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.
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
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.