Keep Pups Happy and Fit: Outdoor Dog Exercises 101

January 1, 2018

You love the outdoors, and you love your dog.

They have been so good to you. They cheer you up when you’re having a bad day. They help you emotionally and even ease any stress from work.

Dogs can aid someone gain an independent living and even help someone cope with conditions as serious as PTSD or depression.

A simple way of saying “thank you” is by making them happy and giving them outdoor dog exercise. Take them with you when you’re doing outdoor activities. You owe your dog a good romp in the park.

Why Your Dog Needs Outdoor Exercise

Have you ever noticed that your dog usually acts well-behaved when they’re tired? No matter how big or small the dog, all pups need physical activity to maintain health and fitness and spend up all that extra energy. Exercising your dog regularly also improves their mental health and reduces anxiety and boredom.

Outdoor exercises for dogs keep them fit. It promotes physical health with fresh air and sunshine, promotes emotional health and keeps them in a good mood, socializes them, and aids with training.

A Dog Walk a Day Keeps the Weight Away

Outdoor Dog Exercises 101

When you think of outdoor dog exercises, the first thing that comes to mind may be dog walking.

All dog owners should make sure that they walk their canine companions at least once every day. This activity can be enjoyed by the whole family, plus it’s totally free of cost!

Thirty minutes of daily exercise is recommended for us, and dog walking is the perfect way for us to get that amount of work out. It’s very doable. Although a dog’s exercise needs are different according to breed, most need at least one walk a day, sometimes two.

Although walking your dog may not be as rigorous as other workouts, it’s great for your heart, strengthening of bones and muscles, and lowering of blood pressure. It’s also a great way for both of you to socialize. Dog walkers and their furry friends are usually seen as friendly by others.

It also ensures that our dogs don’t get overweight. (Up to one-third of dogs are estimated to be overweight!)

Dog Walking Tips

Before setting out for a walk, check whether nearby pitstops, like cafes, restaurants, hotels, and other places are dog-friendly in case you want to take a rest.

Don’t forget to bring your dog’s leash and dog tag, as well as poo bags to dispose of your pup’s messes. When dog walkers keep places clean, this ensures that bans aren’t imposed and that places will be kept open for other dog walkers.

Why not take a pedometer with you so you can measure the number of steps you take during your daily dog walk?

Outdoor Puppy Exercising

Outdoor Dog Exercises 101

Unlike adult dogs, puppies need less exercise. Over-exercising a growing puppy can cause early arthritis because too much stress is put on their developing joints. Five minutes of exercise (up to twice daily) per month of age is a good ratio.

If you want to go on a full-blown exercise spree with your dog, such as going out for a long run, you’ll have to wait till they’re much older.

When puppies do go out for exercise, make sure that they’re in a safe and secure space. Keep an eye on them as they explore new environments and socialize with other dogs. Your puppy should be trained to recall so that there aren’t going to be any problems calling them to return.

Remember, never exercise your puppy after a meal to avoid bloating.

When It’s Hot Outside

Summertime heat can be scorching. However, you still want to spend time with your dog engaged in outdoor activities, like hikes, camping trips, trail rains, or maybe simply playing fetch.

Dogs don’t sweat like we do. Unlike people, their sweat glands can be found around their paws. If their pawprints are wet, take that as a huge sign that they’re overheating and need to be around somewhere cool.

Panting is how your dogs cool off. Snub-nosed dogs, such as Lhasa apsos, boxers, pugs, and bulldogs should stay away from direct heat as they overheat easily. Dilating vessels located around a dog’s ears and face also allow them to cool down.

How about taking your dog to the lake or ocean for a swim? Go kayaking, fishing, boating, or surfing if you want to take your best friend with you on an adventure.

Do take those trail runs or hikes earlier on or later in the day to avoid the heat.

Your dog won’t need as much exercise when it’s hot outside, so you can take shorter runs in shaded trails.

After your dog has spent plenty of time on an activity, make sure they get some rest. Heavy panting, sluggishness, red gums, and confusion are signs of heat stroke.

Always bring plenty of water for both you and your dog.

Plus, you can use sunscreen on your four-legged friend if they have extremely short hair.

Outdoor Dog Exercise Ideas

Before heading out on any outdoor adventure with your canine companion, ensure that they’re reliable on several commands, such as sit, come, and stay. They should also know how to focus and be distracted as little as possible.


Dogs really enjoy running alongside their owners as they ride their bike. It can be dangerous, however, for dogs to run free. There are bicycle attachments out on the market that allow your dog to run alongside you, without running too close and getting hurt.

Don’t forget to make frequent stops to allow a little bit of rest. Don’t go too fast nor too far either. Dogs will try their hardest to keep up with you. They often don’t notice how hot or exhausted they are in their efforts.

Dog Parks

Dog parks are a real blessing. It allows your dogs to be free from any leash binding. They can run around and play in the open air with other dogs as well as their dog owners. Most dog parks are filled with well-socialized dogs, so your pup can have a lot of fun!

The best parks are big enough to allow plenty of running but are also strongly fenced in for dogs who tend to run off.


There are actual “pup” tents you can purchase. They’re more of a portable and lightweight crate that can be staked into the ground, similar to our tents. Bring these with you for the well-behaved camping dogs, as chewers and diggers might not appreciate it as much.

Over to You

If you love the outdoors, there’s no reason that your best friend can’t tag along with you!

There are plenty of ways that both of you can enjoy an amazing outdoor adventure with a bunch of different outdoor dog exercises. Just make sure that they can keep up with you, and that they won’t suffer from exhaustion or heat stroke.

Do you enjoy outdoor exercises for your dog? Share the activities you engage in with your dog in the comments section below!

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