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How To Bike With Your Dog

Biking with your dog is a lot of fun. Most importantly, it gives you and your dog great exercise in a short amount of time, especially if your dog has a lot of energy to burn! We give you simple, quick steps to learn to bike with your dog. You’ll enjoy hitting the trails in no time.

Quick Steps to Biking With Your Dog

  1. Get Used To Equipment
  2. Walk With Your Bike
  3. Get On Your Bike – Go Slow
  4. Practice Turns – Go Slow
  5. Build Up To Faster and Longer Bike Rides

Read on to learn more about getting started with biking with your dog. We also give you some more tips on what dogs can run, health and safety considerations, cycling etiquette, biking tips for smaller dogs, and information about bikejoring.

Before you start, don’t forget to tune up your bike and replace any worn out parts! You might want to make sure your bike is outfitted with enough reflective gear and a bell before you train your dog. If you are just starting out with your dog, you may want to change clips to a flat pedal.

Need to know what type of biking accessories to get for your dog? We got you covered here.

Related Pawtivity / Event: Biking


HOW TO BIKE WITH YOUR DOG

1. Get Used To Equipment

Dogs aren’t familiar with biking gear and equipment so have them sniff any gear you will be using, bringing, or wearing. Get your dog used to the sounds and actions of the bike. Reward with a lot of treats even when they take an interest in your bike. Roll your bike and turn the wheels so your dog can hear and see the bike move.

Have another person hold your dog as you ride your bike in full gear so your dog can see you going faster on a bike and what to expect. Don’t forget to reward heavily with treats so your dog has a positive association with you riding the bike.

2. Walk With Your Bike

Leash your dog to your bike with the bike attachment and take a short walk. Don’t get on your bike, just walk while holding your bike going in a straight line. Next, introduce your dog to wide turns going left and right as you walk your bike. Your dog will have to learn to slow down and speed up when necessary.

Gradually introduce your dog to tighter or wider turns so your dog. Then, gradually walk faster and slower so you dog ca start to learn how he needs to adjust his speed to go along with the bike. Give rewards and praise as you train your dog.

If your dog is having a hard time with this step, take your dog off the bike attachment and hold them with a regular leash as you walk. You may even have to go back to training your dog to walk in a heel position next to you so they learn to focus on you and stay at your side as you walk. Use treats and praise to reward as you train your dog.

3. Get On Your Bike – Go Slow

Find a location with little traffic, distractions, and a path that is relatively straight for along time. Leash your dog to your bike with the bike attachment. Start pedaling slow in a straight line and pay attention to how your dog responds. Get them to a trotting stance to start with and then to a slow jog.

If you have more than one dog, train each dog separately up to now before attaching them to the leash together. The dogs should already be used to walking side by side together.

4. Practice Turns – Go Slow

Now that you have a mastery of biking slowly with your dog, add in turns but go slowly again and pay attention to how your dog is progressing. Practice riding the bike slowly with your dog attached until your dog becomes more comfortable going straight and turning.

5. Build Up To Faster and Longer Bike Rides

It’s time to hit the trails. Remember, your dog will be the one setting your pace so you need to pay attention to how fast your dog can run.

Dogs need to build up endurance and stamina. They also need to build up their paw pads so they don’t get raw pads from running. Start with 5 minutes of running at a time. Start with your practice speed and gradually increase speed. Each week you should increase distance by only a few minutes.

Don’t forget to take frequent breaks and reward him each time for doing such a great job. Keep practice sessions to no more than 15 minutes and keep your dog anticipating more time on the trail. He should be running towards you the next time he sees your bike!

As you bike, give your dog small, frequent water breaks even every 5 minutes at a time. Check their paws, mouth, and eyes each time. You will need to pay attention to signs of overheating, excessive panting (they are too hot), and even limping as you increase your mileage. Don’t overdo it. Slowly get a sense for how much your dog needs to drink . Use that knowledge when increasing mileage for your dog.

Most Important: Don’t forget to have fun while you are out with your dog! It’s not a competition to go the fastest. Baby steps people!

 


WHAT DOGS CAN RUN

 

Dogs that can keep up with you on a bike are usually medium to large in size, which is the size most bike equipment for dogs are designed for. Your vet should be able to tell you how well your dog may be able to run, especially if you have a puppy or senior dog.

Some of the best running dogs include Weimaraners, Border Collies, Siberian Huskies, Jack Russell Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Vizslas, Retrievers, and Dalmations, just to name a few.

It’s not usually recommended that small dogs run with you on a bike as it takes them a considerable amount of energy and stamina just to keep up with you long enough to make it worthwhile. There are still plenty of little dogs out there who can run as you ride – read on ahead. You can always bring along a dog bike trailer if your dog just wants to join in on the ride!

Some dog breeds, such as bulldogs, are prone to breathing difficulties and respiratory problems due to their short noses and flattened faces. It may be better to take short runs or frequent breaks with these breeds.


HEALTH & SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

 

Consult your Vet.

Before you go out on a bike ride, consult your vet to make sure your dog is fit enough to run. Dogs should be at least a year old with a mature skeletal system. Your dog should also have mastery of basic commands and be able to walk next to you on a leash. Train them to follow you in the heel position so that they learn to stay behind you as you walk, and behind you when you ride.

Bring Enough Water.

The most important health and safety consideration is to make sure your dog is getting enough water. Dogs will heat up quickly when they run. Read our tips on how much water to bring for your dog along with signs to look out for.

No Flexible or Running Leashes.

Never bike holding a regular leash or attaching one on your waist. If your dog pulls even a little, you’ll likely lose control. Worse, you’ll crash or fall on your dog.

Choose A Wide, Open Trail – Shady, Cool

A busy road is not the best place to run with your dog, especially if you biking with your dog is new to you. The best place to start is on a wide, paved trail designated for bikers. A shady trail is best during the morning or early evenings. There are many local options, but consider planning a weekend trip to one of these top destinations for biking with your dog.

If it’s too hot out, don’t go out with your dog. Otherwise, shorten your ride and bring more water, get a cooling vest for your dog, and take frequent and longer breaks. You can also bring your dog in a bike trailer instead of having him run while you bike.

Have Paw Protection.

If you are running on hot or rough terrain, apply some paw wax* to your dog or give them booties they have been trained to run in. You can also build up their paw pads, but this happens gradually. Start running, walking, or hiking with your dog for short distances at a time until the paw pads become harder.


