5 Activities to Try With Your Dog This Year #MKHPJanuaryChallenge

I have always been good about getting exercise and staying in shape. However, I have had my moments where a week or two go by, and I can’t say I have done much in the way of burning calories. When these lulls occur, it’s usually because I am bored. Bored with whatever exercise I have been doing lately (the only thing I never get bored of is volleyball, which I need other people to play). I bet that you too have encountered this type of boredom.

5 Activities to Try With Your Dog This Year #MKHPJanuaryChallenge

Since this month’s challenge is to exercise with your pet, I thought I would share a few additional activities to keep you and your dog from getting bored!

Many of these activities require some warmer weather. However, this list can be added to the mix throughout all of 2016! #MKHPJanuaryChallenge

5 Activities to Try With Your Dog This Year

  1. Hiking: If you haven’t taken your dog on a hike yet, you are missing out! Rooney loves hiking and so do I. The great thing about hiking is that you get all the fresh air and challenge you need, but without the hustle and bustle of running. This is an activity that you can do with the whole family! (see above for our recent hiking encounter with some local cattle)
  2. Paddleboarding: If your dog likes swimming than Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP may be the activity for you. The best part is, all you need is a body of water! SUP is an activity that is on my wish list! I have gone paddleboarding on my own before, but I really want to see if Rooney would be willing to balance with me on the paddle board. If you are going to try this activity with your dog, I strongly urge you to make sure they have a life vest. Even dogs who can swim for long distances can get tired too far from shore.
  3. Surfing: Another activity I want to try with Rooney! Of course, I live near the ocean, so I technically have an unfair advantage. However, keep this activity in mind if you are thinking about taking any vacations with the family this summer. Perhaps you are headed to the beaches of California; what a perfect time to take your dog with you to share in the oceanic experience! If you are going to try this activity with your dog, I strongly urge you to make sure they have a life vest. Even dogs who can swim for long distances can get tired too far from shore.
  4. Running: If you dog doesn’t like water, then running might be a great endurance activity for you to try together. Rooney and I usually mix running in with our longer walks. I am trying to work him up to a maximum endurance (for me about 3-4 miles), but I think the smells are too good for Rooney to pass up in a hurry, which I understand. Keep in mind that if you are a runner, you need to work your dog up to a distance. Start with very small and intermediate distances and work your way up over time. My good friend Dawn from Leash Your Fitness was kind enough to put together a running schedule for Rooney and I when I first started to train Rooney to run with me. She customized it for us based on our baseline exercise levels, Rooney’s current shape, and his ability to tolerate heat. You too should consider these factors before creating a training schedule.
  5. Bicycling: I completed my undergrad is a little town called Davis, California. When I say that Davis is a bicycle town, I am not making an understatement of any kind. Most people in Davis have a bike, and there are thousands of cyclists on the streets and campus every day. Since the town is so bike and dog-friendly, many people ride their bikes with their dogs by their side. When it comes to bicycling alongside your dog, it is imperative that your dog is in good shape and that you have the proper equipment to keep you and your dog safe. For more information, please read What You Need to Know About Biking With Your Dog.

UC_Davis_3

Photo Courtesy of bikeleague.org

If any of the above activities sound like fun, then you definitely need to follow the following blogs for more information about hiking and exercising with your dog:

You Did What With Your Weiner

Leash Your Fitness

Slim Doggy

I read posts regularly from these sites, and I am continually inspired to get out and exercise with Rooney! So tell me, how are your exercise challenges going so far?

