The best outdoor activities for your dog will be based on a lot of things. Like you, different dogs have different preferences, different physical abilities, and so forth. But spring is in the air – so regardless of these things, it’s a great time to #GrabTheLeash and get outdoors with your furry friend.
There are a lot of benefits to your dog to getting outside, including A) Behavioral – it maintains housetraining and helps them burn off excess energy that could lead to behavioral problems; B) Physical – indoors or out, physical activity will help maintain weight, build muscle, and keep joints and bowels healthy; C) Intellectual – you can work on obedience/focus when outdoor distractions are present; D) Psychological/Social – socialize your dog with other people, dogs and animals outside of your family.
The best outdoor activities for your dog include:
Take a walk
Walks are a great, low-impact way to enjoy time outside with your dog. Not only will it get both of you some exercise, but it can be an opportunity to explore new parts of town. Make sure to obey leash laws, and always clean up after your dog.
Go to a dog park
Dog parks are a great place for your dog to run and play off-leash. There will be ample opportunity to meet other dogs, and run and play in a pack – a deep biological driver for dogs. Keep a close eye on your dog and on others, to make sure they’re getting along well and, of course, always clean up your dog’s messes.
Dog and owner alike can get a lot of enjoyment from a good old-fashioned game of fetch. It reinforces the trust between you two (trust that you will throw the toy, trust that pup will bring it back), strengthening your bond, and it taps into dogs’ instinct to hunt and retrieve.
Go on a hike
If you have access to outdoor spaces, take your dog with for a little “off-roading.” Be aware that when you leave the pavement there are more dangers – like insects, sharp objects and protruding rocks. Like your neighborhood walk – always observe leash laws, and clean up after your dog.
More and more communities offer dog agility amenities, which are perfect for highly intelligent and highly active breeds. These challenging workouts will engage your dog physically and intellectually, and can help prevent destruction at home from boredom or separation anxiety.
A lot of dogs love to play in the water. Once it warms up enough, find a dog-friendly lake, river or stream and play a wet-n-wild version of fetch. Be sure dogs are indeed allowed in the water, and pay close attention for cramping or other hinderances to their swimming.
Whatever your or your pet’s preference, now’s the time to #GrabTheLeash and get outside – and show us what you’re up to by tagging your social posts with #GrabTheLeash. If your dog needs some help getting out, check out Therabis, hemp wellness for your dog – Calm and Quiet to help demeanor around other dogs; Stop the Itchto ease skin problems; and Up and Moving to maintain joint health.