BIKING TRAIL & CYCLING ETIQUETTE

 

A few biking or cycling etiquette before you go out:

• Wear a helmet.
• Ride on the right side of the road. Pass on the left when clear. Notify others ahead that you are passing.
• If you are in a busy area, it’s good to have your dog farthest away from oncoming pedestrian and bike traffic.
• Don’t hog up the entire width of the road if other riders or pedestrians are coming the other way.
• Take your breaks off to the side of the road so others can pass.
• Pick up after your dog. Bring your own poop bags.
• Don’t ride with headphones if you bring your dog.
• Obey road signs and traffic laws.
• Give ample room ahead and behind you if you plan to slow down or stop.
• When in doubt, communicate what you are doing to another rider or pedestrian. Get their attention with a bell.
• Exercise caution every time you see younger children.


LITTLE DOGS CAN BIKE TOO

 

Biking gear isn’t always made with little dogs in mind. However, some small dogs can really run and keep up with you on a bike. Most, however, can only go a short distance or at a slower pace.

Many opt to take their dogs off leash, although this requires a whole different training. If you do get a bike attachment for your small dog, one to consider is the Bike Tow Leash Bicycle Attachment*. It’s been rated 5 stars by the American Pet Association and one of, if not the safest, bike attachment on the market today.

If your dog can’t keep up with you on a bike for a long time, it may not be worthwhile to take your dog running as you bike. You won’t be going far on the bike. Look into getting a bike trailer instead.

Check out Lily, the Jack Russell Terrier, as she races with her owner on a mountain bike course. Go Lily!

Don’t expect your dog to automatically run with your bike perfectly. This isn’t Lily’s first course. It takes some training to make sure your dog doesn’t cross your path or run into your bike. Start slow and work yourself up to faster speeds and terrain challenges.

Ruffwear puts out a great article that gives some more tips about how Ross Downard trains Lily to run. Some key points to remember are to build endurance, build pad tolerance, and to provide proper hydration and nutrition.

We also think it’s important to have fun and to take it easy. It’s easy for us to go on a bike, but dogs won’t always tell us when enough is enough. Dogs should have mastery of basic commands, especially recall, and at least obey voice commands. Results likely won’t happen overnight.


BIKEJORING

Bikejoring is a dog sport that involves having your dog pull you on a bike. Your dog will be running in front of you as they do in Canicross. You need to have very good voice command of your dog or you’ll find yourself on the floor fast. The equipment and gear required for bikjoring is different than regular biking with your dog.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivity / Event: Biking, Bikejoring, Running
Activities: Biking, Running, Training

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Best Energy Bars For Dogs – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we looked for energy bars to take out on the trail with our dogs. Energy bars are a compact, portable, and slim source of food for your dog. They are much easier to carry around than kibble and bowl. No more crushed or wet kibble! An unopened bar package won’t get spoiled and wet if you are on a trail near water or doing water sports.

Products Covered: Energy Bars

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


WHAT ARE ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS?

 

Energy bars for dogs are short-term energy boosters or meal replacement solutions designed specifically for active dogs. Bars are high in calories so it’s not something you want to give your dog if he’s not active. Bars are also idea for travel rather than the main source of your dog’s daily meal.

Ask your vet for their opinion on which energy bars are best for your dog and activity level. You should also ask them about any known allergies. We can’t recommend a best energy bar for your specific dog. It just depends on his activity level, health, nutritional needs, and calorie requirement.

With all food, give your dog a small sample to try first before heading outdoors. If your dog gets an upset stomach or other adverse reaction from the energy bar, at least you’ll know in advance and be able to consult further with your vet. Don’t forget to try different flavors to keep meal time more interesting for your dog!

Even the best food manufacturers announce food recalls. Always check the FDA’s list for recalls periodically to make sure you are not giving your dog something from the list. Another great source for dog food is Dog Food Advisor.


ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS

 

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar* is a popular choice among hikers and backpackers. It’s a complete meal for your dog, meaning, you can give your dog one of these bars in place of his meal! Depending on how much your dog eats, it means not having to carry around kibble and a bowl! And dogs really do love the taste of these. They just do! Flavors come in bacon and peanut butter.

Each bar is 2.2 oz, 250 calories and made from US sourced, human grade, all-natural grain-free ingredients. Bars also come in multipacks for a total of 4.4 oz and 500 calories. Bars can be kept for up to 2 years or up to the ‘best by’ date on the package.

Food is suitable for sensitive stomachs and approved by a lot of picky eaters. Bars are scored and can be broken into pieces easily by hand or given throughout the day as a treat.

If you look at the Nutritional Analysis, bars contain 18% crude protein and 20% crude fat to help sustain energy. Top 5 ingredients are all natural: chickpea flour, whey protein isolate, oil blend (safflower, coconut) organic tapioca solids, and proprietary vitamin and mineral blend.

According to Embrace Pet Insurance, dogs need about 25-30 calories per pound to maintain their weight. For a 50 pound dog, this is roughly 1250 daily calories or 625 per meal twice a day. That means as a meal replacement you may need to give your dog a 4.4 oz package for each meal and perhaps top it off with something else, such as peanut butter. This is important to keep in mind as it’s a very rough estimate of how much food you have to bring for your dog.

WHY WE LOVE: We love this because dogs love this! We also love how this can be used as a ultra-light, compact meal for your dog, perfect for that backpacking and day hiking trip.

Take me to the TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar*now.

 

Zuke’s Power Bones

Zuke’s Power Bones* are a favorite among day hikers. Zuke’s already carries a wide array of treats, that dogs simply love.

With real meat listed as the #1 ingredient and the fact that dog’s love the taste of these treats, getting these treats is a no-brainer. Power Bones comes in 4 flavors; Beef, Chicken, Chicken & Rice, and Peanut Butter.

Power Bones contains about 12% crude protein and 7% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are meat, ground oats, ground barley, ground rice, and maple syrup. Other ingredients are all natural and include a combination of fruits, vegetables, spices, and preservatives. These treats come in chewy, bite sized chunks about an inch long.

WHY WE LOVE: Zuke’s Power Bones are the prefect little treat for a day hike. We love giving tiny doses of energy (and love) to our dogs while out on the trail.

Amazon currently has an add-on special* on the beef flavor for $5.44 as of May 2018. That’s a really good price. Better take advantage of the awesome deal!!

Take me to Zuke’s Power Bones* now.

 

Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar

We look to hunters for advice on energy bars. The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* is new to us, but a staple for many hunting, sporting, and guard dogs. It’s compact and packaged for ultimate portability at any outdoor event, show, or during intense training exercises.

This 400g bar can be broken up into 8 smaller pieces. According to the manufacturer, 100-200g (2-4 small pieces) is enough for a 55 pound dog! That’s a small dose of energy! It will take about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for the energy bar to take effect.

 

The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar contains 25% crude protein and 59% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are fish meal, lard, vegetable fat, grape sugar, and corn. Additional vitamins and minerals have been added to the bar.

