6 fun activities to try with your dog

With the slightly cooler autumn months fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to explore new activities you and your dog can do together. Spending this extra time with your dog can strengthen the bond you two have and help you both become more active. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
Before selecting new activities to try with your dog, remember to keep safety in mind and look for activities that both you and your dog will enjoy. Not every dog enjoys the water, and some dogs may not be well suited to be in highly-populated areas, such as dog parks. You know your dog best, so never put her in a situation where she may be at risk or pose a risk to others. Also be sure to consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions about your dog’s physical limitations or health conditions that may make certain activities off-limits.
As you look for fun activities to try with your dog, consider these ideas:
1. Sign up for Doga.
Yoga for dogs—or Doga, as it is called—is one owner-dog activity steadily growing in popularity. In a Doga session, massage and meditation are combined with gentle stretching for dogs and their owners. Doga instructors report that as pack animals, dogs are a perfect match for yoga’s focus on connection with other beings. Dog owners can even buy instructional DVDs for Doga sessions to try at home from sites such as
2. Join a dog-friendly fitness group.
People-dog workout groups and fitness boot camps are also springing up nationwide. Check out the Leash Your Fitness website for ideas and meetup locations. Leash Your Fitness was started by personal trainer Dawn Celapino whose entire workout routine—and business model—changed when she got her Cairn terrier, Jack, in 2005. She learned to incorporate balls, bands, hand weights, playground equipment and benches in an outdoor setting to allow owners and dogs to work out together. If there’s no similar fitness group near you, create your own Fido-friendly workout routine. You can check out ideas for exercising with your dog on the Pets WebMD site.
3. Take a hike.
Backpacking and hiking are two more activities that your dog may enjoy just as much as you. Many state parks are pet friendly and provides a listing of dog-friendly hiking trails in the U.S. and Canada. Your dog’s health and safety should be a top priority, so remember to bring a pet first aid kit and plenty of water for both you and your dog for any outdoor activities.
4. Hit the waves.
Did you know that canine surfing was a growing doggy trend? In canine surfing, your dog sits or stands on the board and you push him so that he is moving the same speed as the wave and can ride it out. The concept for the sport originated on the Northern California coast, and there’s even an annual World Dog Surfing Championships event.
5. Visit the park.
A trip to your local dog park is always a good standby activity for good-weather days. When visiting a dog park, remember to make sure that the fencing is secure and that if needed, there is a separate area for toy-sized dogs that could be unintentionally hurt by larger dogs. Visiting the dog park is a great way for both you and your dog to make new friends, but remember not to pressure your dog. If he is not already well socialized, watch him closely and let him ease in to interacting with the other dogs.
6. Plan a road trip.
If you have upcoming travel plans, a road trip or a vacation can be a perfect opportunity to spend more quality time with your dog. Be sure to check in advance that your travel destination will welcome your dog. You can search at or to find pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals. Even while on a dog-friendly trip, your itinerary may include some activities that cannot accommodate your dog. If so, plan ahead by contacting a professional pet sitter in the area you will be traveling to so they can provide pet-sitting services when you have to be away from your dog.
Whatever fun activity you choose to try with your pooch, always heed any rules that are in place for dogs. Be sure to keep them on leash when instructed on certain hiking trails and use canine life jackets for swimming and boating activities. With planning, you and your dog can have fun and stay busy—together—all season long!

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