As the weather heats up, many of us are taking to the outdoors to exercise. Exercising outdoors is great to switch up the scenery, take in some fresh air and get your dose of Vitamin D. What is even better is that you can often bring your furry friend along with you. Read on to find out which doggy-friendly outdoor activities you can get involved in this summer.
Running is free and super accessible for many people. If your dog is up for it, they can run alongside you. Dogs are creatures of habit, and once this becomes more of a routine they probably won’t let you skip your morning run, which can help whenever you need a motivation boost. Make sure to reward your furry friend post run with a healthy natural dog treat. Make sure to reward yourself too (you’ve earned it).
Like running, hiking is also great for your cardiovascular health. The variance in inclines and terrain provides a challenge which will lift your heart rate, and allow you to use your strength as well. Many hiking trails are dog friendly, so you can bring your furry pal along with you. They will love exploring all the new sights and smells, and it will get their daily exercise in too.
If you have a water-loving pooch, why not take them kayaking with you? You will get a fantastic arm workout, and your dog can keep you company. You can even let your dog paddle alongside you if they want to swim. Just try to stick to sheltered inlets and slow moving rivers with little boat traffic. Make sure to practice in shallow waters first and teach your dog how to get in and out of the kayak before you head out.
Does your doggo have tons of energy? Cycling may be the perfect activity for you and your dog. You can cover longer distances while cycling, which is perfect for your high-energy pooch. Cycling is great for your cardio fitness, as well as building leg muscle.
If you have a doggo which loves fetch, playing frisbee is a great way to bond with them all whilst both getting your exercise in. Playing frisbee can also help with your cardio fitness and agility.
Climbing stairs is fantastic for your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Not only does it offer a cardio workout, but it works your leg muscles hard as well. If your dog is up to the challenge, bring them along for a high intensity workout sesh.
Dog Yoga – Also Known as ‘Doga’
Yoga is a low intensity exercise which is fantastic for improved strength and flexibility as well as having stress reduction benefits. Both yoga lovers and dog lovers rejoice… your dog can get in on the zen action too. Doga is a series of modified yoga poses which include your dog. These range from using your pup’s weight for balance, to stretches where your furry friend will get tons of pats. It is a great endorphin boosting and bonding activity.
Hit the Dog Beach
When the weather heats up, the beach is the perfect place to cool down and chill out. Walking or jogging on sand is certainly more difficult than on pavement, and will give you a great workout. Your dog can jog alongside you, or enjoy a dip in the ocean.
On a hot day, many dogs will happily jump in the pool with you while you do a few laps. Swimming is great for building endurance and lean muscle, and is low impact, making it softer on the joints. Dog breeds such as poodles, retrievers, spaniels and border collies typically love the water – but swimming is favoured by many breeds. For added safety, pop your pooch in a doggy life jacket. Make sure to reward them with a tasty treat after, such as beef jerky for dogs.
Doggy Agility Course
If you are looking for a more intense workout for you and your dog, and want to expand your doggie’s skills – look no further than a dog agility course. Your dog will be able to practice running through tunnels, weaving through poles and jumping over bars, all whilst improving on their fitness and coordination at the same time. You will also get quite the workout yourself simply from trying to keep up with them. Keep some training dog treats on hand to keep your dog motivated, and you will be good to go. Reach out to your local agility training club to find out more.
Just Get Moving
Hopefully this list of activities gets you inspired not only to workout, but to spend some quality time with your doggo as well. Being a good dog owner means keeping your dog healthy and making sure they get enough exercise. In saying this, the same rule applies to us humans too – so why not kill two birds with one stone and exercise together? It is a lot more fun, as you can bond with your furry pal and burn some calories at the same time. Win-win!