Whether your gym is closed, your dog training classes have been cancelled, or you’re just looking for ways to safely get out of the house, dog walks are a great answer.
Dog walks are the highlight of my day. I love our morning and evening walks–and, right now, they’re more important than ever for stress relief as well as exercise.
Add Training to Your Walk
Training exercises can be a fun way to break up your walk. They can be as simple as “watch me” at points along the walk or plan to put your dog in a sit at the end of every block. Or get fancy with stays, weaves or a trick at one point along the walk.
(Don’t miss our post on fun games with your dog for more ideas including fetch games.)
Add a Challenge to Your Walk
I’ve started a fun challenge on my dog walks: every time I see a new wildflower or bloom, I stop for a photo. It’s a fun record of spring and a cheerful distraction in some not-so-cheerful times.
Even if your dog walks are limited to the same route every day during this period, see if you can add a little challenge to your walk–similar to a scavenger hunt!
Add Treats to Your Bag
Barli and Tiki know that I always carry training treats in my dog walking bag. I use them to distract the dogs when they need distracting (SQUIRREL!), to comfort them if there’s a scary incident (like a giant truck), to reinforce training and just to enjoy.
Sometimes we stop along the walk, sit down for a few minutes and just enjoy a treat. Because that’s what friends are for!
Vary Your Dog Walking Route
Do you usually leave your house and turn right? Well, it’s time to get crazy and turn left!
It’s surprising but walking–even the exact same dog walk–in the opposite direction makes the walk seem new both to you and your dog.
You’ll find yourself seeing details that you miss walking the other direction!
Add Exercise to Your Walk
Can’t go to the gym now? Add exercises as you walk your dog!
What is YOUR favorite way to add fun to your dog walk?