13 Ways to Incorporate Your Dog Into Outdoor Activities
By Judith Aleguen | Updated on Mar 21, 2023
Dogs love spending time outdoors, and including them in outdoor activities is a great way to bond! There are so many benefits to having outdoor activities, but you need to be prepared!
So let's dive into 13 excellent ways to do just that!
Take your dog on a scenic hike through a nature or mountain trail.
This is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors together and have a bonding experience that benefits your health.
Here’s how you can prepare for a hiking adventure with your dog:
- Check whether the trail is dog-friendly.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks.
- Always keep a first aid kit nearby.
- Bring a secure leash or harness.
- Keep your dog under control all the time.
- Respect other hikers' space.
Dogs love to run and make great running partners.
Running can be a fantastic way to get outside and exercise together, but not all dogs are cut out for running.
For example, dogs with short legs or flat faces (like Bulldogs or Pugs) may have difficulty breathing during long runs and shouldn't be pushed too hard.
Assuming you have a dog well-suited for running, the key is to start slow and gradually build up your endurance together. Start with shorter runs and slowly increase the length and intensity.
Keep your pup safe when you're out there, and help control them and keep them out of trouble by using a well-fitted leash and harness. And don't forget to check the ground for hot spots or sharp objects that could hurt their paws.
Monitor your dog's behavior and energy level all the time. It might be time for a break if they seem tired or if they struggle to keep up. Remember, running should be fun for both of you, so make sure your furry friend is enjoying themselves too!
Consider taking them swimming at a pool, lake, or river.
Did you know swimming can be a fun outdoor activity for dogs, especially on those hot summer days?
But before you take your furry friend to the water, it's vital to ensure they're comfortable with swimming and knows how to do it!
When introducing your dog to swimming, start in shallow water and stay close to them to keep them safe and at ease. It's crucial not to force your dog into the water as this could make them scared of swimming.
Safety is also important, so ensure the area is free from hazards like rocks or debris and avoid strong currents. If swimming in a lake or river, ensure your dog wears a life jacket to keep them visible and afloat.
Once your dog is done swimming, dry them thoroughly, especially their ears, to prevent infections and discomfort.
Play frisbee with your dog.
This is a great way to incorporate them into outdoor activities. It's a fun game that provides exercise for both of you while improving your dog's agility and coordination.
Here are some reminders:
- Use an appropriate frisbee for your dog's size and breed.
- Start slowly and gradually build up to more intense play.
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to catch the frisbee.
- Play in a safe, open area, away from hazards.
Set up agility or obstacle course.
Agility training is a fun outdoor activity involving setting up an obstacle course for your dog. The course typically includes jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other obstacles your dog must navigate in a specific order.
Dog agility courses can:
- provides mental and physical stimulation
- helps improve their coordination, agility, and confidence
- bond with their owners
- and build trust and communication.
To get started with agility training, you can set up a course in your backyard using household items such as chairs, cones, and hula hoops. Alternatively, you can find a local agility training class where you can learn proper techniques and use specialized equipment.
Agility training is a high-energy activity requiring a certain fitness level and training for you and your dog. Before beginning agility training, ensure your dog is healthy enough to participate.
Bring your dog camping and spend time in nature.
Outdoor camping with your furry best friend can be a fun and memorable experience. Here are some tips to keep it enjoyable and safe for your dog:
- Choose a pet-friendly campground.
- Don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water.
- Bring a comfortable bed for your dog to sleep in.
- Bring toys and treats.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Be prepared for emergencies.
- Keep your dog's vaccinations up to date.
- Ensure they have a collar with ID tags.
Enjoy bike rides with your pup.
This can be a very fun and exciting way to incorporate your dog into outdoor activities. Make sure you take proper precautions to ensure their safety while enjoying a biking activity with you!
Here are some tips for biking with your dog:
- Start slow.
- Use an appropriate leash and harness
- It has long enough to allow your dog to run freely.
