Dogs love to explore, play, and learn.
These activities contribute to a balanced life. Without physical and mental stimulation, dogs may become bored—and a bored dog is a mischievous dog.
Here are some fun ways to keep your pup physically and mentally active, while enjoying some great bonding time together!
4 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog
By finding fun activities to do with your pup, you’ll be contributing to their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Doing activities together is a great way to bond. It also prevents boredom and helps your dog be more relaxed in the evenings when you’re winding down from your own day.
Here are some activities you and your pup can enjoy together:
This could include a walk on a short trail closer to home. Or, if your pup is athletic, it could mean building up the endurance to join you on more difficult hikes and long camping trips.
Who Is Hiking Best For?
Since there’s a good chance of encountering other dogs on popular hiking trails, your pup should be friendly and have some basic manners training.
For difficult hikes, medium to large breed, athletic dogs are best suited to the challenge.
That being said, any dog can potentially enjoy a short, leisurely hike on a nature trail.
It’s best to know your dog’s limits so the walk is fun and not overly exerting—especially if your dog is a puppy, a senior, overweight, has a previous injury, or is small in size (with short legs, it can be harder to keep up with you!).
Start slow and work your way up—just as you would for yourself if you were new to exercising.
Also, be mindful of the weather (some dogs can’t handle very hot or cold temperatures), bring plenty of water, and use appropriate gear such as dog booties if the terrain calls for it.
Agility consists of obstacles—such as ramps, tunnels, jumping hurdles, poles to weave around, and more.
Completing an agility course regularly allows your dog to develop coordination, speed, balance, and endurance. It also works some of your dog’s natural instincts and helps with confidence and problem-solving skills.
The training and competitive aspects of agility offer the additional benefit of a social community—so you can meet other dog lovers in your area, and your pup can make some new canine friends.
Who Is Agility Best For?
Agility is a great option for energetic, athletic dogs who like learning new things. However, any dog can participate.
Even if your pup doesn’t take well to competitions and social gatherings, many dogs enjoy running an obstacle course in their own backyard or living room. It works their mind and body, and provides entertainment.
Do an online search on how to set up a homemade obstacle course for your pup, and you’ll see how creative and fun this option can be!
As with any physical activity, have your pup start slow and work their way up.
Also, consider getting your dogs’ age and health status-especially if your pup is still growing, or has a health condition such as arthritis, or a previous injury.
3. Dock Diving
Dock diving is a great, low-impact way to exercise!
It’s also a popular canine sport, in which dogs compete for height and distance while jumping from a dock (platform) into water. Retrieving a toy can also be added to the challenge.
Even if you don’t plan to do competitions, many facilities offer dock diving training for fun, exercise, and bonding time between you and your pup. You can also use a natural, potable body of water, such as a lake.
Who Is Dock Diving Best For?
Some dogs love water, while others don’t want to get near it.
In general, retrieving breeds (such as Labrador Retrievers and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers) tend to take to water more naturally. And small or toy breeds are less likely to be water lovers.
To see if your pup enjoys water activities, bring them to a shallow edge of the water where they can safely explore at their own pace.
If your dog jumps right in, they’re probably a good candidate for dock diving!
Dock Diving Safety
Not all dogs are natural swimmers. And even the best doggie paddlers can suddenly grow tired or have trouble finding their way out of a pool or lake.
So, always be present and monitor your dog when they’re in the water.
For natural pools, don’t allow your pup to enter the water if there are hazards such as a strong current, ice, or stagnant water (certain algae are toxic to dogs).
4. Nose Work
Exercising your dog’s nose encourages their natural, instinctive behaviors.
While nose work isn’t primarily for physical exercise, it does keep a dog moving and, it’s the perfect mental stimulus to keep your pup’s mind engaged and entertained.
This activity can be performed with a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), and include all sorts of interesting challenges, like finding a scent on a course or hidden within a container—or even recognizing different odors.
For a more casual experience to add to your daily routine, you can also begin nose work training at home.
Who Is Nose Work Best For?
Any dog can enjoy nose work!
Nose Work Safety
This activity is pretty safe. Just be sure the treats you provide during training don’t interfere with your pup’s healthy nutritional plan.
Also, be sure your pup is trained and friendly if doing nose work in a social setting.
Whatever activities you choose, your time together provides a special bonding experience between you and your dog.
By making these fun activities a habit and a way of life, you’ll be contributing to your dog’s long-term health and wellbeing.
From our family to yours,
Fromm Family Pet Food