Getting outside with your beloved pooch means grabbing his or her leash and going out for a nice walk around the neighborhood. In addition to giving your four-legged friend some exercise and a chance to check “p-mail,” daily walks are a great way to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy.
But for dogs and their humans who love to get outside as much as possible, there are a wide variety of other fun activities that don’t involve grabbing a leash and a plastic bag to clean up any business transactions that might occur along the way. Consider the following:
Dogs of all sizes seem to enjoy learning agility courses. As Best Friends notes, agility involves owners guiding their dogs through obstacle courses that include Fido-friendly things like tunnels, slides, balance beams, hoops and much more. Depending on your schedule and the temperament of your dog, you can either join a local agility club and do it for fun, or you can even enter various competitions. While televised agility competitions are generally chock-full of border collies, pretty much any type of dog can get involved in the fun sport. In order to find an agility class in your area, just Google “dog agility” plus the name of your city or town.
Most dogs have a natural inclination to swim. While some dogs would rather lie in the sun at the edge of the pool and relax, the vast majority of them will happily dive right in and start dog paddling around. As Nylabone notes, swimming is also a terrific outdoor exercise for dogs because it is low impact; in many cases, even older pooches who have arthritis or hip dysplasia can get some much-needed exercise in a pool. If you have your own pool, invite your dog to join you for some lap swimming—just be sure to wash his or her fur off afterwards to remove as much of the chlorine as possible.
If you love going out on your ATV but hesitate leaving your dog home alone, it’s very possible that your four-legged friend will enjoy an ATV ride as much as you do. In order to make the ride as comfy as possible for your pooch, visit a gear store like MotoSport to purchase some aftermarket ATV accessories like a rack; this will allow you to modify your ATV so that your dog can ride with you as safely as possible. In many cases, dogs will readily hop up on a rear rack and happily cruise around with you on your property or a local dirt trail.
Exploring a beach
Dogs seem to have a natural affinity for sand and water. As Active notes, if you live near a sandy beach, by all means take Fido along as often as you can and let him or her run, sniff and explore. If you are on vacation and fortunate enough to have your dog with you, you can also enjoy some beach time activity during your time away from home.
While many national parks do not allow dogs on the trails, there are plenty of state parks that welcome hiking pooches. The Hike With Your Dog website will help you to find dog-friendly hiking trails that are close to home. To be on the safe side, bring along a K9 first aid kit, plastic poo bags and plenty of water for both of you.