5 Fun Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Dog

5 Fun Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Dog

As the weather starts to warm, this means more time spent outdoors—and what better way to make the most of the season than with your dog? In fact, many outdoor activities are best enjoyed with a pooch by your side, from hikes to road trips to a seaside escape to the beach. Below, we’ve listed 5 outdoor activities that far surpass a romp around the yard and how you can prepare your dog for any excursion outside the four walls of your home. Ready for an adventure? Scroll on!

1. Take a Hike with Your Dog

Whether you’re a casual hiker or an intense backpacker, dogs make excellent trail companions. With so many exciting sights, sounds, and smells to take in, your dog will enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life just as much, if not more, than you. 

A quick tip: Before hitting the trails, make sure your dog can accompany you on the hike. You might also want to learn more about the rules and regulations of the park you’re visiting. But, as a rule of thumb, most owners adhere to the National Parks B.A.R.K. Rule, which stands for: 

Bag your pet’s waste
Always leash your dog
Respect wildlife 
Know where you can go

Simple enough, right?

What to Pack in Your Doggy Bag: 

  • A collar or harness with a retractable leash
  • Drinkable water
  • Food and/or snacks
  • Water and food bowls
  • Poop bags
  • A first aid kit
  • Pet-friendly insect repellent
  • Dog booties for rugged trails with rough terrain

2. Bring Your Dog to the Beach

The therapeutic effects of a seaside escapade can benefit you AND your dog. A trip to a dog-friendly beach not only promises you some much-needed relaxation but also the opportunity for your dog to play on a vast stretch of sand or wet its paws in the shallow end of the ocean.

A quick tip: If you are beach-bound, make sure to supervise your dog while you are there. Though often a source of fun, the ocean can be a dangerous place for a dog. Whether your pooch is a strong swimmer or not, it’s best to avoid letting it venture out in deep waters, where rip currents are more powerful. 

What to Pack in Your Doggy Bag: 

  • A collar or harness with a retractable leash
  • Drinkable water
  • Food and/or snacks
  • Water and food bowls
  • Poop bags
  • Pet-friendly sunscreen with SPF 30 
  • A life jacket or floaties
  • A water-absorbent towel
  • Floating beach toys

3. Hit the Road with Your Dog

Sometimes, the most delightful adventure is to take your B.F.F. (your best fur friend) on a road trip. Whether you’re taking a week-long drive or a day trip without a specific location in mind, the open road is teeming with new places for you both to sniff out and discover.

A quick tip: Heading toward the road? Make sure any locations you visit are welcoming of dogs. You also want to make sure your pet doesn’t become sick in transit. To prevent this, plan your dog’s meals (eating at least one hour before driving) and, if necessary, provide vet-recommended medications to ease stomach upset.

What to Pack in Your Doggy Bag: 

  • A collar or harness with a retractable leash
  • Drinkable water
  • Food and/or snacks
  • Water and food bowls
  • Poop bags
  • Your dog’s medical records, in case of an emergency
  • Car safety equipment, like seat belts, carriers, or harnesses

4. Visit the Dog Park

The dog park is rife with all the things your pet would love. Think a wide-open space, dirt, stray balls, and the possibility of befriending other pooches (starting with a quick whiff of their backsides). If this isn’t a dog’s dream, we don’t know what it is. What’s more? The park is the perfect place for you to meet fellow dog lovers, too!

A quick tip: If your dog isn’t up to date on its vaccinations, on its period, or shows any signs or symptoms of an illness, it’s best to postpone your visit to the dog park. You might also want to rethink a trip if your dog isn’t particularly outgoing, as the park may be more stressful than it is fun for your pet. 

What to Pack in Your Doggy Bag:

  • A collar or harness with a retractable leash
  • Drinkable water and a portable water bowl
  • Snacks
  • Poop bags
  • Toys, like a ball or frisbee

5. Discover New Places in Your Neighborhood

You don’t need to travel very far to make the most of the outdoors with your dog. There’s also plenty to see in your own backyard: a farmer’s market, a restaurant with outdoor seating, or a park you’ve never been to before—it’s just a matter of seeking them out. Who knows, you and your pup might just find your new favorite spot!

A quick tip: If you’re traveling off the beaten path in your neighborhood, make sure your dog is leashed, particularly where there are busy streets and foot traffic. There are just as many dangers for your pet in the metro as there are in the wilderness. Keeping your dog on a tight leash will ensure its safety.

What to Pack in Your Doggy Bag:

  • A collar or harness with a retractable leash
  • Drinkable water
  • Food and/or snacks
  • Water and food bowls
  • Poop bags

A Few Last Things

These are only 5 ideas of outdoor activities for both you and your dog. There are so many other possibilities, but whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that what’s enjoyable for you may not be so for your pet. First, you should choose an activity suitable for your dog’s age, breed, and activity level. An Australian Shepherd, for instance, may be able to keep up its owner on a long hike, whereas a Pug would be content on an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood followed by a long nap. 

Before taking your dog outside, you also want to ensure your dog knows basic obedience commands. A dog without proper training can quickly turn your adventure from fun to stressful, plus increase the risk of undesirable situations with people or other animals. Ensure your dog is also up to date on vaccinations to safeguard against unwanted diseases. If you’re taking it to areas where there may be ticks, mosquitos, or other parasitic animals, make sure it is well protected before your excursion outdoors, too. To prevent unwanted accidents or situations, it also pays to be prepared and make sure you have the right items for any situation you’re in.

And while you can’t always prevent unwanted occurrences, at the very least, you’ll have what you need to deal with them right away. Finally, always make sure to supervise your dog while outside. Though it may be tempting to let your pup roam free, you should constantly monitor your dog’s behavior and its surroundings. With these in mind, you will make every outdoor activity fun and, more importantly, safe for your dog to partake in.