A bonus in these treats is that these bars don’t freeze. You can use them in the winter without getting a hard block to give your dog! It’s also packaged so no need to package your own food.

This product is made by Henne Pet Food of Denmark and originally designed for dogsled teams.

WHY WE LOVE: This bar is one small, mighty compact dose of energy for your active dog!

As of May 2018, there is an extra 5% coupon*.

Take me to the Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* now.

 

Out Bar

The Out Bar is handcrafted in batches by The Great Outdogs. It’s a compact meal replacement for dogs that need a good boost of energy. The bar comes in three flavors; herring, lamb and turkey.

Each piece can be broken up into 4 smaller pieces. A 50 pound dog will need about 3.5 bars per day.

The Out Bar contains 23-28% crude protein and 16-23% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are animal protein (herring, lamb / lamb liver, turkey / turkey liver), buckwheat flour, green lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. This may vary slightly based on flavor of the bar. Bars are grain-free, do not contain artificial preservatives, and have added vitamins and minerals. Ingredients are source from North America.

WHY WE LOVE: We love that this bar is handcrafted with quality ingredients.

Take me to the Out Bar now.

 

What energy bars do you get for your dog? For what activity?

Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Great Outdoors, Running, Food, Biking, Sports – Water, Sports – Winter

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Kootenai National Forest, MT

The Kootenai National Forest sits in Montana and Idaho. Scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. The most popular areas in Kootenai are Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Ten Lakes Scenic Area known for its carved glacier basins, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and Ross Creek Scenic Byway.

Dogs must be on leash or restrained in developed recreation areas. We recommend that dogs be well behaved and obey commands well as there are bears, wolves, and other wildlife that roam the area. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas and on some beaches near water.

With over 1,400 miles of trails, there are a lot of options to consider! Some trails to consider: Ross Creek Cedar Area, Trout Creek National Recreation Trail at 19.8 miles, Kootenai Falls Trail, and Big Therriault Lake Loop Trail. In the summer only, head on to Little Spar Lake and take an 8 mile hike around the lake with your dog. Trails and maps can be found on the USDA website.

Mountain biking and road biking are allowed in the area. Check out mountain biking in the Libby area in the spring where there are over 132 different species of wildflowers. You’ll also want to head down the trails past Kootenai Falls. Check out the Sheldon Mountain bike course or Kootenai Trail.

There are several camping options in the area from standard campsites, to dispersed and RV camping. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Popular campgrounds to consider include Rexford Bench Campground, Loon Lake Campground, Big Therriault Lake Campground, or Timberland Campground. Spar Lake Campground has hiking, biking and a lake in the immediate area. Consider Yaak River Campground if you want to go road biking or be near the Kootenai River.

Large groups or families can consider McGillivray Campground. For cabins, go to Big Creek Baldy Lookout for a great view near Lake Koocanusa. Cabins and campgrounds are listed on the USDA website. Backpackers can refer to camping options here.

If you have a water dog or love fishing for salmon and trout, head over to the Lake Koocanusa area near Libby Dam. Large watercraft and sailing is allowed in the area. There are also campgrounds around the lake.

We hear there are morel mushrooms (non-toxic) in the area – but make sure your dog doesn’t eat a ton of them! Regular mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Some dogs love to hunt morel mushrooms, but you’ll need a permit to collect them.

For winter, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing with your dog or consider cutting down your own christmas tree.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Libby, MT | Lincoln County | Montana
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Tracking, NoseWork, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Winter-Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Social, Running

How To Choose The Best Hiking Dog For You

So what makes a good trail dog? We broke these down into personality / traits, training, and physical / health requirements.

Choose the right hiking dog for you! Be sure to read our article The Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs next!

While there may be good traits for a hiking dog, it’s still important to socialize and train whatever dog you end up getting.

You also need to consider what kind of hiking you will be doing and what will be most suitable for your dog.
 

 

 


PERSONALITY / TRAITS

 

Short Hair – Bonus points go to short-haired dogs. Twigs and branches don’t get stuck in their fur so there is less maintenance involved on the trail. Short hair also dries faster and it’s much easier to spot ticks on your dog.

Agile – The more agile your dog is, the more likely he is able to navigate across rough or challenging terrain. Your dog will be able to bound more easily across large boulders or uneven terrain without fear. They may even take on jumping and climbing up small surfaces and be as nimble as a mountain goat.

Reliability Off Leash – Love the thought of having a dog off leash while on a hike off? First off, it’s important to follow area leash policies for dogs. They are up for a reason and there to protect the general population. Some dogs are more reliable off leash and will come back to you when called or have a natural disposition to go back to their owner. Others may have high prey drive, an independent streak, or prone to run away. Some may not be able to navigate their way back to you by sight and smell as well as others. If you do have your dog off leash, it’s always good practice to have your dog within your sight and hearing at all times. You must have command of your dog and excellent recall.

Working Dog – This isn’t the only criteria of a great hiking partner, but working dogs are always looking for something to do. They were bred to do a job and assist humans. Give your dog a backpack to carry! Most working dogs are highly intelligent and love the bond they have with their humans.

Endurance & Strength – In itself, hiking builds endurance and strength. Some dogs, however, are naturally very strong and bred to carry large loads or run long distances for a purpose. These dogs are great if you want to go on a longer hike, without the need to carry them back home or stop for breaks all the time. They can hold their own!

Barking – Barking can sometimes annoy bears, so it’s best to have a dog that you can train to stay quiet if needed. A dog that barks too much may also bother many people or frighten them. They may not be the best dog to take out on certain trails deep in the backcountry or trails that are too crowded.


TRAINING & TRAIL ETIQUETTE

 

No matter what type of breed of dog you have, you need to give him basic training to be trail ready. Skills such as sit, stay, come / touch, and leave it can go as far as saving you and your dog’s life. Recall is absolutely essential for an off leash dog.

You need to commit the time early on to teach and socialize your dog while they are young. You’ll only make it easier to go on more adventures later and negate aggressive or fearful tendencies. Smart dogs are generally easy to train, but it’s also important to get a dog that is eager to please and not too independent. Otherwise, more training may be required.

Good trail etiquette involved passing people on the right with your dog at your right side. If a horse or bike go by, or you are on a single-track trail, step to the side with your dog and have him sit until the other party passes by.

Not all dogs may be friendly, so don’t assume that another dog is. Always stay calm on the trail so your dog is calm. Dogs can pick up on your senses fast. Keep control of your dog at all times.

You should also carry poop bags or bring a trowel with you to clean up after your dog and dispose properly. Many trails follow a leave no trace policy.


PHYSICAL / HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

 

Please consult your vet prior to hiking with your dog. Dogs should be fully mature before their first real hike. Puppies need time to develop a mature, strong skeletal system before heading out.