Helpful Guest Posts:

10 Beautiful and Pet-Friendly Fall Hiking Trails in the U.S.

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44 Comment

  1. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    January 21, 2016 at 11:41 am

    We try to mix up our walking so the boys always have new sights and smells. Unfortunately, none of those other activities are ones they can do. We are looking a kayaks though so they might get to become kayak dogs! LOL!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…10 Basset Hound Facts You Should KnowMy Profile

  2. Reply
    Spencer the Goldendoodle
    January 22, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Great list! Some of these activities sound fun and excited, but a bit scary for me! I’m amazing at dogs who surf. Just amazing. Thanks for sharing this wonderful list, now a days there are so many activities humans and dogs can do together! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  3. Reply
    Ruth (and Layla)
    January 22, 2016 at 8:03 am

    We live in the city and am blessed to have at least 4 Dog Parks in my area so I try to do different parks during the week or long walks in different directions to make life interesting for her – I wish we could do more

  4. Reply
    Pawesome Cats
    January 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Beating boredom by varying exercise routines is equally important for pets and people. Great post!
    Pawesome Cats recently posted…Answer Your Cat’s Questions DayMy Profile

  5. Reply
    Tenacious Little Terrier
    January 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    We’ve had some good walks this year. Rain is getting in the way of some things though!

  6. Reply
    Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey
    January 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Great ideas but us kitties are going to refrain. We do love a good game of DaBird with our human every night though!

  7. Reply
    Kristen–well minded
    January 22, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Great exercise suggestions! We hike regularly with N.A.S.H.A. and love it. It helps me get out of the gym-cycle boredom, and is something we can do as a family. I would be super nervous to bike with her…not in my wheel house.

  8. Reply
    MattieDog
    January 22, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Rachel – great post! One of our favorite things to do is to to hike in the mountains! It’s so spiritual and freeing!
    MattieDog recently posted…Does The Design of Veterinary Clinics Have Psychological Impacts For Pets?My Profile

  9. Reply
    Jodi Clock
    January 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I would love to SUP, I’m not sure my pet would – but it’s worth trying. In fact, it could be fun.

  10. Reply
    Forest Poodles
    January 23, 2016 at 4:48 am

    We love bicycling together! The poodles light up when the bikes come out. D’Art’s endurance isn’t what it once was, so I’m considering getting him a cart to pull behind a bike that he can ride in safely.

  11. Reply
    Golden Daily Scoop
    January 23, 2016 at 6:12 am

    As much as the Goldens love the snow and cold, we are always trying to find ways to mix up their routine and try something different. Great post!

  12. Reply
    Fur Everywhere
    January 23, 2016 at 7:45 am

    These all sound like great activities to do with your dog! I’m not sure what paddleboarding is, but it sounds interesting. I’ve seen a lot of people around here bicycling with their dogs running beside them. It always makes me smile when I see that.
    Fur Everywhere recently posted…National Answer Your Cat’s Questions DayMy Profile

  13. Reply
    CEO Olivia
    January 23, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Pawsome activities to try with your dog this year. Since my balance can often be an issue due to neurological issues the AED (anti seizure drugs) I take everyday surfing & paddleboading may be difficult for me but I think since we live in the Land of Lakes we should give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration Rachel.
    <3 nose nudges <3
    CEO Olivia recently posted…Grimm the cartoon dogMy Profile

  14. Reply
    CEO Olivia
    January 23, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Oops…forgot to thank you for the suggested blogs. We are always looking for interesting bloggers.
    CEO Olivia recently posted…Grimm the cartoon dogMy Profile

  15. Reply
    Groovy Goldendoodles
    January 23, 2016 at 10:23 am

    We’ve actually started bicycling with the Boys using a woof cycle (blog post coming soon) we love it, but just as we got into a routine the rain became a daily visitor #damn Hope to get back out there this week once everything starts to dry up.
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…MISSINGMy Profile

  16. Reply
    Daniel
    January 23, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Great list! My dog and I try and go for a hike every Saturday morning. It’s great because he gets to blow off his energy (which allows me to do work in peace the rest of the day) and I get some exercise!

    Dan
    Daniel recently posted…Should you put a jacket on your dog during winter?My Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:19 am

      That sounds like a lovely routine! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Reply
    Robin
    January 23, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Wow! You and Rooney get to have a lot of fun together! Perhaps I will figure out how to make my cats more exercise-friendly one of these days. 🙂 I could use it.
    Robin recently posted…All About the Birmans Word SearchMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Do either Manna or Cinco like to walk on a leash?

