7 Outdoor Activities for Your Dog
Fresh air, the calming sounds of nature, and your furry friend by your side—what could be better? Exercise is not only an essential part of your dog’s mental and physical health, but it can also be an opportunity to strengthen your bond. Check out these seven outdoor activities for you and your dog to try together.
#1: Visit a Dog Park
Whether you're an urban dweller with limited access to open space or you just want to introduce your pooch to some new friends, a dog park is a great option for allowing your dog to safely roam and interact with other pups. Some dog parks may even offer agility courses, which can be a fun thing to do with your dog.
Here are some tips to know before heading to the dog park:
- Make sure your dog is healthy, current on all vaccinations, and has any licenses required.
- Always keep an eye on your pup inside the park.
- If your dog displays inappropriate behavior such as aggressively playing, jumping on people, or excessive barking, you should try walking your dog outside of the park until they calm down.
- Use your best judgment when it comes to other dogs. If you or your dog feel uncomfortable with another dog in the park, leave.
- Clean up after your dog! Some parks will provide dog poop bags, but it’s best to come prepared with them anyway.
Visit our Dog Park Finder to easily find parks close to you!
#2: Play Fetch
The game of fetch not only helps your pup get much-needed exercise, but you can also use it to practice important training habits! Throw your dog’s favorite fetch toy and encourage them to return it to you with a phrase like “come here.” Each time your furry friend succeeds, reward them with a treat or verbal praise. This will help reinforce their command recall as they begin to associate words with actions, which is especially important if you play fetch in an open area outdoors.
#3: Bike with Your Dog
Active dog breeds require lots of exercise to get their fix—and biking might just be the activity for that! There are specially designed bicycle attachments that connect to your pup’s harness, which allow them to safely jog by your bike’s side. It may take a few sessions for your dog to get the hang of it and will require a lot of discipline for you both to stay safe. Just be sure to take frequent breaks, and don’t go too fast or too far.
#4: Go Camping
Taking your pooch on a camping trip is an excellent outdoor dog activity for those looking for some extra-special bonding time. Before going camping with your dog, be sure to search for a dog-friendly site. Not only will this ensure a safer experience, but you might also make some other canine friends along the way! At the end of a long day, there’s nothing quite like enjoying the sights and sounds of nature with your best friend by your side.
#5: Go for a Hike
Adventures in the great outdoors are one of the more fun things to do with your dog! With different types of terrain and maybe even some critters roaming around, hiking is sure to keep your dog’s senses occupied. Whether hiking in your local area or taking a trip to a dog-friendly national park, it is a good idea to map out the trail beforehand. Pack plenty of water, snacks, and extra treats for your pup and enjoy the beautiful views nature provides!
#6: Take a Dip
Swimming is an excellent low-impact outdoor activity for dogs who may be older or suffer from joint pain. It can also help cool down your pup in the summer heat. To slowly introduce your pooch to the water, throw a floating dog toy into the water and encourage them to fetch it. Toss the toy a bit farther each time until your pup gets comfortable. Soon enough, they won’t want to come out of the water!
If you opt for a beach trip, be sure to stay close to shallow water and use a dog life vest. Check out our tips on dog swimming safety before diving in.
#7: Take a Walk
There’s nothing quite like going on a classic walk! Outdoor dog activities don’t have to be high intensity to be effective; a simple walk can be just as beneficial for your pup’s health. Get equipped with your dog’s leash, harness, & poop bags and enjoy your time together. Teaching your dog to walk on a leash may take some practice, but it’s an essential skill for all the journeys you’ll have together.
Once your plan is set and you’ve prepped all your gear, let the fun begin! Be sure to take lots of breaks no matter which activity you decide to do and reward your furry friend with their favorite dog treats. Don’t forget that rest is just as important as any of these outdoor activities for dogs!
Need to keep your furry friend busy on a rainy day? Check out these dog exercise ideas to try at home.