You like to get active, and your dog needs to be tired out. Why not make your training buddy your four-legged friend? Here are our top 10 ways to get active with your dog!
- Fetch with a Twist
When in doubt, grab a tennis ball. Fetch is the easiest way to tire out your dog, but all you end up with is a tired throwing arm! During the precious time you stand there waiting for your dog to return, you could be getting your own active benefits. Throw the ball and immediately hold a plank, do some squats, throw in some pushups, whatever you want – but don’t stop until your pup has returned! You can adapt to your exercise level — throw shorter for fewer reps, throw further for more reps.
- Ball Sports
The dog exercise doesn’t stop with tennis balls; have you ever introduced your dog to a football or soccer ball? Many active dogs can actually dribble a soccer ball, so you can chase each other around and pass your pup a ball! If you or someone in your family is a soccer star, you can actually train your pup to play soccer. Wow, pups are so talented!!
- Run, Puppy, Run!
If you have a very active dog, get them running! If you’re not sure either of you is ready for that, then start with running around the backyard. Grab a collar, harness, and a reliable leash, and move on to longer runs when you’re both ready. Before you know it, you’ll be entering a Doggy 5k!
Your dog wants to run, but maybe you need a break. Grab a sturdy harness, hop on your bike, and have your dog run next to you! What’s great about biking is you can go farther with less effort, which takes dog exercise to the next level. Just make sure you choose a safe bike path or road, so that you can have fun without any worry.
- Long Walks
Maybe your pup is too old or too little to sustain a long run – that’s okay! Long walks can give both you and your dog the exercise you need, without too much impact on your joints and body. A walk around the neighborhood is also a great place to show off a new, snazzy collar. If you have a smaller dog, don’t worry about walking too far. If they get tired, it’s an extra work out for you to carry them home! Your pup is your weight training!
Want a long walk with a view? Find a hiking trail near you, where your pup can stop and smell the flowers, splash in a trail-side creek, and you both can get some miles in. Make sure you research the trail, are aware of any poisonous plants along the route, and bring lots of water! You can find more puppy hike tips here.
- Beach Day
Sun, surf, and socializing with other dogs. Dog beaches are the best. Bring extra towels, sunscreen, a harness or collar, and a leash. You can catch a tan while your dog scampers around with other pups through some waves and up some dunes! Your dog will never sleep better than after a day at the dog beach! Here’s a tip: if your dog is just about ready for a bath or groom, take your dog to the dog beach right before. You’ll have to wash them either way, may as well be at their dirtiest. Plus, they’ll be sleepy enough to let you wash behind those fluffy ears!
Swimming can have so many benefits for dogs, especially those prone to early-onset arthritis. Grab a kayak and head to a local lake, so you can not only keep an eye on your dog as they get in their laps, but you can hoist your dog up into the kayak with you when they need a break. It also provides some resistance training for your kayak paddling to work your arms and shoulders!
- Obstacle Course
Put puppy obedience to the test with an obstacle course. Your dog’s training will sharpen, and they’ll get their exercise in when they jump, sprint, and maneuver their way to the finish line. Want to be the neighborhood hero? When you build an obstacle course in your backyard, invite your dog-owner neighbors over to test their own dog’s skills and tire their pups out! Have some friendly competition, or use it for a dog birthday party!
- Hide & Seek
If the weather is gloomy, but your pup needs their exercise, create a hide and seek game built for your pup! Choose some treats or their favorite toys, and tease them a little bit to get them excited to look for it. Have someone hold your pup while you hide the treat or toy, so they know it’s somewhere in the house. Then, release the pup! Your dog will run through the house with their sniffer to find their prize.
Need a Partner?
If you’re looking to get active and need a fluffy partner, then head over to a pet shelter! Many shelters are looking for volunteers to give their pups some dog exercise. Go for a long walk or run in the park and make sure the people you pass during your exercise know the dogs are available for adoption, and where to adopt them!