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Outdoor Activities for your Dog and You

Just like us, humans, dogs need a daily dose of activities not only to keep them busy but also healthy. There are so many outdoor activities for your dog that you can also immerse yourself into them so both of you can stay active and healthy. Plus, it’s also a great bonding experience for you and your loyal companion, too!

Owner and dog engaging in exercise

Active lifestyle together with your dog provides several benefits to your (and their) physical and mental health. It reduces the risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in maintaining blood pressure, promotes bone and muscle strength, and lower risk of obesity. Moreover, it can also help in managing stress, depression and anxiety. 

 

Since dogs are like humans, they can also suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety, it is important to eliminate their boredom and keep them physically active. Activities (like exercise, for example) produce serotonin (a neurotransmitter in the brain known for its “happy” chemical), which can prevent depression. 

What’s one way to produce it? Performing outdoor activities with you. In this article, we will provide a list of outdoor activities that you can do with your dog that will benefit you both. We will also cover the benefits of keeping your dog physically active. 

Importance of Keeping your Dog Active through Outdoor Activities:

Before proceeding to the main list, let us see the benefits that our dogs can gain by engaging in outside activities. Not only will it enhance the bond between you and your dog, keeping your dog active will not only benefit your dog, it can also benefit your health as well! 

  1. It lowers the risk of obesity.
  2. It can help in eliminating behavioral problems like excessive barking, licking and other anxiety-related problems.
  3. It keeps your dog healthy and fit.
  4. It promotes good heart health, bone strength and better blood pressure.
  5. Just like humans, dogs can experience depression too so keeping them active can lower the risk of depression.

Outdoor Activities with your Dog that You Might Enjoy as well:

  1. Walking:

    It doesn’t really matter where you walk, as long as it’s a safe place for you both, but allows you to make the most out of your minimal effort!  Walking sounds like a pretty simple activity that you can do with your dog outside, yet it provides plenty of benefits such as lower blood pressure, enhanced cardiovascular fitness and improved muscle and bone strength.

    DON’T FORGET TO PUT YOUR FACE MASK(S) ON!

    A dog being taken on a walk

  2. Play fetch in your backyard:

    Since we’re still living in a pandemic, we need to limit human contact as much as possible. Nonetheless, you can still have fun and do outdoor activities with your dog in your very own backyard! Playing fetch does not just help in improving their physical health and strength, it can also stimulate their brain. Moreover, this stimulating activity can also improve your dog’s focus and discipline.
    Golden retriever playing fetch

  3. Biking:
    If you want to go for something different, biking on a safe route is a great activity for you and your dog. As long as you have a leash and the gear to keep your dog safe, specifically made for biking (such as a hands-free leash), then you’re good to go. It’s one of the activities that will surely keep your dog engaged in the moment with their full energy on. 

    Remember to stay at a pace that your dog can keep up with to keep them safe. To know more about biking safety with your dog, check out our other article that you can click here.
    Race dogs with owners bicycling

  4. Swimming:
    This activity can be great for your dog’s physical health as it can improve their muscular strength and endurance, as well as release extra energy, although you still need to consult your veterinarian first before doing this activity with your dog. Moreover, though it is okay for dogs to swim in chlorinated pools, it is not recommended for them to swim in the ocean since swallowing salt water can cause diarrhea.
    A dog swimming in a pool

  5. Agility training:
    If you want to have a little adventure in your backyard, set up a training camp that can test you and your dog’s agility by putting an obstacle course composed of objects like jump hurdles, training cones, hula hoops and weave poles. You can be creative when creating this course so it’s definitely customizable. Simply make sure that the objects that you’ll use are safe for your dog.

    Agility training does not only help in improving one’s ability to move quickly, but it can also promote one’s flexibility and body awareness. This activity is also a great opportunity to teach your dog new tricks which can improve their focus and obedience.

    A dog undergoing agility training

  6. Scent Work Activity:
    Test your dog’s sense of smell with this fun, rewarding sniffing game. This is not only an engaging way to bond with your dog, it can also stimulate their brain by using a large portion of their senses, particularly their olfactory sense. This can be a tiring activity, so remember to take breaks and reward them with treats. 
    Dog sniffing in the backyard

  7. Jogging:
    If you wanna go faster than a walk and slower than a bike, jogging around your neighborhood is another fun outdoor activity with your dog that you can do, especially in the morning. This can help in boosting metabolism, burning calories and improving your bone and muscular health. Moreover, a quick jog (especially in the morning) can also give you a good dose of sunshine vitamin (vitamin D).

    Young woman running on bridge with dog

Safety Tips to Remember when Doing Outdoor Activities with your Dog:

We all want a danger-free outdoor fun activity so consider following these tips to make sure that both you and your furry buddy are safe.

  1. Don’t forget to wear your face mask/face shield when going outside now that we’re living in a pandemic.
  2. Consider the day’s weather.
  3. Make sure to bring along treats and water.
  4. Allow your dog (and yourself) to take breaks at intervals.
  5. Make sure that you and your dog are in good physical condition before proceeding to do some activities outside.
  6. Ask your veterinarian if your pup is fit for the activity you’re considering.
  7. Be alert and watchful of your dog.