Beat the Heat! Summer Exercise You and Your Pup Will Love

We're officially in the dog days of summer. Now that it’s sweltering outside, we all love to get outdoors as much as possible and get our exercise on. Sometimes, we feel guilty about leaving our furry friends at home. If you choose dog-friendly activities, you don’t have to! Here’s a list of 7 dog friendly outdoor activities your pup is sure to love.

Paddle Boarding Paddle boarding is all the rage this summer season! If you and your pup love adventure and the water, this might be a fun activity to do together this summer. There are a few things to keep in mind before taking your dog on the open water.

Make sure that your pup is completely comfortable around the board first. Store your paddle board in your house for a week or two so, your dog becomes accustomed to being around it. You should also use treats to get your pup positively associated with the board. It won’t take long for him/her to realize the board is not so bad when treats are associated! You also want to make sure your pup is correctly fitted with a life vest for dogs, even if your dog loves swimming it is a good idea to use a life vest, at least at first. Next, you want to practice sitting and laying down on the board with your pup on the water before you just start paddling away. Once your dog is comfortable and you feel confident in your pup, paddle away!

Kayaking

Kayaking is also something that is really taking off this summer. Like paddle boarding, you can also bring your dog along with you kayaking. You will want to take the same steps in getting your dog comfortable with the vessel as with the paddle board. Also practice with your pup getting in and out of the Kayak on land, then practice in shallow water. Also, don’t forget that dogs can get sunburn too! Bring the sunscreen! It would be best to use a sun protection product recommended by your vet! It is a good idea to start out on smaller bodies of water that are slow moving and have little traffic.

Strength Training

This can be any kind of simple workout except you add your dog into the mix! Simple things like doing lunges with walking with your dog, then making them sit and stay while you do a few push-ups. There are so many combinations Not only does this help you tone up your muscles and get your own exercise, but it helps reinforce basic training for your pup!

Biking is an activity that a lot of people already do, so why not try it with your pup! Before you try biking with your furry friend, make sure they are comfortable being around a bicycle first. Start first by walking them around the bike to get them used to it and even bringing it into the house for a while to ensure they are okay with being around the bike. Then you can take the next step and walk your dog next to your bike to get them used to the wheels spinning.

Next, you’ll want to bring a friend and head to an uncrowded location. Start by having your friend ride the bike near your dog (not too close). You want your dog to still be able to focus on you and your commands, while also getting used to someone riding a bike near them. Then, you’ll want to gradually move closer. Then, you can go ahead and try to ride with your dog once you feel confident that your pup is ready and comfortable!

Running

Canicross is the sport of running off road with your canine companion. It involves a handy waist belt to ensure your pup won’t take off, but also lets you be hands free while running. Before starting, make sure your dog is healthy enough for this kind of activity and has no underlying illnesses. If your dog is not used to this kind of activity you do not want to force it. Slowly build up their running tolerance before expecting too much of them.

Hiking with your dog is one of the best exercises both of you can get and is one of the simplest activities to do with your pup. All you really need is you, your dog, and a mountain! Before heading out for a 10-mile hike, be sure your pup can handle the uphill distance. Start out with smaller hikes and gradually increase your distance to get your dog used to it. Also, make sure to bring plenty of water and/or food for both you and your pup (depending on how long you are gone for). Mountain Dog makes “The Amazing Versatile Leash” that is perfect for hiking because it allows you to be hands free and use your body weight to keep your dog close, but any leash will do.