We all know that our dogs make excellent exercise partners. They keep us motivated, and they never complain, my dog is excited and ready to go.
Unfortunately, we humans aren't always so inspired, 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, with autumn and winter just around the corner these tips may come of use in months to come.
Citizen Science Project
Calling all the science nerds or perhaps you’re just a nature lover like me; 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. Check out what you can find on the web – here at INTD we are planning to blog about this in the near future so watch this space.
Walk on the Wild Side
Where possible find a nearby park or new neighbourhood to explore and enjoy the change of scenery. The new sights, sounds, and smells will make your walk more exciting for both of you. There are some great dog exercise parks and fields available and advertised on social media that may cost a few pounds but may really help. Some even have tea/coffee and wi-fi as well as dedicate dog exercise equipment.
Do you normally walk at a leisurely pace or fairly quick? Change the pace and take more time to enjoy the scenery, or pick up the speed to add some intensity to the walk.
Oi – That Smells Gooood!
For dogs a walk is more than just exercise, it's their opportunity to explore the outside world. Take a few minutes to let them sniff around. Taking a few sniff breaks will add a lot of mental and sensory stimulation to their walk. Mental stimulation has the added benefit of tiring your dog more so when back at home your dog will be one satisfied and calm canine.
Just Good Friends
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.
Raise money for your favourite charity. Apps have made it easy to raise money for your favourite rescue organisation while you walk. They're pedometers that track your distance and donations are based on performance and distance.
Make Friends and Influence People
Stop for a couple minutes to catch up with your neighbours 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 neighbourhood. Take the opportunity to meet people in the local park or join one of the social media groups that bring dog lovers together. You never know you may if you’re single this could be a great way of meeting someone with similar interests to your own.