Your dog should have current vaccinations, rabies, and licenses. Most dogs also take preventative medicine for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Consult your vet if you need special vaccinations or your dog requires special care while on the trail.


MORE ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Need more information about hiking with your dog? We have a few articles that will get you started.

Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs

The Beginner’s Guide To Hiking

Winter Paw Care and Treatment For The Outdoor Dog

Tips For Hiking In The Rain: Staying Dry to Paw / Foot Care

Top 10 Safety Tips: Winter Hiking With Your Dog – Comprehensive Guide


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking, Biking, Running

Start and Finish Your Bucket List (Adventure List)

Everyone should have a bucket list. And we think every dog should have their own as well!

We give you our top reasons why you should start your own bucket list and tips for how to actually finish your list!

We hate the term “bucket list” because it implies that there is some finality to life. The definition of a bucket list according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying,” We would rather live our life as we want to every day and so we will call our “bucket list” our Adventure List instead.

Keep in mind that our Adventure List should not be a to-do list of daily tasks. It should include items of things that you want to do, not out of necessity but out of pure passion!

Don’t delay, just do it. Start jotting down your Adventure List today.


 

 

TOP REASONS TO START AN ADVENTURE LIST

 

Be Happy, Now

There are so many everyday distractions. We need a bucket list to keep us on track to what we really want to do, what makes us truly happy.

Don’t wait to do things on your adventure list or you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t actually do so anymore.

Get Your Weekly Revitalization

We all need some hobby, sport, project, or passion to keep our minds active and challenged. It’s also good to do something that you have control over, because there’s so much in our lives that we often don’t have any control of!

Doing something that you can call your own makes you more interesting as an individual. It also gives you a place to challenge yourself creatively, physically, and/or mentally. Do something for yourself! When you accomplish something, you build up confidence in yourself which carries on into so many other things in your life. You also create a de-stressor in your life.

Get your weekly revitalization in by doing something you love. Refresh your spirit.

Be Known For Something

What do you want to accomplish in your life? Whatever it is, you have to work towards it! So many of us focus on our jobs and career towards accomplishing things, but life isn’t all about your job. What else do you want others to recognize you by? It can’t just be all about your job.

Think about your hobbies and passions as something you need to build up. You can’t climb the tallest summit unless you start hiking more and at higher elevations. You have to start somewhere and climb yourself to the top step by step. In all, you have to start somewhere or you’ll never get to where you see yourself.

Meet Other People Like You

One of the best reasons to start your own adventure list is to find others, like you, who share your same interests. Once you get started, it’s so easy to meet others. You can only learn so much if you live in your own box. Get out of the box, open your eyes, and challenge yourself further!


HOW TO REALLY FINISH YOUR ADVENTURE LIST

 

1 Write It Down – The Most Important Step!

Brain dump! The first things you should do is to write down everything you want to do, even as farfetched as it may seem now. It may also help to categorize what type of activity each item belongs to so you can group items easily later.

In all, the main thing you need is a list! Find a system that works for you, whether it’s a bullet journal or a just piece of paper! Write your list somewhere you can always refer back to later.

 

In my Adventure List above, I jot down what I want to do, the associated category and who in my family I do the item with. The category I use for items related to Carmella, my dog, is the same as the special interest on Pawtivity – that way I can match up our items with our own Pawtivity lists. I note any relevant timelines. For example, I’ve always wanted to attend La Tomatina Festival in Spain, so I’ve noted that this is usually held in Late August.

I keep my list in Google Docs. My family and friends joke that I create all my lists in Google Docs, but it really does keep things organized and manageable! Plus, I won’t lose it and can access it anywhere with an internet connection.

I also save relevant pawtivities for Carmella on Pawtivity.com periodically so I can see who else is completing the same item. Sometimes it’s easier to do things by learning from others who have been there, done that! It’s nice to have somewhere to go to for advice.

2 Prioritize Your Adventure List By Category

Now, look at your Adventure List and prioritize them within each category from easiest to hardest. The easiest should be something that you can do this year with the least effort, training, or equipment. The hardest may require you to learn or do something before.

Now, you have a list that can serve as your main Adventure List. Refer back to it periodically and hang it up so you always remember to keep at it! Have a new item to add? It’s easy for me to add it in Google Docs!

3 Plan Out Each Season’s List Separately

Now that you have an Adventure List sorted by category, start creating your Season List. This is a list of everything you want to do for that particular season. We break up into season so that you won’t be overwhelmed by a long list. Start with a few and focus on those. Then, move on to the next.

Starting with the easiest items, start planning which ones you will do for the current season (Summer 2018) and beyond. Then, write down what month you plan to do that activity.

In my list, you can see that I’ve color coded each upcoming season. I’ve noted some items to do for Fall, Winter, and Spring but my main focus is the current season, Summer.

Think of any other requirements that are necessary to complete an item and add a new entry to your Season List. In my example above, I wanted to complete an Obstacle Race in Spring 2019, so included other items that would help me get there. I wrote “Training for Obstacle Course Race Mud Run” in a new Notes column on my sheet.

4 Book It – Fill Your Calendar

Now with your Season List in hand, start booking time in your calendar to accomplish everything! Write everything in your calendar, down to each training session. That way, you’ll make sure you blocked off time to accomplish everything on your list!

When I complete an entry, I move it to a Completed Adventure List. I love looking at my completed list from time to time because it’s a list of my lifelong accomplishments to date. They include things that I’m passionate about. Some of the items that are already on my list include: Run A Marathon, Cross-Country Roadtrip (US), and Learn To Dive.

5 Keep an Adventure List Photo Journal

Now that you’ve spent some time creating your Adventure List, it would be a shame not to document your experiences! The best way to do that is by taking photos!

At Pawtivity, we have created a system where you can track your adventures by uploading photos by special interest and date. You can keep an easy journal of your adventures on Pawtivity and meet other people who love to do what you do at the same time! We always think it’s more fun to do things with others and learn from others who have been there done that.

Share your adventure story with us and we will publish it on Pawtivity!

What do you really want to do? Stop delaying and create your adventure list to get you on the path to doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

Happy Adventuring,

Carol and Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


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The Best Dog Tech Gadgets For Dogs (2018) – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we decided to cover some of latest and must-have technology gadgets made for our furry friends! We tend to love the products that give us our dogs smart, active play and products that make sure we keeping our dogs healthy while simplifying our lives.

Products Covered: Smart Collar, Food & Exercise Tracking, Treat Dispensers, Dog Monitors, Potty Trainer, Smart Toys

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


 

WAGZ SMART DOG COLLAR

 

We really love the concept of this dog collar. It’s the perfect collar for the Pawtivity Pup. You can go hiking, running, and biking with your dog off-leash and get the assurance that your dog will be within a set boundary around you at all times. GPS, health, and activity monitor make this collar even better. By the way, the collar is completely waterproof!

