Dogs have been around people for thousands of years. For a long time, they’ve had jobs to do like hunting or provide protection. A lot of these dog activities required a lot of exercise and problem-solving skills but now that has changed.
Nowadays, dog owners expect dogs to stay at home all day while they’re off at work. They don’t even need to hunt for their food anymore. Dogs become bored with this new routine and build up excess energy. After a while, this can result in a dog developing behavioral problems.
That’s why it’s important to provide your dog with plenty of mental and physical exercise whenever you can. If you’re not sure what your options are, here are 8 fun dog activities you can do with your dog outdoors and indoors.
1. Go hiking with your dog
There are so many beautiful National Parks in the US, it won’t be hard to pick one for your next adventure with your pooch. Check the park’s regulations to make sure it’s dog-friendly and what are the rules you’ll need to follow.
If you want to make hiking a bit more fun for you, try out Geocaching which is a kind of scavenger hunt for the modern era.
Don’t forget to pack anything you might need during the hike. Things like a first-aid kit, poop bags, lots of water, and anything else you might need to safely hike with your dog.
2. Go for a run or jog
This is a great option if your dog has a lot of energy. However, it’s important to take into account your dog’s health and the temperature outside. You should adapt the run or jog to your dog’s fitness level.
While you’re out, you can make the most out of it and explore an unknown part of your neighborhood. You might run into some new favorite places but don’t forget to pack plenty of water and treats.
3. Play fetch
If you enjoy the outdoors but you’re not in the mood to do a lot of physical exercise, playing fetch is perfect. That way your dog can have some much-needed physical exercise without you needing to do more than throwing a ball. Of course, this will require that you teach your dog how to play fetch first.
Most dogs love to play fetch. It’s a game that not only gives your dog a lot of exercise, but it also strengthens the bond you have. Besides, it trains your dog to return to you.
4. Go to the dog park
Another great dog activity that allows you to enjoy the outdoors without tiring yourself is taking your dog to the dog park. A dog park is where dogs can roam free in a fenced area. It’s a great place for your dog to have a lot of fun and socialize with other pooches.
Be aware that dog parks do have rules. You may find them posted on signs at the park. One thing is for certain, you’ll need to clean after your dog so make sure you don’t forget to bring poop bags with you.
If you have a social dog this is the perfect plan. Your dog can make some new friends and maybe you will too.
5. Hit the beach
Some dogs love to run in the sand and play with the waves at the beach. So taking your dog to the beach can be a great idea. There are a lot of dog-friendly beaches in the US, all you need to do is find the closest one to you.
6. Play tug of war
Playing tug of war is the perfect option if you’re not feeling like going outside and you don’t have a lot of space inside your house. Besides helping your dog get rid of excess energy, it can teach your dog self-control. It’s also a great outlet for a dog’s natural urge of grabbing and pulling on things.
You can either buy a tug toy like a rope or use some old socks or any kind of old cloth.
7. Find the treats
This is another very simple indoor dog activity to give your dog some physical exercise. It also puts your dog’s nose at work and will have your dog going all around the house searching for whatever it is you hid. Besides, it’s a very easy trick to teach. All you need is some treats, preferably ones that have a strong smell.
Start by letting your dog seeing you hide the treat and say the command “find it” (or any other of your choice) so your dog goes for it. Slowly increase the difficulty by hiding the treat in a different room or with something covering it.
Soon, all you’ll need to do is say the command and your dog will start searching the house for the hidden treat.
8. Practice some dog tricks
Whether you have a young pup or an adult dog, training sessions are always an important part of a dog’s development. All you need is 15 minutes every day. This will help your dog brush up on some old tricks or learn new and cool dog tricks to impress your friends.
Dogs love learning new things and having some training sessions is a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated while improving your dog’s obedience and behavior.