Experts at Harringtons Reveal Top 6 Tips for Exercising with Your Dog This Summer

Summer is approaching, and there’s no better time to start getting out and about, making the most of the longer, brighter days. It can be hard to find the time to stay in shape, work hard, raise a family, and socialise, all while making sure your dog stays fit and healthy. 

The best part is that you don’t have to choose. With the help of Harringtons, a healthy dog food brand, you can have it all! Quality time and a wealth of health benefits are within your reach—all you have to do is decide how you want to get moving.  Experts at Harringtons have put together a list of some of the most fun and rewarding ways to stay active with your four-legged friend this summer. 

Before we get to the list, here’s a quick warning: Be careful. We’re sure you always will be, but it would be irresponsible for us not to reiterate the importance of safety when suggesting these activities. We’re not saying don’t try these things; it’s quite the opposite. It’s simply a gentle reminder to make sure you and your dog don’t overdo it! Be sure you consider the weather when planning any of these activities to avoid dangers such as dehydration and heat stroke. Please avoid heading outdoors when the sun is at its highest at midday unless you know there will be plenty of shade for you and your pooch to find shelter in, and always, always bring plenty of water.

1. Dog walking

Dog walks shouldn’t be anything new to you as a dog owner; they play an essential role in keeping your dog happy, healthy, and fit. Plus, it helps them burn off some of their energy, and helps to avoid any accidents in the house.

Why not make the most of the longer days that summer brings and head out for a stroll, whether that be solo or with family and friends? Challenge yourself to perhaps go a bit farther than you usually would, or maybe faster. Is there a more difficult route you could take to get somewhere? Try changing things up; it can make your walk more beneficial to your health and more fun for you both. 

A basic but brilliant form of exercise, not only is walking great for both you and your dog’s physical health, it also helps with your mental health and emotional wellbeing – what’s not to love?

2. Dog running

If you enjoy walking, why not try running? This can take a little more time to get into, building up to longer distances gradually, but for those willing to put in the work, the rewards are enormous.

Running is a fantastic cardio workout for both you and your furry four-legged friend. As with any exercise, it’s important to keep in mind your and your dog’s capabilities. Like people, some dogs are better runners than others. So before you get ahead of yourself and sign up for a marathon, take it slowly and find out what you’re both comfortable with. We’ve got a whole other blog dedicated to top tips for running with a dog, which you can check out here. 

3. Dog hiking

Is running not your thing? Hiking is a great way to explore new places while getting both you and your dog into shape.

Hiking is also extremely adaptable to the individual capabilities of both you and your pooch. From mountain walks to more gentle routes through the rolling countryside, the UK has some truly spectacular scenery to get lost in. There are a whole host of websites dedicated to popular hiking routes that are dog friendly, with directions, distance and level of difficulty all listed. You may even be able to find a local hiking group to join, where you and your dog can meet like-minded individuals who are as keen to explore the outdoors as you are. 

4. Dog yoga (doga – yes, it’s a real thing)

Why not get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life by taking part in a dog yoga class? Together, you and your pooch can stretch, build your strength and relax in the calming environment yoga classes are famous for. Even though dogs can’t actually do the majority of the yoga poses that we can, they will enjoy the opportunity to stretch out, enjoy a massage and soak up the soothing energy in the room. 

5. Fetch and chase

Don’t merely throw the ball or stick; get in on the action. Throw it and see who gets there first. Chasing each other is a great cardio workout, brilliant for building energy levels, raising heartbeats, and getting a “proper sweat-on”. It’s also more fun and will help build your special bond even stronger.

6. Swimming

Swimming is a little bit trickier to arrange, as your local council pool might not let you and your pooch both don your costumes and dive straight in. But for the more resourceful and adventurous out there, this can be a great way to spend your time together.

Dog’s love a paddle, and if you have somewhere you can go together, such as dog friendly beaches or lakes, you should give it a go. Swimming is an incredible full body workout, but it is also a refreshing and revitalising way to spend time outdoors in the warmer months. Safety is crucial when it comes to swimming, for both you and your dog. Never swim in areas that are marked unsafe due to strong currents, or cold temperatures, and if possible, go somewhere people are around so should you run into any trouble, there are others available to help you. 

Exercise is great for the mind, body, and soul – for both you and your pooch – but it’s important your dog is kept hydrated and fueled by a good, balanced diet to avoid injury or exhaustion.