  18. Reply
    Christine Caplan
    January 23, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I LOVE this post! I’m starting to run with our doxie – and we’re loving it, all of these tips are so fabulous. I have friends that paddleboard wit their dogs and they love it.
    Christine Caplan recently posted…Photo Tips for Animal Rescues and SheltersMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Awesome! I love seeing people and their dogs running together!

  19. Reply
    Talent Hounds
    January 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Kilo the Pug and I walk together and he plays fetch with me while I ride my stationary bike in winter. We also play chase and dance together. I plan to teach him to swim this summer in his life jacket but I will not take him surfing (I grew up surfing in Australia but too dangerous for him, plus no waves near here). We also love agility and hope to do more.

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Sounds like you guys do lots of activities together! I though about including agility in the list, but I haven’t tried it myself. Do you feel like it’s good exercise for you as well?

  20. Reply
    Annette @PetsAreFound
    January 24, 2016 at 9:33 am

    It’s summer here and I’m giving serious thought to Paddleboarding with #Finndawg… but Surfing is a board too far! Sharing across our network.
    Annette @PetsAreFound recently posted…#LOST Ginger Long Hair #CAT, #MOSMAN #Sydney #NSW 2088My Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Thank you for sharing Annette! Let me know if you go paddle boarding, I would love to hear about your experience.

  21. Reply
    Heather
    January 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Chuleta and I are resigned to walking, these days, because of her age and inability to walk very far (not to mention my own health issues), but I want to try stand up paddleboarding so desperately! This is a great list of ideas!

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Thank you Heather! Does Chuleta like to swim?

  22. Reply
    Kia
    January 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    What awesome activities! Good luck with the challenge 🙂

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thank you Kia!

  23. Reply
    Dusty Desert Dogs
    January 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    great list of activities!

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thank you!

  24. Reply
    Sadie
    January 24, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I tried teaching Henry to run beside the bike. We both got a scare and ‘put the brakes’ on that (for now). Paddleboarding might be fun – we hope to give that a try during our next Florida trip.
    Sadie recently posted…HOME HARDWARE’S EMPLOYEE OF THE YEARMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Please let me know how it goes with the paddle boarding! I can’t wait to try that with Rooney.

  25. Reply
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady
    January 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Yes!! So much fun! 🙂
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…A Siberians Wet Nose And a Spooky TaleMy Profile

  26. Reply
    Sweet Purrfections
    January 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I wish I could get more motivated to be active, but I have so many aches and pains in my joints that I can’t do any type of impact activity. How wonderful to have activities you can do with your dogs.
    Sweet Purrfections recently posted…Sunday SelfieMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Having Rooney definitely motivates me to get outside because its important for him to get his exercise.

  27. Reply
    Beth
    January 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Those seem like great activities. I’d like to try snowshoeing some time, I’m not sure if my dogs would be able to go too or not.
    Beth recently posted…Fetching!My Profile

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

      That would be a fun activity! I’m not sure either. I will look around for some articles…

  28. Reply
    Mary
    January 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Ginger dog is so crazy! I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to try bicycling with her!

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

      I don’t think Rooney would be great at biking either. He gets super focused on scents near by. However, I think he would be great at paddle boarding!

  29. Reply
    Cathy Armato
    January 25, 2016 at 5:50 am

    These are some awesome activities! Some of them would not be my cup of tea like surfing or paddle boarding, I’d be the Queen of face-plants into the water, LOL! We love hiking though, and this Summer I bought a bike leash to use with my Husky – it’s awesome! Biking is my newest activity with my dog, we both love it.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. Reply
      Rachel
      January 26, 2016 at 11:11 am

      That is so awesome! Do you have any specific tips or suggestions for people who want to start biking with their dog?

  30. Reply
    Olivia Williams
    February 19, 2017 at 4:09 am

    Thanks for the tips. Will definitely try them out. I just love spending time with my dog and some of these activities look perfect for me.
    Olivia Williams recently posted…5 Best Flea Collars for Dogs in 2017My Profile

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