It’s good to be outside again! Even though the specter of COVID-19 still looms, people are gradually returning to outdoor life. The parks are filling up, the beaches are getting busier, and the streets are coming alive with cyclists and runners. It’s a relief to see everyone again, especially after so many weeks of lockdown.
Families are also starting to plan their outdoor activities for the summer with their dogs. After all, dogs are part of the family too! Pets are known to enhance people’s moods. Studies have shown dogs to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression; reduce loneliness; and encourage activity and overall health.
And many families are wondering how they can include their dogs in these outdoor activities. Here are five outdoor activities your family can do with your dog:
1. Go camping
Camping is a great way to get away from it all and spend quality time with your family, including your furry friend. When camping with your dog, bring all necessities, such as food, water, a bowl, a leash, and a toy. Keep in mind to always walk around the campground with your dog and don’t leave them behind.
Allow your kids and your dog to enjoy the outdoors together. However, remember that a campsite is entirely different from home. So, it’s important that your children and dog can communicate and comprehend one another’s requirements and limitations, especially under unforeseen circumstances. Your dogs might run off, so you need to make sure to train them.
Getting your dog and your children ready for this trip is critical, so enrolling your dog in a professional dog training service is essential. They will teach your dog to listen to commands and be well-behaved in different environments. As well as how to socialize with other dogs so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable camping experience.
2. Visit a nearby lake or beach
If you’re lucky enough to live near a body of water, take advantage of it! Before you go, make sure you research whether or not the beach or lake allows dogs. Some beaches only allow dogs during certain hours or seasons.
After this, go for a swim with your dog or let them splash around in the shallows. If your dog is afraid of the water, you can still do plenty of activities together. Take a walk along the shoreline or play fetch on the beach.
While at the beach, you can also teach your kids how to properly take care of their dog. Show them how to give them a bath afterward, dry off their fur, and check for any cuts or scrapes.
3. Hit the road
One of the best things about having a dog is that they love road trips just as much as your family does! They’ll be happy to join you on your next adventure as long as they are adequately trained.
Before hitting the road with your dog, ensure you have everything you need for a safe and comfortable journey. This includes food and water, a leash and collar, a crate or seat belt harness, and plenty of toys and treats.
You should also ensure your dog is up-to-date on all their vaccinations and has a microchip in case they get lost. Once you have everything you need, hit the road and enjoy the journey with your furry friend. Stop at dog-friendly restaurants and attractions along the way, and take plenty of breaks so your dog can stretch their legs.
4. Take a family bike ride
Biking is a great way to exercise while enjoying the outdoors with your family and dog. Dogs make great biking buddies as long as they are properly trained. Before taking your dog on a bike ride, ensure they are comfortable with the activity.
Start by walking next to your bike while they get used to the movement. Once your pet seems comfortable, you can try riding your bike slowly while your dog trots alongside you. If all goes well, you can gradually increase your speed.
As with any outdoor activity, it’s vital to be mindful of your dog’s limitations. If it’s hot out, take plenty of breaks in the shade to keep them cool. Dogs can also overheat quickly, so it’s essential to always have water on hand for them to drink.
5. Take a hike
Hiking is a great way to exercise while enjoying nature’s beauty. And it’s the perfect activity to do with your family and dog. Dogs make great hiking companions; as long as they are appropriately trained.
Be sure to pick a trail appropriate for your family’s fitness level and your dog’s abilities. Start slow and work your way up to longer, more challenging hikes as your dog gets used to the activity. Always remember to pack plenty of water and snacks, as well as a first-aid kit in case of emergencies. Dogs love exploring new smells and sounds on the trail, and they’ll be happy to keep you company on your hike.
All in all
The best method to train your dog while having fun is to go on an outdoor activity with your family and pets. These activities will undoubtedly be an excellent method to express your gratitude for them during the lockdowns. Make sure you’re prepared and research ahead, so everyone has a pleasant and safe experience.