10 Outdoor Activities You Can Enjoy with Your Dog

If you're a dog lover, you know there's nothing quite like spending quality time with your furry friend outdoors. Whether it's a sunny afternoon or a crisp morning, the world offers plenty of opportunities for both you and your dog to stay active, entertained, and healthy. Here are ten outdoor activities that you can include your dog in, ensuring fun and fitness for both of you.
hiking with a dog

1. Hiking

Hiking is a fantastic way to explore nature and get some exercise. Many trails are dog-friendly and provide a great environment for both you and your dog to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Just make sure to check the trail regulations, bring plenty of water, and keep your dog leashed if required.

There are some concerns about leash use in the mountains. On one hand, it's better for your dog to roam freely, especially on sketchy trails where there is a possibility of one of you slipping and pulling the other down. On the other hand, it is important to leash your dog around possible cattle and in areas where there are bear warnings. Keep that in mind when when hiking with your dog.

running with a dog

2. Running

If you're a runner, why not take your dog along? Running is an excellent way for dogs to burn off energy, and it helps strengthen the bond between you.

Start with short distances to build up your dog's stamina, and ensure you run on safe, dog-friendly routes. Running with your dog also requires more frequent stops, as not all dog breeds are made to run long distances. Make sure your dog is not galloping the whole time to protect their hips and shoulders.

dog on the beach

3. Beach Day

Many beaches allow dogs, either during specific hours or in designated areas. A day at the beach can include activities like swimming, playing fetch with a frisbee, or just lounging on the coast. Remember to bring fresh water and a shady spot to rest, as well as to check the beach's specific pet policies.

agility training dog

4. Agility Training

Setting up an agility course in your backyard or finding a local dog park with agility equipment can be a fun way to challenge your dog physically and mentally. Agility training can include jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more, providing an excellent workout and mental stimulation for your dog.

camping with a dog

5. Camping

Camping is a wonderful way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy nature. Your dog will love the new sights, smells, and experiences. Ensure you pack all the essentials for your dog, including food, water, bedding, and a first-aid kit, and always follow the campground's rules regarding pets.

SUP with a dog

6. Kayaking, Canoeing or standup paddling

For water-loving dogs, kayaking or canoeing can be an exciting adventure. Many dogs take to the water naturally and enjoy the tranquility of a ride on a lake or calm river. Ensure your dog wears a life jacket and is comfortable on the water before setting out.

picnic with a dog

7. Picnicking

A simple picnic can be a delightful way to spend an afternoon with your dog. Find a dog-friendly park, pack a picnic basket with treats for both you and your pet, and enjoy a relaxing time together. Bring along toys and maybe even a blanket for your dog to lounge on.

dog park

8. Visiting a Dog Park

Dog parks are fantastic places for your dog to socialize and play. They offer a safe environment where dogs can run freely, play with other dogs, and engage in activities like fetching or tug-of-war. Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and is well-behaved around other dogs.

outdoor training session with a dog

9. Outdoor Training Sessions

Training your dog doesn't have to be confined to your living room. Take your training sessions outside where there are more distractions. This can help your dog learn to focus better. Practice commands like sit, stay, and recall in a park or your backyard.

mountain biking with a dog

10. Biking

For the more adventurous, riding a bike or mountain biking is a great way for both of you to get some wind in your hair and adrenaline pumping. Be sure to start slowly so your dog can get accustomed to running next to a bike. Use a leash and an Ypsilon harness for this activity to ensure proper support and avoid damaging the shoulders and neck/spine. In mountains, your dog should be free and not jumping in front of your wheels. The dog should be well trained in recall. 

Always plan a shorter bike ride than you would for yourself and never push your dog to their limit. Make plenty of breaks along the way and provide your dog with water. Dogs aren't made for marathons; in nature, they have bursts of explosive energy followed by rest. Ensure your dog is mostly running at a trot, not galloping. Prolonged galloping can harm your dog's hips.

Tips for Outdoor Activities with Your Dog

- Hydration: Always carry plenty of water for both you and your dog.

- Treats: You should always bring tasty treats on your outdoor adventures. Rewarding good behavior with something not just delicious but also healthy, is a level up.

- Leash and Harness: Use a sturdy leash, Ypsilon shaped harness is preferable to prevent shoulder damage.

- Clean Up: Be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your dog.

- Weather Considerations: Avoid the hottest part of the day and be mindful of the weather conditions.

- Health Check: Ensure your dog is in good health and up to date on vaccinations before engaging in strenuous activities.

- Paw care: Check their paws for possible injuries from rough terrain. When possible, avoid the rough terrain and hot asphalt. You can protect them with dog shoes and nurture their paws with balms. Check out our DIY paw balm recipe.

By incorporating these activities into your routine, you can ensure that your dog remains happy, healthy, and well-exercised. Plus, you'll both get to enjoy the great outdoors together!