Dog collars with geo-fence capabilities have been around a long time, but what makes this collar unique is the ability to use your mobile app to draw your own customized containment area anywhere, not just in your own backyard. This makes the product truly mobile and versatile.

When you are out for a run or hiking in the winter, it helps to know if your dog is too hot or cold. The collar comes with a temperature and environmental alert that tells you if you your dog’s ambient temperature is high or low.

 

What is still left to be proven is just how good GPS tracking is on this device and if the gentle vibration and ultrasonic sensor is enough to deter a dog from crossing a certain boundary. We are also unsure how an added 1 pound of weight for the collar may work for a small or medium sized dog.

The product was released May 30, 2018, but still on pre-order. Wagz makes many other connected home devices for dogs, including an automatic feeder. The collar works with other Wagz and Black & Decker pet products. The product can be ordered for $349 and comes with plan options for extra storage and video streaming.

WHY WE LOVE: Have your dog on an invisible leash and hands free while you hike, run, and bike. This all-in-one device is perfect to track your best workout buddy’s health and whereabouts better than you can.

Take me to the Wagz Smart Dog Collar now.


ACTIJOY PET TRACKING SYSTEM

 

According to a study by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 53.9% of dogs are overweight. A lot of dog owners don’t actually know that their pets are overweight. Our vet can tell us how much food your dog needs based largely on weight, however, they can’t factor in exercise accurately to tell you much you may need to modify your dog’s diet. So, it’s pretty easy to overfeed your dog.

Actijoy creates an integrated pet tracking system that helps you give the right amount of food to your dog so they don’t become overweight. The pet tracking system includes a waterproof health and activity monitor, a food and water bowl, and finally a mobile application.

 

Actijoy products are currently on pre-order and available Spring 2018. We are curious to see how well the activity tracker measures different types of activity from a dog.

WHY WE LOVE: This is one of the first products we have seen that really tries to give us feedback into how much we need to feed our dogs. It also motivates us to get out and get active with our dogs! Of course we love that!

Take me to the Actijoy Pet Tracking System now.


CLEVER PET

 

We love smart play for our dogs and CleverPet* really fits the bill. Dogs need to work for their reward and use their heads! Clever Pet is a smart toy and treat dispenser. Your dog has to solve puzzles by pawing three buttons that light up. When they get the puzzle correct, the device opens revealing a tasty treat.

We love that puzzles get progressively harder so your dog keeps getting challenged and is not fed too many treats! You can see how your dog does throughout the day from your phone and how many treats they got.

Clever Pet is available to purchase on their website for $249 for a refurbished unit. New units are currently out of stock and cost about $300. We hope the company comes out with an upgrade version soon!

 

WHY WE LOVE: Dogs need a healthy balance of mental stimulation and physical exercise. Clever Pet gives them smart play so they don’t decide to take their frustration out on your sofa.

Take me to the Clever Pet* now or order the Refurbished Version.


TRAIN ‘N PRAISE POTTY TRAINING SYSTEM

 

Having a hard time training your puppy to go potty on his pee pad? PetSafe* has come up with a solution that will train and reward your dog every time he pees on his pad.

You can reinforce other training with your dog by using the treat dispenser with a remote. If your dog needs to know to go to his place or to his bed, you can place the treat dispenser near his designated place or sleeping area.

In order for this system to work, your dog does need to be food motivated. Some dogs are motivated more by play, so may not response as well to treats.

 

WHY WE LOVE: Ever walk home from work only to find pee and poop rubbed in on your furniture and carpets? Ugh. If you have to use a pee pad, at least your puppy can learn to go in the right spot!

Take me to Train ‘N Praise Potty Training System* now.


PET CUBE

 

PetCube* is an interactive pet camera that lets you interact with your dog when you are not home. You can quickly check up on your pet, hear and talk to your dog, give them a treat, and take photos of them from your phone.

Even when you aren’t checking in on your pet, you can get alerts if something is wrong based on sound and motion alerts. Now, you shouldn’t use the Pet Cube for meals, but the container does fit up to 2 lbs of treats so plenty to last a long time.

The PetCube comes with 1080 HD video and night vision along with a 138° wide angle view. You can also zoom up close to see your dog. Multiple cameras can be purchased and placed in different rooms.

 

The jacket does come at a hefty price tag of $495 (not a typo) if you’ve got some spare change! We just want to know if it comes with a hood or matching boots. Perhaps something to look for in the future.

WHY WE LOVE: Ok it’s Big Brother with good intent. Now we can love our dogs when we are not there. We already hate leaving them at home! Who doesn’t love flinging a treat (from your phone!) to your dog?

Take me to the Pet Cube* now.


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Shopping, Games & Tricks, Training, Great Outdoors, Indoor Play, Outdoor Play, Hiking, Biking, Running

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Couch to 5k: Run-Walk Training Plan for Beginners

So you are set on your first doggy 5k race! Congrats and welcome to the world of races. Running can be addictive. You’ll be in better shape and have more energy than ever before!

So…for starters a 5k is about 3.1 miles… a long distance for most dogs. It’s a good idea to research your dog’s breed to get a sense for how far your dog can run. Also, consult your vet to make sure your dog is ok to run. Your vet should also give you guidance on training, nutrition, and what to do if your dog is overheated. Puppies should not run until their skeletal systems have matured. Some senior dogs may have joint problems that limits how long they can run.

Most dogs are natural sprinters rather than endurance racers, so we focus on a realistic 8 week run/walk plan that’s manageable for you and your dog. This plan covers training your dog to run at your side rather than in front (canicross). It will also let you learn your dog’s running abilities and needs slowly. We have added games every other week to help you teach your dog to run in a straight line and to develop a good pace with you.

You should be going on consistent walks with your dog already and have good leash command. If your dog is aggressive or reactive on leash, it may be best to address those issues before signing up for a race where all dogs will be on leash and within close range. Your dog should know basic commands such as “leave it,” “stay/stop,” and “sit.” They should also have pretty good impulse control so they don’t go after squirrels and pull you around when you are running.

Get your dog out of the house. Let’s go already!

Related Pawtivity / Event: Running, Canicross Race, Trail Running

Find a Race: Spring 2018

 


RUN/WALK PLAN – GETTING STARTED

 

We will ask you to run a few times each week with your dog. It’s a good idea to stagger your runs so you are not running 2 days in a row. On your off days, you can rest, walk your dog, or go hiking with your dog where you have some hills as they help with strength training. You can also run on your own or do some cross training at the gym.