- But short enough to keep them close to the bike.
- Train your dog in basic commands, such as "stop" or "slow down".
- Practice biking with your dog in a safe, enclosed area.
- Choose a safe route and avoid busy roads or areas.
Take your dog on a kayaking trip.
If you have a calm, well-behaved dog who enjoys the water, kayaking is a terrific way to enjoy the outdoors together!
Remember that not all dogs are suitable for kayaking, and some may not enjoy it or feel uneasy around water. So, assess your dog's comfort level around water before taking them out on a kayak.
Also, always wear a life jacket to keep your furry friend safe!
To get your dog ready and safe for a kayaking activity, you can do the following:
- Start by introducing them to the kayak on land.
- Let them sniff around and get comfortable with it.
- Try to make it a positive experience by using treats.
- Secure your dog in the kayak.
- Use a leash or harness to prevent them from jumping out.
- Choose a safe area for kayaking and avoid strong currents or any hazardous obstacles.
Consider taking your dog fishing with you.
Have you ever considered taking your furry friend fishing with you?
It can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors together, and most dogs love being near the water and can even help you catch fish.
Here’s what to consider before you go on a fishing adventure:
- Ensure your dog is comfortable around water and can swim.
- Use a life jacket if your pup isn't a strong swimmer.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Bring some protection from the sun, like a hat or bandana.
Spend time geocaching with your dog.
Geocaching is a modern treasure hunting of some kind!
It's a great outdoor activity where you use a GPS device or smartphone app to find hidden caches or treasures. These caches are usually small boxes or containers containing a logbook to sign and sometimes little trinkets you can exchange with your own.
And you can bring along your furry friend along to help you locate caches that might be hidden in tricky spots!
Thanks to their incredible sense of smell!
Bringing your dog with you can make the whole experience even more enjoyable. Just remember to keep your pup on a leash and bring plenty of water for both of you.
Some caches might require you to go off-trail, so protect your dog from hazards like poisonous plants, sharp rocks, or steep drops.
Take your dog to the beach.
Going to the beach is super a fun activity, especially on hot summer days. Thankfully, many, many beaches allow dogs. However, you must research to ensure the beach you plan to visit is dog-friendly.
Bring shade for your dog to rest under if the beach is hot and sunny. Keep your dog on a leash until you get to the designated off-leash area.
Keep a close eye on your dog and be aware of any potential hazards, like strong currents or sharp rocks.
Enroll in a yoga class with your dog.
Have you heard of yoga with your dog?
It's a pretty new trend that's been getting popular lately!
You get to do yoga poses with your furry friend, which is a great way to bond with them and relax at the same time.
There are even specific classes designed for dog owners, or you can bring your dog to a regular yoga class.
The class usually starts with warm-up exercises, where you and your dog can do gentle stretches together. You might even give your pup a massage while you're at it!
Breathing exercises are also part of the warm-up, which can help you and your dog calm down.
The main part of the class is when you get to do yoga poses with your dog. These poses are modified to make it easier for your pet, like having them sit next to you while you do a twist or a balance pose.
Ensure your dog is comfortable with the poses and not under any strain.
Take your dog to dog parks.
Our last tip is about taking your dog into dog parks - designated areas where pups can run free and play off-leash. They're fantastic for letting your furry friend burn off some energy and socialize with other dogs, which can help them develop social skills and prevent boredom.
Ensure you're familiar with the park's rules and regulations. Some parks require dogs to be vaccinated or spayed/neutered and muzzled.
Monitor and observe your dog when playing and ensure they play nicely with the other dogs. If you notice any signs of aggression, it's time to take a break or leave.
Taking your dog with you outdoors can be an incredible experience for you and your pup. It's a great way to make unforgettable memories and strengthen bonds with your furry best friend. Ensure your dog is always hydrated, watch for signs of overheating or fatigue, take breaks, and always clean up after your dog. So, go enjoy each other's company!