The moment you decide to bring a dog into your life, you also agree to take on the many responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. These responsibilities do not end with just feeding your dog and giving them a home; you also need to spend a good amount of time with them and do different activities together. Luckily, there are a number of activities that you can try with your dog. These activities are designed to keep both you and your dog moving, which is helpful for overall health. But, more importantly, it is a way for you to bond with your dog, get a better understanding of each other and strengthen your relationship in the long run.
You might be thinking, “what in the world is Doga?” To answer your question, Doga is a portmanteau of the words “yoga” and “dogs”. Yes, “Doga” is a thing and is slowly gaining prominence amongst dog lovers, especially for dog owners who are practice yoga on a regular basis. It is an activity that allows for owner-dog coordination. Invented by London-based yoga teacher Mahny Djahanguiri, Doga allows you to apply mindfulness and establish a stronger bond with your dog. Similar to a regular yoga session, Doga classes involve meditation, massage and a combination of various gentle stretches for both owners and their dogs. While there are a number of studios where you can bring your dog for a Doga session, most do it within the comforts of their own home using instructional Doga DVDs or Doga books. By owning these, you are able to do yoga any time of the day at your own convenience, both indoor and outdoor if you wish. However, these resources come at a small fee, usually ranging from $10 to $50.
Dog parks are simply parks where dogs can roam freely. With the abundance of dog owners, these dog parks are becoming more and more widespread in cities all over the country. These areas are usually fenced to keep dogs safe and secure and are filled with various safety signs. Park rules are also clearly established for dog owners to abide by. Some special parks even have designated areas for small dogs. While most dog parks are public and free of charge, there are some privately-owned dog parks that may charge a fee, albeit cheap. The best time to go visit the park would be during sunny or clear weather. An hour-long stay at the park is enough but you may extend longer if your dog is having too much of a good time.
When taking your dog for a walk in your neighborhood has become mundane, take it up a notch by bringing your dog on a hike. Hitting the hiking trail is a great, challenging way for you to exercise. It also gives your dog a great workout and offers a fresh change of scenery. State parks are a good starting place for hikes. This activity is often free for everyone, although there are some exceptions where parks may charge a minimal entrance fee. Hiking is best done when the weather is clear and sunny to avoid any accidents due to bad weather. Hikes can last from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the difficulty of the trail or how much time you want to spend in a certain spot.
Sometimes, it feels great to just sit back, relax and enjoy the company of your dog. After a long day, lie on the couch and cuddle your dog. While this requires little activity, it is nonetheless a significant way to build rapport with your dog. You can watch television or a movie while snuggling with your furbaby as a sign of affection. Not only is it appreciated by your dog, it also benefits you because you get to release some of your stress during a hard day.
Whether a short daytrip or a multiple-day trip, road trips are a great way to spend quality time with your pooch. It is critical that your route is pet-friendly and that whatever destination you choose to go to will welcome your dog. There are many special sites dedicated to finding pet-friendly places and accommodations so feel free to utilize them. Before going on long road trips, take short daytrips to gauge if your dog can handle car rides. If not, stick to short trips until they are ready to take an epic road trip.
Activities between dogs and their owners are a crucial part of you and your dog’s development. It allows for a better relationship and understanding between you two and helps keep your dog happy. However, the top priority before trying out any of these activities is safety. Always make sure that your dog is secure and that the activities you will take on are enjoyable for both of you. It is also important to check with your veterinarian before trying out any outdoor activities with your dog. Have your dog examined for any health conditions and physical limitations. Once your vet clears your dog, that’s when you should start to consider trying out some outdoor activities. Also, for activities involving the use of public spaces, be mindful of the rules and always follow them to avoid any risks.