You’ll need a 4-6 foot non-retractable leash and harness for your dog. Train in cooler temperatures during the day when humidity is low. A nice trail or grassy area is the best terrain for your dog to run on to avoid paw injury and wear. Try using Musher’s Secret for all season paw care but apply before you go out. Don’t forget to bring lots of water and poop bags with you. Water breaks for you and your dog should be short and frequent.

Above all, please pay attention to your dog. Most dogs will try to go as long as you go, even if they are exhausted. Stop and rest when you need it.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WARMUP & COOLDOWN

 

Do a quick walking warmup and stretch before and after each run.

Warmup: 5-10 Minutes.
Start each run with a bathroom break, drink of water, and a 5 minute warmup walk and stretch. Warmups and stretches help you and your dog avoid injuries. Read Running With Your Dog, for some more tips on what to do for your dog before and after a run.

Cool down: 5-10 Minutes
End each run with a 5 minute cool-down walk and stretch. Then, reward your dog by giving him some water, a treat, a fun massage, and some extra love for all his hard work! Don’t forget to check your dog for ticks and to make sure his paws are ok before heading home. If you are still feeling sore, stretch again and drink chocolate milk to help rebuild muscles.


RUN/WALK PLAN – CHART

 

Couch to 5K, Doggy 5K, 5K Training Plan For Dogs, Run/Walk

 


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 1

 

Walk: 30 min, 3x per week.
Main Interval: None.
Goal: Walking/Jogging in a straight line.

This week we are going to work on getting your dog to walk in a straight line and to follow your lead. We want your dog to walk at your side and to not cross your path.

With your dog at your side, start walking in a straight line. You can start out with a short leash with some slack. If your dog goes a block without pulling in front, praise and treat him. If he pulls in front of you stop. Call your dog back to you and have him look at you. To have your dog look at you, you can touch his nose with a treat in your hand, say “look” or and direct your hand to your face. Your dog will likely follow your hand with the treat. Once your dog looks at you and comes by your side, say “yes” and give him a treat or praise. Then, continue walking. Reward your dog with more slack on the leash when he does better over time.

If your dog is extra active, ask your dog to sit at your side first, then look at you before treating him and going on. After awhile, you should not have to direct your dog so much. Say your commands and make your dog think what he needs to do. For the extra active dog, try additional focus / impulse control exercises with your dog and build them into your daily routine!

Patience and consistency go a long way. Once your dog has mastery of walking straight at your side, try walking left, right, and around to make sure your dog is still at your side. If your dog pulls in front or crosses your path, stop and wait for him to correct his behavior. Challenge it up further by walking faster or jogging. Repeat this week if your dog is having trouble walking in a straight line. This is really important so you don’t trip over your dog while you are running!

Week 1 Game: Follow the Leader
This game helps your dog get used to following your lead. It also helps to reiterate commands and make your dog think. Walk with your dog at your side on a short leash. Periodically ask your dog to go left, right, stay, sit, around, and look. Mix it up and reward with a treat every time he does something correct. If he does something wrong, stop and wait for your dog to look at you for guidance before continuing on. To make things more challenging just speed things up or mix in some tricks.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 2

 

Run/Walk: 12-14 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 1 minute run / 1 minute walk (1:1).
Goal: Bathroom control.

Week 2 is our first run-walk exercise! This week is not about you, but about getting your dog used to the pace of running vs walking. You also want to assess your dog’s abilities this week, but don’t forget the training from week 1!

Our runs each week will now consist of 2 short weekday runs and 1 long weekend run. Start slow and take it easy. This may seem easy to you, but remember the point is to get your dog to get used to a pattern of running vs walking. This will help you pace your dog on future runs. Over time, your dog should learn to pace you but you also need to choose a pace that your dog can handle for 3.1 miles.

1st Weekday Run: 12 minutes, 1:1 interval (6x)
2nd Weekday Run: 14 minutes, 1:1 interval (7x)
Long Weekend Run: 16 minutes, 1:1 interval (8x)

Take the first few weeks to figure out what pace works best for you and your dog. For example, you could be walking at a 15-16 minute per mile pace and run at a 10-11 minute per mile pace. It helps to have a phone or watch with you that tracks your average pace running and walking. Remember, you can always start slow for your dog and then work on building stamina and endurance later.

Do not let your dog go to the bathroom unless really has to go. You want to train your dog to hold it until you start walking and not go while you are running.

Don’t forget to give your dog frequent water breaks rather than let him drink a lot at a time – the same goes to you! Try to figure out how much water breaks he needs. Check your dog often for excessive panting, heavy breathing, dry nose, or slowing down. This is an indication that you may need to stop and give your dog a small water break and cool down. Continue where you left off when ready. If your dog continues to have trouble go back to a lower run/walk interval or stop for the day depending on his condition.

It’s also a good idea to check your dog periodically for worn or injured paws. Licking, limping, or running differently is a good sign something is wrong. Check your dog’s tongue for swelling or discoloration. If your dog’s tongue does not look right, call your vet immediately.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 3

 

Run/Walk: 16-28 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 2 min run / 2 min walk (2:2).
Goal: Learn “Go” and “Walk” commands and pace.

Last week we taught our dogs the difference between running and walking. This week we want to use our new commands before we run (“go”) and walk (“walk”). Alternatively you can use mushing commands, “hike” and “easy” or anything else you come up with. Remember to use commands consistently. These commands come in handy especially if you start to run on more difficult terrain, come to a turn where others may not be able to see you, or in areas where there are a lot of distractions. Continue to pay attention to your dog and give frequent water breaks. Allow bathroom breaks only when walking.

1st Weekday Run: 16 minutes, 2:2 interval (4x)
2nd Weekday Run: 18 minutes, 2:1 interval (6x)
Long Weekend Run: 28 minutes, 2:2 interval (7x)

Over time, you will want to have your dog learn to pace you walking or running. If your dog runs too far ahead, stop and make your dog return back to you and then start again. You may want to incorporate treats the first few times you do this. Keep a loose leash when you walk and run. From here on out it’s practicing the things learned in the past 3 weeks and improving week after week.

Week 3 Game: Red Yellow Green Light Game
Practice your new commands to run, walk, and stop/stay with your dog – “go,” “walk,” and “stop/stay.” You can also play with the entire family. Elect one person to say the command words. The person who messes up first gets booted out of the game. The winner of the game is the last one remaining.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 4

 

Run/Walk: 18-36 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 2 min run / 1 min walk (2:1).
Goal: Master prior skills learned.

By now you should be running 1-3 miles depending on your pace. You should discover a pace by now that you and your dog feel comfortable racing with. Stick to that pace and modify slowly as needed.

