing your pup for a trip to the dog park includes making sure it’s a safe, well-maintained park, slowly acclimating your dog to his surroundings while he stays on a leash, and keeping an eye out for any signs of stress.
There are practically endless options when it comes to getting outside and active with your dog. You could also take your dog camping, spruce up your typical game of fetch by using a frisbee or boomerang, or even creating your own backyard agility course. If the weather isn’t cooperating or seasonal allergies are feeling unbearable, there are also plenty of ways to wear your dog out without leaving the house.
Regardless of your dog’s activity levels, you can help to support your dog’s joint function and overall health with Pet Honesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin Chews.