Daylight savings time has just started again in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and ACT! Hopefully you all remembered to change back your watches and clocks and you are enjoying the extra hour of daylight. What’s a better use of the extra hour if not to spend some more time with your dog(s) and exercise together? Here at Mad Paws we thought about some fun activities that you will love doing with your furry friend this summer:
1. Kayaking. What a great and fun activity for you and your dog! Smaller breeds are able to sit at the front, whilst larger dogs might feel more at ease closer to your feet. You can use treats to teach your dog how to get in and out of the kayak whilst still on land, then practise in shallow water until your dog is at ease. Especially for the first few times, keep the experience fun and relaxed. This is a great activity to do in inlets, small bays and slow moving rivers where there isn’t too much traffic.
2. Stand-up paddling (SUP). The big board used for SUP allows plenty of space for your canine co-pilots. Dogs of all sizes can ride on the nose; we recommend you pick a very quiet day on a lake, or bay, for your first excursion together. This will allow your pup to get used to the new experience. If you have balancing problems, try paddling on you knees and lower your center of gravity. As you both will probably end up taking a dip, you could consider putting a life vest on your dog, this will also make it easier for you to lift him back on the board.
3. Running, trying to keep up with your weekly run? Bring your dog along with you for extra motivation. When you are struggling to find an incentive to put your running shoes on, your dog’s excitement will change your mind. Small dogs, as well as bigger dogs, have all the energy to keep up with you. However, be mindful to keep your run under 7km with flat-faced breeds (like pugs and bulldogs) since these dogs usually have harder times taking in air. Don’t forget to be careful with heat and humidity when exercising.
4. Frisbee, dogs love playing with them, either purely for pleasure or for competition. You might have never tried using one of them, but if you know that your dog loves to play ball, then you might want to change it up and give frisbee a try. It is a great form of exercise, which involves a lot of running and jumping, and engages your dog’s instinct to chase and stop small moving objects. There is also a competitive version of frisbee, called Disc Dog. This has both a physical and an artistic vibe to it, competing with distance and accuracy on one hand and freestyle on the other.
5. Cycling, if your dog is very exuberant on walks and likes to pull the leash, cycling might be the activity you are looking for. Keeping up with your pedaling will have them spending a lot of energy and is relaxing at the same time. You can also try to attach specialized leashes to your bike frame and get pulled by your dog, to absorb the force of sudden tugs.
6. Roller skating, like cycling, is a another great way to burn off a dog's excess energy. Your dog will be very excited about this activity, as long as you're an expert roller or inline skater and you know how to control him or her, then your dog will be very excited about this activity. Make sure that you skate in areas free from traffic, like a park or a boardwalk, so that you will be able to fully enjoy your excursion.
7. Agility, a high-energy running and jumping competitive sport that is not only great exercise, but develops confidence and new skills for your dog. This sport consists of an obstacle course where dogs can’t complete it without using directions from their human friends. Common obstacles include jumps, tunnels, a teeter totter, and more. When this is done competitively, people and dogs can train for months in order to do well. However, you can always try this out with your pooch to see if it appeals to both of you as it will still be fun and engaging!
Mad Paws Pty Ltd