Ask The Expert: Outdoor Activities for Adventurous Dogs

Lassie. Toto. Beethoven. Behind every great adventure is a legendary dog. Want to take your agile canine on their own quest ? Animal behaviourist Lara Nobre gives us a short guide on adventurous activities for you and your dauntless doggy:

Surf’s up!
Are you living at the coast? Or taking your furry friend on holiday? Catch the waves with them! Before you embark on your seaside escapade, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Groom or feed your pooch on the surfboard so that they will associate the board with something pleasant and familiar
  • Teach them how to swim
  • Introduce them to the waves
  • Use a foam board for better grip
  • Surf with your pup before letting them try it on their own
  • Make sure they wear a life jacket

Remember that not all dogs will enjoy being in the water. Don’t force your dog to do anything that they are not comfortable with. Let it be a natural and fun process!

Run, dog, run!
Is your idea of an adventure a trail run in the local park? Take your pooch along! Canicross involves owner and dog being tied together with a special harness. Before dragging your furry friend along, here are some tips:

  • Make sure that you’re both fit. Start out with short walks in the park before attempting a rocky 5km uphill trail.
  • Pack enough water for both you and your pup
  • Don’t run when it’s too hot. Try running early in the morning or late afternoons.

A lively campfire, roasted marshmallows …and your best friend!
With lots of wide, open space to explore, camping can be an exhilarating event for you and your canine. Make that your dog is properly trained and socialised so that you can adapt to any unforeseen circumstances and interactions with other dogs. Ask yourself: What scares my dog? What excites them? Plan your trip accordingly.

Here are some fun camping activities for you and your dog:

  • Canine Canoeing:
    Like surfboards, dogs need to become familiar with the canoe on land first. Dogs also don’t like slipping and sliding so bring along a bathroom mat or bathtub tape for your pooch to dig their claws into. Remember the life jacket!
  • Swimming:
    Swimming is a great activity for dogs because it is easy on their bones and joints. If your dog isn’t trained, introduce them to your swimming pool with a life vest first.
  • Hiking:
    Get your furry friend a little backpack so that they can share the load. Most experts agree that dogs are able to carry one quarter of their own body weight. If you have a small dog, consider buying a backpack that enables you to carry them.

Remember to prepare for emergencies by taking a first-aid kit, water, snacks and a photo of your beloved hound in case they get lost. Ensuring that your pup is microchipped or tagged will also help you in this regard.

Now, go and sniff out the adventure!


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