7 Simple Ways to Make Dog Walking More Fun

Make Your Dog Walk More Fun

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It's no secret that our dogs make excellent exercise partners. They're great at keeping us motivated, and they never complain. Even when we're sticking to the same old path every day my dog is excited and ready to go.

Unfortunately us humans aren't always so optimistic, I know I find taking the same old route every day a bit dull. Luckily there's a few simple ways to change up our daily dog walking routine and turn it into something more exciting and enjoyable.

1. Explore a New Trail

Once or twice a week find a nearby park or new neighborhood to explore and enjoy the change of scenery. The new sights, sounds, and smells will make your walk more exciting for the both of you.

2. Encourage Sniffing

For our dogs a walk is more than just exercise, for many it's their daily opportunity to explore the outside world. Take a few minutes on your walk to stop and let them sniff around, it's their way of exploring the world around them. Taking a few sniff breaks will add a lot of mental and sensory stimulation to their walk.

3. Bring a Friend

When was the last time you took a stroll with a good friend? Instead of catching up via text invite a friend over for a nice leisurely walk. Enjoy the simplicity of some nice face to face conversation, and if your friend has a dog invite them over for a double dog walk.

4. Change the pace

Do you normally walk at a leisurely pace or fairly quick? Switch gears and take more time to enjoy the scenery, or pick up the pace to add some intensity to the walk.

5. Raise Money for your Favorite Rescue

Apps like Wooftrax & ResQWalk have made it easy to raise money for your favorite rescue organization while you walk. They're pedometers that track your distance and donations are based on performance and distance.

6. Socialize

Stop for a couple minutes to catch up with your neighbors as you're walking by. Most dogs love a bit of extra attention, and it's an easy way to stay up to date with what's going on in your neighborhood.

7. Do a Citizen Science Project

If you're a science nerd like me you'll be happy to know there's a lot of simple citizen science projects you can do while you're out walking. From observing butterflies to snapping photos of local plants there's plenty of projects out there to choose from. You don't have to be a scientist to help contribute meaningful data to the scientific community.


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Positively Expert: Jen Gabbard

Jen Gabbard is a blogger, web designer, and dog lover living in Michigan. She writes about living a happy, healthy life with our canine companions on her blog Puppy Leaks.


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  • Geocaching apps are also an excellent way to change up dog walking routines.

  • Regina Phalange

    I do all of these except #1. My Akita gets overstimulated out of his neighborhood. We do cover a large territory in our area and mix it up by varying our walks but we stay within a mile of the house. I've tried taking him to other locations but he spazzes out on me. Silly pup!

    The one thing that makes me crazy is when I see people rushing their dogs. Poor things are just trying to explore and enjoy while they're out walking. Does it matter how far you walk or how long you're out walking? I'd rather go a few blocks letting my dog take in the sights and smells, spending a hour doing it rather than rushing him through to log miles instead. It's their time out of the house and I make sure my boy gets what HE wants out of his walks.

  • lynda lien

    I take a plastic bag with us & pick up garbage!

  • That's a great idea - I love geocaching.

  • I should do that; we live on a dirt road yet there's never any shortage of litter.

  • I've noticed a lot of people rushing their dogs as well, yanking them back and forth... Like you I notice a big difference when I stop and let my dog sniff around rather than rushing it. The walk is an experience for our dogs, more than just pure physical exercise.

  • Jenny H

    Easier said than done 🙁 We have a choice of four walks here -- round the road loop clockwise or anticlockwise and round the paddock clockwise or anticlockwise, 🙁 Neither of these give me much of a chance to 'socialise' 🙁
    Any other 'walk' requires a longish drive to get there, and now with the hysteria about dogs in cars, I cannot even combine a dog walk with my shopping trips 🙁 On top of that, I walk each of my dogs separately -- with fours dogs to walk, tat mes a lot of walking for me, for few walks per dog 🙁
    I love living on acreage, but I do miss the old 'suburban' walks where there were some lovely gardens for me to enjoy 🙂 Not to mention parks with seats in them for me to take a mid-walk rest.

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