The more exercise your pet will have, the better quality exercises they can do. They’ll walk faster and go for more mileage. Outdoor activities promote good health, mental stimulation and a chance for quality bonding time with your pet. On our last blog article, we discussed some indoor activities that will keep your pet active. Here are 7 outdoor activities to try with your pet:
1. Morning Jogging
One of the advantages of being an early bird is you get the chance to jog with your pet on a cooler morning. The sun isn’t at its peak yet so the heat will be tolerable. Don’t rush your pet, start slow and work your way up to higher speed, smaller breaks and longer distances. Not all pets can tolerate running, so it’s best to have them try it at a slow pace.
Remember to bring a pet water bottle or a collapsible bowl for water breaks. Get an ELSPET Pet Water Bottle to quench the thirst and ease the heat. Use wet cloth or frozen cloth to dampen the paws and belly to help cool down the body heat. Avoid running on hot surfaces such as hot asphalt as it may burn the paws.
For safety and legal reasons, your pet must be leashed when running. Your pet may be a distraction to other people and pets (and vice versa) and it can be harmful to both parties. If your community allows off-leash pets and your pet has a reliable recall, then taking the leash off is considerable.
Biking is a fun way to level up your pet’s fitness level. Before starting on a biking adventure, let your pet get used to the bike at first. Keep them on a leash with reliable bike attachment or you can hold the leash with your other arm. Start with a low speed and let your pet run and keep up with you. Avoid difficult paths with bumpy surface. Keep twisting and turning to a minimal to avoid confusion. Once your pet has mastered this activity, you can move on to difficult routines. Just like running, not all pet can keep up with biking and it may cause danger in some cases. Do not try to force your pet if they are non-compliant and stop the activity to be safe. Biking can also be dangerous, especially for small pets, so try this out only when your pet has the built and capability.
Walking is a great and easy way for your pets to explore the world and meet new friends. It is probably the best and classic activity that both dogs and cats can enjoy. While cats are not generally known for walking on a leash, there are many cat breeds now that enjoy walking on the parks or beaches. When you take your cat on a leash, make sure that you use a harness as cats can squeeze their flexible body out of it. You may need some time to train your cat to get used to a leash and walk on it. For dogs, outdoors are their natural environment to relieve. Most dogs enjoy walking and will let you bring them outdoors. Let your pet sniff new scents and see unfamiliar things, bugs and animals. Do take their time as they may engage in a lot of sniffing around during the walk. Take on a different path for new things to smell and see.
A bit more challenging than walking, hiking provides a refreshing scenery to explore the world. The trees allows some shade to cover the hot sun. On the other hand, dirt trail keeps the paw safe from the hot ground. When bringing your pet on a hike, do take short day hikes on a cooler day and avoid difficult trails with a lot of bumpy terrain. Bring a pet water bottle and some protection for ticks and fleas.
The skin also need sun protection, especially breeds with lighter coat, sparse and light-colored hair. Use sunscreen that are specially made for pets or a baby sunscreen. Check for pet lotion without zinc oxides as it is deadly when ingested.
If your pet is exhibiting signs of exhaustion, panting, lethargy, red gums and red tongues, take a rest and give them some water. Never force your pet to resume the trail if they refuse to get up. When in doubt, head home immediately.
5. Interactive Toys
Bring your toys outdoors for more fun and exercise! Make sure to get toys which are made of safe and high-grade material so the toy won’t wear out easily with physical pressure and friction. Try our Wickedbone, which is safe and durable for outdoor activities. It can be controlled with with a smartphone via app. All you need to do is install the app and connect the toy to your phone and you’re set for a game of chase!
One of the advantages of an outdoor exercise is it gives larger space for your pet to move around. Why not try outdoor games? Bring your pet to a basketball court or pet-friendly parks and try fetch, tug of war, or nose work games. Hand out treats every time they 'win' something. Not only your pet gets a larger space but they associate outdoors with fun and quality bonding time.
7. Pet School
If you want to be a bit more extra with your pet’s fitness and mental health, you can try pet schools! These are pet training centers where they teach your pet different obedience lessons, from basic commands to awesome tricks! Pet schools may be expensive but it improves your pet’s social skills, recall, and obedience and it’s good for the general health as well.
Now that you’re equipped with activities to try, don’t forget that safety first before fun. Make sure that your pet has a collar with your contact details, for emergency. Not all pets are the same and depending on their breed, age and tolerance, they may need more or less exercise. Breeds with shorter nose, such as pugs, bulldogs and Persian tend to have lower tolerance for exercise. Take it slow, give them some time to feel comfortable and take breaks as needed. Even if you’re pet is in need of weight loss, don’t overdo it. Before starting any exercise routine, consult your veterinarian first. Finding the right outdoor activity for your pet may not be as easy and can take trial and error but always remember to be patient, friendly and considerate. Go outdoors and have fun!