1st Weekday Run: 18 minutes, 2:1 interval (6x)
2nd Weekday Run: 21 minutes, 2:1 interval (7x)
Long Weekend Run: 36 minutes, 2:2 interval (8x)


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 4

 

Run/Walk: 25-35 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 3 min run / 2 min walk (3:2).
Goal: Master prior skills learned.

1st Weekday Run: 25 minutes, 3:2 interval (5x)
2nd Weekday Run: 24 minutes, 3:1 interval (6x)
Long Weekend Run: 35 minutes, 3:2 interval (7x)

Week 5 Game: Focus / Impulse Control
Go out on a walk with your dog somewhere crowded, either a tourist location or busy park. You want to simulate being at a crowded race with a lot of other humans and dogs. Bring a lot of treats with you. Walk with your dog on the side that is farthest away from others sharing your space. Every time your dog pulls at a distraction or another dog, stop and ask your dog to sit and look at you. Give your dog a treat only after your dog does this. You can also try using a clicker as you treat. If your dog walks by the distraction without pulling, give him a treat as well. Your dog should be getting a lot of treats on this walk! End your walk with a light jog or game of tug, fetch, or disc. If your dog keeps pulling, you may need to create more distance between your dog and other distractions and work towards closing that distance.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 6

 

Run/Walk: 25-40 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 3 min run / 1 min walk (3:1).
Goal: Master prior skills learned.

1st Weekday Run: 25 minutes, 4:1 interval (5x)
2nd Weekday Run: 32 minutes, 3:1 interval (8x)
Long Weekend Run: 40 minutes, 3:1 interval (10x)


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 7

 

Run/Walk: 35-48 minutes, 3x per week. 
Main Interval: 4 min run / 2 min walk (4:2).
Goal: Master prior skills learned.

1st Weekday Run: 36 minutes, 4:2 interval (6x)
2nd Weekday Run: 35 minutes, 4:1 interval (7x)
Long Weekend Run: 48 minutes, 4:2 interval (8x)

Week 7 Game: Focus / Impulse Control
Continue the same game as Week 5, but perhaps in a more crowded location.


RUN/WALK PLAN – WEEK 8

 

Run/Walk: 35 minutes, 3x per week.
Main Interval: 4 min run / 1 min walk (4:1).
Goal: Master prior skills learned.

Allow at least 2 days of complete rest (do nothing!) before your race. You may have to switch up your runs during the week.

1st Weekday Run: 35 minutes, 4:1 interval (7x)
2nd Weekday Run: 35 minutes, 4:1 interval (7x)
Long Weekend Run: 5K RACE! (at same pace)

How was your first 5k? Are you ready to try something new?


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event you would like to add to Pawtivity? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

Related Pawtivity / Event: Running, Canicross Race, Trail Running.
Activities: Running, Trail Running, Canicross, Obstacle Course, Mud Run, 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Marathon, Fun Run, Doggy 5K, Doggy Run, Dog Friendly Race, C25K, Couch to 5K, Pooch to 5K, Run/Walk Training Plan

Dog Parkour

Dog Parkour

Are you a (human) Parkour fan or are you training for an obstacle course? You will probably love Dog Parkour (or Canine Parkour). Dog Parkour is a combination of human parkour and canine agility. Parkour was popularized in the last decade and involves jumping, climbing, scaling, balancing, vaulting or running through, under or on urban obstacles. Urban obstacles could be anything – park bench, wall, or playground equipment.

Your dog will develop a lot of confidence and greater agility by doing parkour. Dogs should be strong and agile enough to do this sport. Please do not force your dog to do anything they may heistate in doing. You will need to work up gradually. Have fun wtih training and throw in some tricks!

Parkour involves a lot of training for your dog. You’ll need to teach your dog basic commands to start in order to communicate to him and instruct him what to do. Treats are great to use as a reward to teach commands. Clicker training may help a lot with this sport.

There are many Parkour groups established each year, but the first competitive organization is International Dog Parkour. Dog Parkour requires that dogs never jump down from anything higher than their shoulder height.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Parkour, Agility, Obstacle Course

Interval Run

Do you or your dog need to shed some pounds? Burn more calories in less time! Runners use interval training to help increase their strength and speed on runs.

The key to interval training is to do alternating sets of a high intensity run with a low intensity recovery run. You should be comfortable running with your dog for about 15 minutes before you start interval run training.

Here’s a beginner 15 minute interval run plan that you can start with: Do 6 sets of a 30 second run interval at a faster than normal pace followed by a 2 minute slow walk/jog interval.

Don’t forget to add 5-10 minutes to warmup and cooldown with your dog! Of course, you can decide how fast and long you do your intervals – but remember this is for you and your dog so choose something that you both can do.

Take a photo of your dog doing an interval run with you. What type of runner are you (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and what plan did you end up using for your interval run?


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Running, Training

Top 15 Things To Do With Your Dog This Fall-Winter

Top 15 Things To Do With Your Dog This Fall and Winter

At Pawtivity.com, our members love to go on adventures with our dogs. Here is our list of the top 15, best things to do with your dog this fall and winter, indoors and outdoors.
Want to see a pawtivity (activity) or event listed? Just email us!

 


THE BEST OF FALL

 

We love the change of the seasons. It’s nature’s way of keeping things interesting! The colors of fall make for a gorgeous time to love nature again and take some really impressive photos of your dog! Take a break from the normal grind of daily routines and recharge by breathing in the crisp, fresh air of the new season. There are so many fall outdoor activities that you can do with your dog!

 

Doggy Run – October is Adopt A Dog Month and the perfect time to sign up for your first 5k to support your local rescue groups and shelters. There our so many dogs out there that need a loving home. Make a day out of the event! Dress up with your dog in costume. If you can’t run, just walk! You will still be supporting a good cause. Have fun!

Hiking – Enjoy the new change of the season by taking your dog out sniffing and exploring a new hiking trail. The best trails will be the ones that offer the best views of fall foliage. Plan a road trip to a destination hike. Please let your dog stick his head out the window to bite that wind!

Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze It’s the season for a great pumpkin search! There are several dog friendly pumpkin patches. Pick out the best pumpkin to carve at home and enjoy some caramel apples, cider, and pumpkin pie. Have a dog that’s good with his nose? Take him with you to a corn maze! Have fun getting lost together and exploring your way out of the maze! End the day by watching the classic, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” a 1966 television original movie based on Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip and featuring Snoopy and the gang.

Wilderness Camping – The summer heat is finally over! It’s time to spend the entire day outdoors with family and friends. Book a campsite early. There’s so much to do, but whatever you do, involve your dog in all the action! End the day by making him a campfire s’more with dog biscuits and marshmallow. Substitute peanut butter in place of chocolate to make your treat even tastier! Snuggle in for the night and wake up to watch the sunrise together.


