It’s Spring! 5 Fun Ways to Get Fit with Your Pet

Finally! The long, dark winter is over. The snow has melted, the birds are chirping, and flowers are in full bloom. Why not take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather, and implement an outdoor exercise routine for you and your pooch? (And your cat, too, if they’re into that sort of thing.) Remember, if you and your dog have been sedentary throughout the winter months, you should ease into any new activities. Like us, dogs benefit from slow and progressive training. But if you keep it up consistently, before you know it, you’ll both be in better shape!

Not sure where to start? Here are five super cool warm-weather activities that are heart-pumping fun!

  1. Agility
    Who doesn’t love watching dogs doing agility? The way they race through the tunnels and zip through the weave poles is entertaining and exciting. But have you ever noticed the handlers? They’re running almost as fast trying to keep up! Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; most training facilities and agility clubs have classes for all levels.
  2. Hiking
    Depending on your location, there might be lots of fun trails in your area just waiting to be explored by you and your best four-legged friend. Check with your parks department or a ranger’s office in your area for maps, safety tips and rules. Make sure you take plenty of water for both of you, and stop for rest and shade along the way.
  3. Backpacking
    If you and your dog love hiking, why not take it a step further by strapping on a pack and heading into the backcountry for an overnight trip? If your dog is young and healthy, look into a doggie backpack for him, too. Check with your local sporting goods store for tips on what to pack for your dog and the parks department for safety tips and rules.
  4. Canicross
    If you and your dog love to run, this may be the perfect sport for you! Growing in popularity, especially in Europe, canicross is cross country running with dogs. It’s typically done with one or two dogs who are tethered to the runner by a bungee cord or elastic line. Search online for “canicross” for more information.
  5. Dog Scootering
    No, this doesn’t involve teaching your dog how to ride a scooter (thank goodness). It’s a little like mushing, only without the sled and the snow. In this sport, though, dogs pull a rider on an unmotorized kick scooter. Before attempting this activity, don a helmet and make sure your dog is familiar with and responds well to voice commands.

Whatever you choose, remember to have fun, be safe and enjoy precious time with your pup!