Spring has sprung! (Unless you’re living in the Northeast… over here spring comes and goes as it pleases.) The blustery winter weather is becoming less severe and warmer spring days are more frequent. This is great news for you and your dog, as the warmer weather opens up a slew of activities for you to enjoy!
Your pup loved cuddling with you on the couch in matching pajamas during the long winter months, but dogs crave companionship, entertainment, and mental stimulation just like people do. Make time for activities that will facilitate exercise, bonding, and learning for a happy, healthy dog. Your best friend will reward your effort with unconditional love — but we have a feeling that’s already on the table.
7 Tail-Wagging Activities to Keep Your Dog Healthy
1. Choose a different path. Do you ever get bored with your daily walk route? Chances are, your pup does too. Mix it up and explore a different part of your neighborhood. Or if you go to the same park every morning, try a new one. Plan to move slowly so your dog can soak up all the new sights, sounds, and smells. Not instinctively knowing what turns you’re going to take will be far more entertaining and mentally stimulating. Despite the slow pace, don’t be surprised if your dog is more worn out than usual, from processing all the new information!
2. Go for a hike. Instead of your everyday walk route, mix it up and hit a trail with your dog. Maybe your nearest trailhead or national park is 15 minutes away, or maybe it’s a day trip. A car ride and picnic lunch will just be another super exciting bonus for your pup. Be sure to bring a towel in case your dog happens upon a stream and decides to go for a dip! The best part of a good hike is the rewarding view from the top, and who better to share it with than your best friend?
3. Ultimate Fetch. Do you have a dog who loves to chase a tennis ball? These handheld tennis ball launchers give you the ability to throw a ball up to 85 feet, effortlessly! This is perfect for a high-energy breed who wears you out when you’re playing. Bring a water dish, even if it’s cold out, so your buddy doesn’t dehydrate. A dozen throws with this gadget and your pup will be ready for a nap!
4. Tracking. If you enjoy hiking or taking long walks in the woods, this might be the perfect hobby for you and your dog to share. Tracking gives your dog a “job” during your walks and provides them with a challenge, something most dogs enjoy immensely. There are many books that can teach you how to train your dog to track. This is an activity that will be fascinating and fun for both of you!
5. Agility Training. If your dog is on the high-energy side, consider agility training. Not only will it burn energy, it will teach your active breed to listen and focus. If you’re competitive, there are many regional competitions your dog can participate in if your dog shows promise. A quick search online will yield agility training classes in your area. If classes aren’t an option, there are many online videos that will teach you how to train your pup at home!
6. Puzzle Toys. Puzzle toys are often used to distract dogs that experience anxiety while their owners are at work. Puzzles are also used to distribute meals to a dog that eats too quickly. Even if your dog doesn’t experience these issues, puzzle toys are a blast! You can use them indoors or outdoors (if you want to keep a certain someone from being under foot at a BBQ). They often come with different difficulty levels and can be purchased at your local pet supply store or online. If buying in store, talk to a customer service representative who will help you determine your dog’s skill.
7. Frisbee. Believe it or not, you can join versions of ‘ultimate frisbee’ teams with your dog in some regions of the US! Even without the team, if your dog enjoys fetch she’ll love the added challenge of the frisbee. A frisbee takes more focus for you to throw and requires more skill for your dog to catch. Your pup will have to judge the arc of the frisbee’s path and the speed of descent. A frisbee isn’t just another thing to fetch, it’s an extra mental workout for your dog!
For more ideas for how to have fun with your buddy this spring, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.