With warmer months fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about getting outside and enjoying the weather again. But don’t forget about your furry friend. Here are 10 outdoor activities that will allow you to get some exercise, socialize with your dog, and enjoy the sunshine right here in the Ozarks.
1. Wag those tails on the trails
The Ozarks are full of trails and nature hikes. Most are pet friendly, but call ahead to be certain. A couple of things to remember if you choose to take your dog on a hike. First, make sure to pack water. Both of you need to keep hydrated in order to stay healthy. Second, be mindful of the terrain that you are walking. Dogs’ paws are sensitive. Jagged rocks and thorny underbrush can cause injury. Lastly, don’t overdo it. Older dogs may need to take breaks intermittently to catch their breath and relax a little. Be sure you rest as well.
2. Frisbee or fetch with Fido
A game of fetch is an all-time favorite. Whether you play with a tennis ball or a frisbee, your dog is sure to enjoy it.
3. Doggy paddle the day away
Load up in the car and set sail for Table Rock Lake (or lake near you). Both you and your four-legged companion are sure to enjoy a day at the lake. Swimming is a great form of exercise for you both. Many pet stores even carry life jackets for pets. This is an option if your dog isn’t a strong swimmer.
4. Make strides with an obstacle course
A backyard obstacle course will burn off those winter pounds and give you and your dog an opportunity to work as a team. Be sure that all of the obstacles are appropriate for your dog’s age, height and weight.
5. Run or jog with your dog
Taking your pup on a run or jog is sure to get the blood flowing. Make sure to set a pace that is comfortable for both of you. If you run on pavement, make sure that the pavement isn’t too hot for paws.
6. Indulge in a frozen treat
Did you know that Andy’s Frozen Custard offers FREE sample cones to your furry friend? Free treats for pets is becoming more popular. There are many other local restaurants and businesses that have begun to offer special treats for your pet.
7. Take your dog out to the ballgame
Many Major and Minor League Baseball teams, including the Springfield Cardinals, have special days that you can bring your dog. Make sure to check the rules and restrictions before suiting up for the game.
8. Be outstanding in an obedience class
Whether your dog is old or young, there is something to be learned from an obedience class. Many classes are offered around the Ozarks at an affordable price. Check out some of the options and then teach an old dog a new trick.
9. Grab your bestie and their furry friend for a doggy date
A doggy playdate is a great way to soak up some vitamin D and catch up with old friends. Many parks around the Ozarks are pet friendly and would be ideal for a double doggy date. However, it’s important to remember that some cities do have leash laws. Be sure to check the laws in your city before unleashing.
10. Plunge into dock diving
Dock diving is growing fast. Contrary to its’ name, you don’t actually need a dock in order to participate. Grab some floating toys and make a break for the lake. Toss the toys in the lake and allow your canine counterpart to retrieve them. It’s the perfect way to cool off after a long summer day and also get a little extra exercise after the winter months.