Outdoor Activities for Dogs – 10 Fun Ways to Exercise Your Dog
Let’s dive in.
I always enjoyed walking my dog, especially where we live, as he and I witness all four seasons. We see autumn’s red, gold, and orange leaves embellish the sky and scatter the ground.
We see winter’s pure, white snow blanket leafless trees and lawns. And, we see spring and summer’s birds and brilliantly colored flowers. Yup, it’s always beautiful.
But, just walking around, even past all that splendid beauty, well… It’s boring. Really. No matter how many times the seasons change, it’s still the same neighborhood.
The same people. Same houses. Same smells and the same dog exercise pen. Not any more! I started bringing my mobile phone along for entertainment. That’s so rude. My dog never complained, but he, at least, had manners.
So, what was I to do?
I couldn’t just let him out into my yard. Yards do not satisfy a dog’s exercise needs. Most dogs spend yard time waiting for their owners to let them back into the house.
No matter what, I had to make sure my dog got proper exercise. Dogs need exercise for their physical and mental health. It burns their energy and stimulates them.
A lack of exercise bores and frustrates a dog and he could reveal his feelings through destructive behaviors. He might dig holes, shred furniture and pillows, bark incessantly, raid the trashcan, and chew on shoes.
Proper exercise remedies these behaviors quickly.
Making sure my dog got proper exercise would also be good for me. Studies show that dog owners were more likely to get exercise than those who did not own dogs.
The idea of having fun!
Yes, have fun! That’s exactly what I did. I found fun ways to exercise my dog. Dogs love having fun. Their liveliness and love of life is infectious.
They’re always in the mood to go out, they never complain, they never say no, they never cancel plans, and they’ll follow you everywhere.
All in all, it’s the bond you share with your dog that makes whatever you do special. So, go out and have a blast with your buddy!
Ten Fun Ways to Exercise Your Dog Outdoors
So here are ten great dog outdoor activities:
#1 Go For A Run: If you like running or jogging, your dog is the perfect partner. He can help you maintain your stamina and won’t care if it’s cold or drizzling.
Most dogs love running with their humans. Just be mindful of humidity and heat, as dogs don’t sweat like we do and bring water for him to drink.
Flat nosed dogs, such as pugs and certain terriers may also have breathing issues.
You can purchase special leashes that allow you to run with your dog on Amazon. Some are retractable, come in various lengths and materials, and some offer hands-free options.
Here’s a website that provides guidelines for running with your dog.
#2 Get Involved With Fly Ball: This is a competitive dog sport, very similar to a relay race. There are more than four hundred active clubs, over six thousand competing dogs, and three hundred tournaments every year.
The dogs begin by stepping onto a box containing tennis balls. They take the balls into their mouth and then sprint down a course and jump over the hurdles. Then, the next dog takes his turn.
Books and accessories are available on Amazon. Here’s the website to the North American Fly-ball Association.
#3 Cross Country Skiing: Don’t let the cold weather stop you from going outside. Most dogs don’t mind the cold, especially St. Bernard’s and Huskies.
Go cross country skiing and take your dog with you. It’s a fantastic workout for both of you. The best part is afterwards, when you get to cuddle by the fireplace.
Check Amazon for leashes and booties that can keep your dog’s paws warm and snow free. See Ultra Paws and Ruffwear. The booties are also good for winter outings.
#4 Paddle Boarding: Dogs love riding on the front of paddle boards while their owners stand behind them and row. If you’re not very good at paddle boarding or just starting, you could kneel on the board.
Your dog actually helps you balance. You should, however, expect to fall into the water. Experts recommend a dog life preserver. Such helps your dog and makes it easier for you to put him back on the board. Some even have handles.
Paddle boards and doggie life vests are available through amazon.
#5 Go Swimming: Swimming is a fabulous, low impact activity that improves both your and your dog’s stamina. It’s also great for dogs suffering with joint pain.
Experts recommend remaining in waist deep water so that you can easily lift a potentially tired or frightened dog. You could also purchase a dog life preserver from Amazon.
As mentioned previously, some come with handles.
#6 Use Fetch Toys: This traditional game can be played anytime, anywhere and, of course, it’s terrific exercise. There are lots of fetch toys you can purchase at a pet store or Amazon, but you can also use a Frisbees or tennis ball.
Test your dog’s agility by throwing the object farther away each time. Also play hide and seek with the object by first letting your dog smell it, and then hide it. See how well he finds it.
#7 Play Basketball: Take your dog to the playground and play basketball. He’ll have a great time chasing after you and the ball and no one will know whether or not you sink any shots.
Both of you will get a great workout and have a wonderful time enjoying one another.
#8 Teach Commands: Teach your dog to shake hands, roll over, play dead, bow, etc. This especially stimulates and exercises his brain. Teach him to react to hand signals in addition to your vocal commands.
Here are websites that explain how to teach commands:
#9 Do Doga: Doga is Dog Yoga. Suzi Teitelman created Doga in 2001 after her dog began retrieving her yoga mat. There are poses you can do that involve massages, relaxing, stretches, and bonding with any dog. Here is the Doga’s website.
#10 Agility Training: There are dog agility training centers that are growing more and more popular across the country. It takes your dog through a timed obstacle course and helps you use body language to communicate with him.
A basic Internet search will locate classes in your area. You can also purchase a Dog obstacle / agility course and training materials from Amazon and go outside and practice going through tunnels and jumping over and around hurdles.
You’ll have so much fun doing these activities with your dog, you’ll forget you’re exercising. You’ll also strengthen the already close bond you shared.
Additional Resources on Dog Outdoor Activities:
- This website discusses how much exercise a dog needs and also provides a graph showing the actual amount of exercise certain breeds require.
- You should still consult with your veterinarian to find out how much exercise your dog requires and have your dog examined for any potential health concerns.
- This website reviews must-have gadgets for exercising with your dog, such as leashes and water bottles.
- How to exercise your dog indoors?
- How to buy the best dog exercise ball?
Take me back to Dog Exercise Page for more resources.
(1) A Complete Guide to Dog Eye Care – it is a comprehensive guide for dog eye care.
(2) Take your dog out door with the best dog stroller – You can go for a walk or a jog and you don’t have to leave your dog home alone anymore.