Depending on where you live, summer is either a great opportunity to spend more time outdoors enjoying the weather or the time when you try to stay in air-conditioned spaces at all costs. If you fall into the latter category, this can mean a major decline in your activity levels. Whether the temperature is too hot or you just want to try something new, these exercise routines will help keep you and your pet active throughout the season.
Swimming during the hot summer months is an obvious choice for humans and pets alike. Pets generally like the water just as much as kids do, and will love it even more if you throw something in that they can retrieve. Just remember to use caution and introduce your pet slowly if he isn’t familiar with swimming. Swimming in backyard pools may dry out a dog’s skin due to the chlorine, so consider rinsing your pooch off with the hose after each swim. If you are swimming in natural bodies of water, ensure there is no debris, sharp objects, fast currents or deep areas that could be dangerous.
Find out which dog breeds can’t swim >>
Yoga is a trendy form of exercise for humans, so it only makes sense that pet owners would want to incorporate their four-legged friends into the mix. You could opt to do yoga at home with your dog or attend one of the various classes that many gyms and yoga studios now offer. Doga ranges from sessions where your dog is actively engaged in the exercises to more simple sessions where the dog is basically just a furry observer in your class. Pick an option that fits your dog’s personality best.
The best way to beat the heat is to head up to higher elevations. Grab your dog and hit the trails this summer in some cooler climates. Being in the great outdoors will be a welcome change and a great way to exercise, as well as a way for you and your pet to relax. Be sure you have plenty of water, and keep your dog on a leash to avoid fines or losing your dog in an unfamiliar area. Whenever you are walking your dog outside, be mindful of the temperature of the ground. Even sand or other natural surfaces can heat up quickly and could burn your pet’s feet.
Find out more activities for you and your pet >>
Enroll in a class
If you have a little downtime this summer, consider enrolling your dog in his own version of summer camp. Many organizations, pet stores and other groups offer classes or even camps for pets where they can learn agility, obedience skills and new tricks. Physical exercise is important for the health and well-being of pets, but mental exercise is equally as important. Engaging in new activities, interacting with new people and dogs and being exposed to new surroundings will be a great way to socialize your pet as well as give him all the exercise he needs.
Learn about volunteering with your dog >>
Who said dogs can’t dance? If you have a larger dog, turn up the music and teach your dog a few moves. Even smaller dogs can get in on the fun by learning tricks like twirling and raising their paws in the air. While you might not win any dance contests, it is likely to provide a little humor to you and a little exercise for your pup.
Don’t believe us? See this dancing pro in action:
More summer tips for dog owners
The best products and tips to keep your pets cool this summer
Tips for hiking with pets
Benefits of bringing your dog to work