EASY SNOW PLAY

 

These activities were meant to be done in your backyard on the perfect snow day! Dogs love to be in the snow.

 

Play “Go Find It” – Have your dog sniff a toy with a treat inside. Next, ask your dog to sit while you go outside and hide the toy or bury the toy loosely outside. Bring your dog outside and tell him to find his toy! “Go Find it!”

Snowball Catch – Does your dog love the snow and playing fetch? Why not play fetch with a snowball? Or, roll a great big snowball and have your dog chase it down the hill.

Obstacle Course / Maze – This works best if there is more than a foot of snow on the ground. Take a shovel and make a maze in the snow. Add some obstacles along the way. You could build a wall for your dog to jump over, a short tunnel to crawl through, and a ramp at the end your dog must climb up to get his final treat!


INDOOR BRAIN GAMES

 

When the weather turns for the worse, it’s time to stay indoors. Get some great one-on-one bonding time with your dog and reinforce those skills toward making your next adventure even better. If you have an active dog, you’ll need to find activities that expend both physical and mental energy to keep your dog from going from good dog to destructive demon. Take the time to hone in on some dog obedience and training!

 

Puzzle Toy – Every dog owner needs at least one puzzle toy, especially since not all of us can be there to entertain our dogs 24-7. One of the best puzzles toys you can get is some crazy, wobbly treat dispensing toy trap. Dogs go nuts for this type of toy because it gives them a challenge and reward at the end. Other puzzle toys, like those created by Nina Ottosson, require that dogs figure out the right moves for a treat. Both types of puzzle toys are a great option to have for indoor play.

Play “Go Find It” – Have your dog sniff a treat. Next, ask your dog to sit while you go into the next room to hide his treat. If your dog is just starting out make it easy – put the treat on the floor by the wall. Call your dog to you and ask him to “Go Find It!” Challenge things up more by adding more treats to find or hiding the treat in harder to find places, such as on a table your dog can get to. An alternative to this game is to hide the treat in one of 3 boxes. Have your dog sniff out the right box and give him an extra treat!

Attend A Class – Now might be the best time to hone in on those obedience skills. The holidays can cause a lot of stress for our dogs. Being cooped up indoors doesn’t help. Many classes are offered indoors, such as agility, swimming, and obedience training. There are even classes and trainers that will help your dog be a better adventure dog. They will teach your dog to be better off-leash, to search and rescue, to “potty”, to walk faster, to stay quiet, or to bark and attack all on command.

Fun Dog Training – If you don’t do it now, you should make it a habit to reinforce basic training into your dog’s daily routines, such as before you feed or walk your dog. We recommend puppy situps (sit, down, sit, come/touch). You can also introduce gestures for basic commands so you don’t have to say a word for your dog to “sit” or “stay.” Or, practice impulse control exercises and see if how still your dog can be as you place objects on his head. Hold a treat above your dog’s head. Every time your dog reaches for it pull the treat back up quickly and lower slowly only when your dog sits again. Lower the treat until you can place the treat on your dog’s nose. Now, give him an “ok” command and let him eat his well-earned treat! What funny things can your dog hold on his nose? Brush off more of those puppy class techniques and get creative! You can make a game out of anything.


WINTER ADVENTURES

 

Don’t stay indoors! Get out and keep active by trying these three outdoor winter activities for dogs that will get your heart pumping and your dog thoroughly happy. As with any winter sport, you need to build up your dog’s stamina and endurance, so start slow. Go on trails you are familiar with or go with someone who is.


Proper gear is required for these activities. While you may already know how to ski, your dog doesn’t have a clue what skis are or how they work. Let your dog inspect your gear and reward him if he takes an interest, but not if he thinks it’s his new toy! Hold up the equipment and move it around. Again, reward only if our dog takes an interest. Finally, put on your gear and try it out for your dog outside.

Snowshoeing – Do you already love hiking or running? Then you’ll probably love snowshoeing, and the best part is that you continue to hike or run without worrying about the snow. Snowshoes are easy to get used to and don’t require you to change much in what you do already. Your dog can just go along happily with you as he’s always done. The low learning curve and ease of snowshoeing has made it one of the fastest growing winter activities.

Cross Country Skiing – This winter sport is best done if your dog is reliable off-leash. Great pre-training for this activity include snowshoeing, hiking, or running off leash. It’s important that your dog stays with your, has reliable recall, and does not cross your path.

Skijoring – Skijoring is a sport that’s reserved for stronger dogs over 30 pounds who can pull you forward on a special hands free leash tied around your waist while you are on cross country skis. Poles are used to help guide and move you along with your dog. To pre-train for skijoring, try canicross or bikejoring in the fall. Remember your dog will be pulling you forward, so have good command of your dog at all times and train him properly to follow a straight line, or at least to stick to the pathway! That means no squirrel chasing. You’ll also have to teach him to stop and go.

Kicksledding / Sleigh Ride – This is another sport that is reserved for stronger dogs who can pull, but one that can also involve your kids! What in the world is a kicksled anyway? Think urban dog sled racing on snow. Dogs pull along a sled that a person can stand on. While the dog pulls, the person kicks back at the ground to give the sled momentum to move forward. Hang on for a ride! Don’t have a kicksled? Have your dog pull you on a sleigh or sled instead. Mush!


WINTER SAFETY

 

Winter snow is fun to play in, but conditions could damage your dog’s paws. First off, make sure your dog is comfortable playing, walking, or running in snow. Some snow is just too deep for some dogs, especially if you are dealing with freshly fallen, loose snow that will tire a dog out too fast.

Always check your dog’s paws periodically when they our outside and go indoors if your dog’s paws start to crack or bleed. Remove any ice balls or snow trapped in the paw. You should use some paw protection such as petroleum jelly, Musher’s Secret paw wax, or booties. When you come indoors, wash and inspect your dog’s paws again.

Your dog needs proper winter attire that will keep him dry and warm. Get him a doggy coat so the two of you can play longer outdoors. The right coat depends on your dog’s sensitivity to the cold and activity level. Some coats will allow for more movement, while others do well to keep dogs warm on a walk. We recommend finding a waterproof winter coat with fleece lining that at least protects your dog’s chest and abdomen. A D-ring on the back is also helpful if you are using a harness on your dog. In addition to a coat, bring along a portable water bowl, food, a quick drying towel, and perhaps a waterproof mat so your dog can rest on the snow comfortably.

Most important of all is to hydrate with fresh water. To prevent water from freezing, use a wide-mouth steel water bottle or thermos and fill it up with warm water, but leave a little room at the top in case some of your water does start to freeze and expand.

Last but not least, don’t leave the human and dog first aid kit at home!

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

 


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