Summer is just a few days away. Now is a great time to focus on the “Exercise” part of the fulfillment formula! Try new activities, visit a new location, and enjoy the sunshine and your dog’s companionship.
No matter what physical activity you engage in, it is important to watch for signs of dehydration: lethargy, sunken or bloodshot eyes, dry gums, increased heart rate, paleness, and loss of skin elasticity. Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times!
Here are just a few activities to try with your dog:
Hiking is a great way to make your daily walk more exciting and challenging for your dog. Before you go, make sure the park is dog-friendly. Many outdoor parks and recreational hiking trails have restrictions on where you can take your dog both on- and off-leash, and many National Parks don’t allow them on hiking trails at all. While on your hike, do your part to keep the park safe and pleasant for others: clean up after your dog!
The summer months are the perfect time to take a dip with your canine companion. Swimming not only provides exercise and a great bonding experience, it also provides relief from the heat! Utilize your private pool, find a dog-friendly (and dog-safe!) fresh-water lake nearby, or invest in a kiddie pool for your backyard.
You don’t need a dock for this activity; a lakeshore or other clean, safe area for swimming can work as well. Simply throw a floating toy out into the water, and ask for your dog to swim out and retrieve it for you. If you and your dog want to take the activity up a level, you can even join a Dock Diving club in your area and compete against other dogs! This has the added benefit of social interaction for you and your dog.
This classic game is a great summer time activity. Put a twist on the activity by using a Frisbee or tennis racquet to make the object travel farther. Remember, smell is your dog’s strongest sense, so get his nose involved: give him a good whiff of the object before you throw it. Your dog should never control the length or intensity of play; you should be in charge of the rules of the game, and decide when the activity starts and ends!