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Man running with his beagle on trail across ridge

Your dog is a part of your family and - like all the members of your family - can benefit by getting outdoors and getting in some exercise. It’s no secret that fresh air, sunshine, and a little activity is good for the body, mind, and spirit. If you’re just getting started or maybe are looking for some new toys and supplies, we’ve compiled some helpful info for you below. Whether you’re hiking with your canine companion though a national park or simply going on a good walk through your neighborhood, call your dog, grab some supplies, and get out there!

Young smiling woman sitting in grass playing with Golden Retreiver lying on its back

Power of Play
You may remember how much fun you had playing outside as a kid, but guess what? It’s not just for kids! Play is not only a way to combat boredom, but it’s essential to proper development for your dog. Regular, monitored play gives you an excellent opportunity to bond with your pet and to help them learn what behaviors are acceptable. And besides all that, it’s a great way for everyone in the family to de-stress! Exercise produces endorphins which can help with mood and increases your heart rate which triggers norepinephrine, a chemical that may help the brain deal more effectively with stress. And exercising outdoors in the sun can help increase levels of vitamin D, improving mood and supporting muscles, nerves, and the immune system.

Whether your dog is a natural retriever, herder, or even a non-working type, there are a myriad of toys to choose from that your pup will no doubt love. Regularly introducing new toys helps them stay interested and potentially offers new things they can learn! From balls and discs to ropes and puzzles, you’re sure to find something new your dog will enjoy.

Mature woman hiking trail with senior labrador

Take a Hike
Your dog sees you as part of their pack – and they love to be with their pack. A great way to bond with your dog is to go on extended, focused walks. You can start with a simple walk around your neighborhood or local park and, as you both build endurance, consider hiking in areas where the terrain is a little more of a challenge. Be sure to keep in mind your dog’s health, size, age, and stamina when choosing your next journey – don’t bite off more than they can chew. But many dogs will welcome the opportunity to trek with you. Focused walks can help your dog stay mentally and physically stimulated, as well as grant them an opportunity to learn how to walk well on a leash in the midst of possible distractions.

To make your next journey with your pup a success, be sure to have the proper equipment. The beauty of hiking is it’s simplicity, but your dog will thank you for a well-fitted harness or collar. For an added workout for experienced dogs, equip them with a vest and let them carry some supplies. A weighted vest can improve your dog’s strength and muscle tone, as well as help combat obesity and anxiety. Take a look at some of the options we carry and let us know if you have any questions!

Young woman with curly hair sitting outside offering water in a portable bowl to her dog

Wet Your Whistle
Last – but certainly not least – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Regardless of which season it is, it’s crucial you and your pup both drink plenty of water. Be prepared - your dog will search out water when they’re thirsty and you’d much rather they drink what you bring than whatever is in the nearest puddle. You can choose an option for them that is a bottle and bowl in one, or use a built-in carabiner to clip a collapsible bowl to your pack or belt and fill it with water. And ditch the single-use plastic bottles for a reusable, vacuum-sealed Corkcicle to keep your water cold and the earth clean.

Let The Natural Dog and Nature’s Emporium help you in building good habits, giving your dog, your family, and yourself a better life by enjoying some fun and healthy outdoor exercise together!

Shop Outdoor Products now online or visit us in store for even more options!

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