Now that the weather’s heating up, it’s time for you and your dog to get off the couch and out into nature. If the same daily walk is getting old, try one of these outdoor activities you’ll both enjoy — and remember to bring plenty of water, so that your pup stays hydrated!
Hit the beach: Some ocean and lake beaches are dog-friendly, even allowing canine companions to be off-leash during certain hours. Play Frisbee, dig to China, take a romp in the water, or teach your dog to body surf.
Take a hike: No need to trek the Appalachian Trail; even a short hike in your closest state park provides great exercise and new scenery to appreciate. But check park regulations first to make sure your pup is allowed on the grounds.
Visit the dog park: Not only do dog parks provide excellent socialization opportunities, but they also typically allow your pup plenty of space to exercise. And both you and your dog are likely to make new friends.
Try agility: Think your dog is a potential athlete? Take an agility class together. If your canine companion takes to the sport, you can even set up some obstacles in your backyard. You’ll get in some quality bonding time as you train him to race through the course.
Go camping: Need a vacation? Try something different this summer by taking your dog to camp. There are several overnight camps around the country that cater to canines and their humans.
Take up Geocaching: Geocaching is a scavenger hunt for the digital age, using GPS to find specific locations. After you’ve made it to your destination, you can share your experience online. And no one makes a better hunting companion than your pup.
Go for a dive: You don’t need a fancy setup for this canine sport. A simple boat dock, even a lakeshore or swimming pool will do. If you have a water-loving dog, chances are he’ll enjoy learning to dive.
Bring your indoor games outside: Something as simple as tug-of-war or a game of fetch in the backyard can lift both of your spirits.
Go for a bike ride: A healthy, active dog can burn off his seemingly endless energy by accompanying you on a bike ride. Make sure you acclimate your dog to walking alongside the bike before you go for a long ride and bring along the appropriate leash and safety equipment.
Get wet: A simple sprinkler or backyard kiddie pool can provide endless hours of amusement for your dog. And there’s nothing wrong with grown-ups getting in on the fun, too.
Explore your neighborhood: Check out the unfamiliar parts of town. Turn left instead of right, head downtown instead of uptown. You may find a few new favorite places.
Enjoy a meal on the patio: With more and more restaurants allowing dogs on their patios, it’s easier than ever to spend an afternoon lounging and eating. Or, take a walk through the local farmer’s market. Your canine companion may just be rewarded with a healthy snack.
Make a date: Plan a doggie play date with a friend at your local dog park. Your pup will be happily exhausted for hours afterward.
Participate in local events: Many cities hold dog day events, like special runs or walks. Some even have wine or beer tastings, where dogs are invited but don’t partake, of course.
Get out of town: If you have a car, enjoy one of life’s simplest pleasures — a ride with the windows or top down. Make sure your pup is adequately secured in the vehicle before you depart.
No matter where you live, how energetic you are, or how active your dog is, take advantage of the warmer weather and start living more of your life outdoors.