Exercise is important for dogs any time of year, but it’s made easier when the weather’s ideal for outdoor fun.
Hiking is a great fall activity to try with your dog — and it gets you both moving. If your dog is only accustomed to flat, even terrain like pavement or lawns, it’s a good idea to start with short hikes and work your way up to longer ones. Hiking uses muscles differently than running and walking, and your dog will need to develop some endurance.
If you’re hiking in rocky terrain or an area with a path that isn’t clear of sticks and rocks, look into getting your dog some shoes to protect those tender paws. Read more tips about hiking with your dog.
Give camping a whirl
Fall is one of the best times to go camping. The splendour of nature will be just outside your tent flap, and many campgrounds are happy to host pets as well as people. There are usually hiking trails nearby, and sometimes even lakes, creeks or beaches where your dog can really revel in being a dog while you enjoy the beauty of the scenery.
If tent camping isn’t quite your thing, a lot of state parks and campgrounds offer cabin rentals. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a bed to sleep in and access to a fire pit and picnic table, so you can still enjoy the experience of s’mores and outdoor feasting (and doesn’t food always seem to taste better when you eat outside?).
More communities are offering dog parks and agility courses, which are like great big playgrounds for dogs. At an agility course, your dog can try out ramps, hurdles, bridges and other obstacles designed to challenge both the mind and the body. You’ll love to watch your dog try new things, and your dog will relish the challenge and thrill of stepping outside a normal exercise routine of walking and running. Dog parks are great places for socializing as well — and not just for dogs!
The good, old standbys and a few new ideas
Walking, jogging, puppy play dates, playing fetch or tossing a flying disc are always great fallback activities for making sure your dog gets exercise and has fun. But have you ever tried blowing bubbles for your dog? Getting your dog a sandbox and hiding toys in it? Raking up a pile of leaves for your dog to jump in? Watching your dog try new activities is always entertaining.
Fuel your dog the right way
Of course, your dog will need proper nutrition to ensure the necessary energy and endurance for all of these activities. The Nutro Company offers an extensive product lineup with something for every dog. Try the NATURAL CHOICE® Pet Food Recommender to find the perfect food to keep your dog active and happy.