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5 Fun Fitness Activities You & Your Dog Can Do Together This Spring

Explore outdoor activities with your dog! From hiking to paddleboarding, boost fitness and bond with your pet. Discover tips and clubs.

Explore hiking, canicross, doga, paddleboarding, & canine cardio. Strengthen your bond & improve fitness. Get started today!

Spring and summer are ideal if you’ve ever considered taking up a sport involving you and your dog. Here are some of our favourite activities for dog-friendly fitness activities.

Time to get Active

With spring’s arrival, the world begins to reopen; exploring sports and fitness activities involving you and your animal companion makes perfect sense. These workouts provide additional opportunities for active bonding between you and your pet and can help your dog become fitter and healthier.

The PDSA’s most recent PAWS Report, released in November 2020, revealed an increasingly high rate of pet obesity – which was already a problem before the pandemic forced us all indoors. The PDSA discovered that up to 790,000 dogs may have gained weight over the past 12 months, and three million dogs (42%) are only walked for 30 minutes a day or less. The report also found that some dogs have already started showing signs of distress when left alone.

Simply walking or playing outdoors with your dog is a brilliant way to build extra exercise into your week – not to mention the mental well-being benefits for you and your pet. But many fitness providers are now allowing canine members to join in, too. So, if you feel it’s time for you and your dog to stretch those muscles further and try something new, why not explore one of these fun activities?

Hiking & climbing

Plan your route on the Ramblers website (ramblers.org.uk), where you’ll also find tips on hiking with dogs, including a new Dog Walking Code developed by the Ramblers alongside Natural England, the Kennel Club and the National Farmers’ Union.

Hiking or climbing is one sport that doesn’t require too much-specialised gear. Most dogs are in heaven when allowed to walk on open ground, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to explore new areas together. Make sure you plan with snacks and water for you and your pet, and take protective clothing for both of you if bad weather is forecast. Strong harnesses and long leads are also helpful on trickier terrain. The other thing to consider is local wildlife- always remember to keep your dog on a lead if there are young animals or nesting birds nearby, and never let your pet chase or worry livestock.

Canicross

Dog-owning runners love canicross because it allows you to enjoy fresh air, the open countryside and your dog’s company – all simultaneously. The sport started in Europe, with mushers training their sledge dogs when there was no snow. Nowadays, the dog is harnessed to the runner using a two-metre bungee, linking a special waist belt for the human runner to a well-fitting dog harness.

Canicross is a version of cross-country running in which one competes with a dog. This sport originated in Europe as a form of training for dogs used to pull sledges and has become popular as an independent sport across the continent, particularly in the UK.

Canicross encourages physical fitness and excellent communication skills between you and your dog. In theory, all abilities of humans and most breeds of adult dogs can participate. Still, you’ll need to be a competent runner – especially if you want to move on from fun runs to canicross competitions. You can find tips, advice, canicross clubs, workshops and events at canicross.org.uk.

Doga

As simple as it sounds, doga is yoga with dogs. The idea is for yoga lovers to share the experience with their dogs, doing stretches, gentle massages, and even a little meditation. Some doga classes involve pets in the yoga moves; others may allow pets to wander and play among the class members, which essentially becomes a socialisation experience.

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  • The benefits of human yoga—calmness, strength, and flexibility—should also be felt by your dog. Canine yoga reduces anxiety and stress and helps alleviate behavioural issues. And, of course, they’ll love the chance to spend extra time with you.

    Paddleboarding

    Yes, you’ve guessed it—dogs can now participate in water sports, too! If you reckon your four-legged companion is a champion in the making, why not give stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP) a go? You and your dog must be confident swimmers, and it’ll probably be more accessible with minor—to medium-sized dogs.

    Do a bit of training at home first – ideally with an actual paddleboard to help your dog get used to the concept – and ensure your pet wears a well-fitting buoyancy aid. Keep sessions short, in calm, shallow water, and be patient if your pet doesn’t respond immediately—search ‘paddleboarding with dogs’ online to find a local club.

    Canine cardio

    Canine Cardio is all about creating a personable atmosphere for you and your companions without the stresses of day-care.

    Canine cardio fitness classes are springing up worldwide and have reached the UK. Both dog and owner get a general workout, but the activities are designed to boost physical fitness and mental well-being. The usual approach combines strength training and cardio fitness, using a circuit of fun activities – you and your dog work as a team, which is brilliant for bonding.

    Classes are usually 45 minutes to an hour long, with one dog per human. You’ll need comfortable clothing, a non-retractable lead – and probably a sense of humour. Anything can happen when cheeky dogs are involved! To find out where your nearest fitness class or training sessions are, search ‘canine cardio’ online.

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    The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

    Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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    Written by Frenchie Breed

    The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

    Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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