Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny days with your dog. Engaging in some outdoor activities with your dog is good for you both and has some great benefits.
It is a great chance to get some exercise with your dog and have some fun in the sun at the same time. So, how do you make the most of the summer and what can you do to keep your pup entertained?
The Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Dogs
There are some very good reasons to get outside with your dog when you have the chance.
Exercise is good for your dog’s health. It is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, building muscles, and keeping joints flexible. Daily exercise is essential for every dog’s health and wellbeing.
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Working off excess energy helps improve your dog’s behavior. Excess energy in dogs can lead to destructive behavior. If your dog is worn out from some time outside then they are more likely to be calmer at home.
Learning new games and tricks are good for your dog’s mind. Mental stimulation is another important part of your dog’s wellbeing. Learning new things and going new places will help to keep your dog’s mind sharp and build their confidence.
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Introducing new environments is good for their stress levels. Dogs who don’t get out a lot and are restricted to one location can become fearful of anything new. It is good for your dog to be constantly introduced to new environments that they can explore so they become comfortable and confident when anything unexpected arises.
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Interacting with other dogs and people is good for your dog’s socialization. The more positive interactions your dog has with people and other animals, the happier they will be, and it will make it easier to take them out in public in the future.
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Safety Tips for Outdoor Activities with Your Dog
The summer heat can be taxing on you and your dog so remember to take regular breaks from your activities and take along plenty of water to keep you both hydrated. Here are a few tips for staying safe while playing outside with your dog.
- When in public areas make sure you always supervise your dog. Before you take your dog somewhere public they should know and respond to some basic commands and have good behavior around other dogs and people. ***
- Make sure that wherever you are going dogs are allowed. Some public parks, hiking trails, and beaches don’t allow dogs so check that you can have your dog off-leash where you want to go.
- Take plenty of water and food with you. If you are going to be away from home for more than an hour make sure you have enough supplies with you. These handy collapsible feeding bowls are great for hiking or camping trips.
- Clean up after your dog. It is always good to leave a place how you found it so pick up the poop and anything else your dog leaves behind before you leave.
- Whatever activity you choose, make sure your dog is up to the task physically. If it is something new, then take it slow to start with. Don’t over-exert your dog, especially in the heat. Take regular breaks from strenuous exercise and watch your dog for signs that they have had enough.
- Always keep your dog’s safety in mind. Don’t take them on rough terrain that could hurt their paws. Watch them around water to make sure they can swim well. Always have a dog first aid kit on hand.
- Make sure your dog has appropriate identification, just in case. A dog tag with contact details, or a microchip, is a great way for people to find you if your dog gets lost.
Fun Summer Outdoor Dog Activities
Upgrade your daily walk
You should already be walking your dog daily but you could give this activity an upgrade. Take a different route than you normally do. Go via a park and run around for a bit. Or let your dog lead you for a change and see where that takes you. You could jog or run instead, or you could ride your bike if you are not a runner.
Backyard games like fetch or catch
Go out to your back (or front) yard and throw a ball around. Fetch and catch are great games to teach your dog. You don’t have to go anywhere or pack up anything. Just run around in the sun for a while.
Go to the water
Take a trip to your local beach, lake, or river and take your dog for a swim. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for your dog and has the added benefit of cooling them (and you) off in the heat.
Get them out on the water
If you have access to a boat or kayak or stand up paddleboard you can take your dog out on the water. Just make sure you get them a life jacket before you go.
Play date with other dogs
Socialization is important for dogs, so if you know other people with dogs you can arrange an outing so they can play together. Go to your local park and let the dogs run around and play with each other.
Upgrade your usual game of catch or fetch with some frisbee. Once your dog knows how to catch and fetch you can add in a frisbee to ramp up the fun. This is a great sport for dogs so once your dog has some practice you can find a local competition and get in the game.
Dog parks or off-leash area
These are a great place to let your dog run free. They are ideal for a good game of frisbee or fetch as well as socializing with other dogs. Just make sure the area is secure and fenced and that your dog behaves well around others.
Get out in nature with your dog. If you love to hike then you could take your dog along with you and explore some new places. Make sure dogs are allowed and take some supplies with you. Get your dog his own cool backpack so he can carry his own water and food. Check out Hike With Your Dog to find a tail-friendly trail near you.
Camping is another great outdoor activity to do with your dog. Find a dog-friendly camping ground near you and getaway for the weekend. You can even get a Portable Folding Outdoor Camping Tent for dogs so your pup has his own place to sleep.
Many dogs love to go for a ride in the car. Pack up the family and head out for a day of exploring. Find a new park in a nearby town and have a picnic and a play. Take your dog to visit family or friends. Go to the local markets and explore.
Outdoor agility courses are a great way to get your dog some exercise and learn something new. You will learn to lead your dog through an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, ramps, and balance beams. You can do it competitively or just for fun. Find an agility class near you or create your own DIY obstacle course.
For another highly competitive dog sport, you can get your dog into some flyball. This is a team relay race where dogs run and jump over hurdles to catch a ball. If your dog loves to catch and has plenty of energy then they will love this game.
What’s Your Dog’s Favorite Outdoor Activity?
Which outdoor activities does your dog prefer? Engaging in these fun games is an important part of the dog-owner relationship. It also serves as an exercise, which is good for both of your health.
These great summer activities for dogs will get you and your dog outside and active during the warmer months and keep you healthy and happy. Make sure to fuel their love for games and adventure with these awesome activities!
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