Add some pep to your step: how to make your dog walk more fun for you and your pooch

by Kira Garrett | August 18, 2014

Walking your dog daily is a great way to exercise him physically and mentally. A well-exercised dog is far more likely to behave well within your home, so you’re both happy. But if you take the same route everyday and walk at the same time each afternoon, it might be time to add some zest to your walk. Here are some ways to add a little pep to your step:

Grab a buddy

Not only will your pooch appreciate having a doggie friend to walk with, you’ll enjoy the company and conversation of a fellow pet parent. Walking with a buddy will also help hold you accountable for walks, so you don’t skip a walk! You can look for a walking group to join if you want to meet someone new. Many cities have dog Meetups and rescue organizations often schedule group outings. Your pup will be excited by the new additions to your walk and you’ll have fun chatting with other pet parents.

Explore new territory

Instead of taking your typical route around the block, find a new place to walk. Simply looping a lake in the opposite direction can be invigorating for Fido. But to make an exceptionally fun outing, drive to a completely new spot for your walk. Explore that park across town, or drive to a trail you haven’t been before.

Play ‘Find it’

Dogs are natural scavengers and enjoy the thrill of sniffing out all kinds of good (and not-so-good) smelling items. Take advantage of his natural instincts by playing a little game with your pooch while you walk. Every-so-often, toss a treat out in front of your pooch, along with the command ‘Find It.’ He’ll love hunting and especially love getting rewarded with a tasty treat when he finds it.

Encourage sniffing

Your dog can smell up to 10,000 times better than you can. While you love the scent of fresh air, your pup smells so much more! Instead of urging him to move it along, let him stop to sniff when he shows interest in something (unless it’s something gross he shouldn’t be sniffing). Instead of getting annoyed when your fury friend stops to sniff yet another lamp post, remember that a new dog might have peed on this one and your pooch just wants to sniff it out.