5 Fun Outdoor Activities with Your Dog

Guest Blog Contributor – David, Stand Up Paddle Boards Review

Dog having fun in water

Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

Regardless of how much time you spend with your dog, it will never be enough; it is called man’s best friend for a reason. Also, even more than people, dogs need to work out regularly especially after spending a lot of time gaining extra pounds indoors during winter.

A regular walk would do but spicing things up for both of you is far much better, don’t you think? In this article, you will learn fantastic outdoor activities that you can do with your dog and make memories that you will both keep forever. (Well, the dog might not remember, but that is not the point here).

  1. Go to a Dog Park

If your dog is active and playful, there is no better place to take him than to the local dog park. He will have all the space he needs to run around. In addition to exercising, your dog will interact with other dogs and make dog friends. It is said that dog parks can alleviate behavior problems and reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters.

As a good dog owner, be responsible in the park; at the very least, make sure your dog understands necessary commands like sit, come and stay and clean after him. Take these points into consideration;

  • Your dog should be healthy, current on vaccinations and have all necessary licenses.
  • You should not bring more dogs than you can handle.
  • Do not let your dog involve himself in inappropriate behaviors like jumping on people, bullying, aggressive playing or extreme barking.
  • If another dog makes you or your dog uncomfortable, just leave.
  • Do not take a female dog in heat to the park. An intact male should be social and non-aggressive.

  1. Play Fetch

Dogs get bored too, and they don’t like it. When your dog is bored you will know; he will not tell you but you will probably catch him chewing your couch away or digging holes in the backyard. Fetch is a classic game and a favorite for many dogs (although you may find that some breeds like hounds are never too excited about it (too proud to fetch maybe?).

Fetch is important in three significant ways; it is an exercise for your dog, it makes the bond between the two of you stronger, and it teaches him to always return to you.

To make the activity more fun, use a tennis racquet or a Frisbee for the object to go further. A dog’s strongest sense is his smell so make sure he gets a good whiff of the object before throwing. You, and not your dog, should be in charge; controlling the intensity and length of the play.

  1. Take Your Dog Stand Up Paddleboarding

Don’t you just feel bad when you go paddle boarding with the rest of the family and leave your dog behind? There is no reason to do that anymore because you can now enjoy this amazing sport with your canine pal. Once you teach your dog to stand up paddle board, he can spend quality time with the rest of the family in the water. He will love it so much; you will have a hard time getting him to leave the water.

Make sure you train him early and adhere to all safety precautions to avoid any accidents. Some dogs learn fast while others will need a little more time. Be patient and let your dog learn to a point where you are both confident. As you teach him, be very keen on his body language and know when it is time to end the training for the day. Do not push him.

  1. Swim with Your Dog

Swimming is a great exercise to help your dog stay fit. It works many muscles simultaneously, and it is good for arthritic and older animals because, being low impact, it will not stress their joints. Most dogs enjoy their time in the water, and it would be unfair to deny your friend this activity.

That said some dogs are natural swimmers while others are not, so teaching your dog to swim may be a good bonding opportunity. If you do not have a private pool, invest in a kiddy pool or find a dog-friendly lake/pool. Dogs have no problem with chlorinated water, as long as you supervise them.

  1. Take a Hike Together

Add a little excitement and challenge to your dog’s daily walk by taking him hiking. Identify a dog-friendly park first, since not all parks allow dogs. Many trails and outdoor parks have strict rules on where you can take your canine friend both on and off-leash.

Find out which plants can harm your dogs, just to stay safe. Also, carry a first aid kit and water. Dogs have tender paws, avoid rough terrain and keep checking on him.

Safety Tips

Stay hydrated: Do not expect your dog to sweat all over like you do. He will only sweat a little through his paws and pant. Carry water and let him enjoy some shade now and then.

Do not overdo it: the excitement may be a lot, but you should both stop and rest occasionally.

Know dog first-aid and CPR: the thought of your dog getting injured is painful. But a lot of things can happen, and you may want to be prepared when they do.

Check with the veterinarian first: let your dog get an exam to clear him for any activity you want to undertake.

Nothing compares to being able to have some amazing outdoor-time with your dog. He does not have to feel left out whenever you have a family activity when there are so many exercises that he can take part in. The next time you are feeling active (or bored), take your dog outside and enjoy swimming, hiking, standup paddle boarding, a game of fetch or a good time in the dog park. As long as you take all the safety precautions, you are good to go. From now on, if your dog is bored and moody, that’s on you.