Dog walking is the perfect way to enjoy some gentle exercise while spending time with your best bud. However, it can sometimes feel a bit like a chore if you choose the same route every day or are short of time. It doesn’t have to be! As part of our #ThinkProject campaign, we have pulled together our top tips to keep your daily dog walks fresh and exciting!
1)Play a game
Playing games is a sure way to keep your walks together fun. Try playing ‘find it’ where you throw a doggy treat ahead of you and after your command to “find it!” your dog can start searching for it! An added benefit of this game is that it helps to stop your dog from picking up other food and rubbish you may come across.
2)Puppy play dates
As much as you may love your dog’s company, sometimes it’s nice to have someone else join you on your walk - and your dog will love new company too! So, meet up with fellow dog owners and have yourself a weekly play date. You can always find people in your community to walk with on apps like PoochPal. As well as being a great way for you to meet new friends, this can also help to socialise puppies.
3)Get on the move
Instead of just walking, go at a faster pace by running or cycling alongside your dog so you can both roam a little further. Rather than running on a street pavement, try going to parks where the terrain is softer and cooler - it will be much easier on your dog’s joints and paws than the pavement (and yours too).
4)Take the road less travelled
It can be easy to get into a routine when dog walking, so we’d recommend changing your route every so often to explore new places in your local area. If you fancy being even more adventurous, make a point of driving to a completely new location so that you and your dog can explore new grounds and meet canine chums.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach, go to a dog friendly beach for a beautiful backdrop while you walk. Your dog will have miles of sandy ground to explore and can enjoy a quick swim to cool off after all that running!
6)More than just a walk
Don’t just go for a walk; make a point of having a real destination in mind. Plenty of places welcome dogs so you don’t need to leave yours behind. Head to a dog friendly restaurant, pub, café, shop or puppy park where you can have a nice day out without feeling guilty for leaving your four-legged friend at home.
7)Walk to the beat
Liven up your walks by listening to your favourite soundtrack. Listening to a playlist will make the time go by faster as you’ll be miles away in thought and you can tailor your playlist to the length of time it normally takes you to walk your preferred route. Get creative by putting together a variety of playlists to suit your different moods. Why not even get down to a dog-inspired playlist? Head to Spotify to find some already made dog walking playlists to inspire you. Share with us some of your favourite songs to listen to whilst walking your dog in the comments below.
8)Get in touch with nature
Use this time to explore the outside and even find yourself a new passion. There are lots of opportunities to get closer to nature during your dog walks. For example, you can appreciate nature by taking up outdoor photography, or even taking up other hobbies like bird watching or foraging. While walking, you could also start dedicating your time to learning more about your local plant and animal habitats. Lots of local communities have wildlife schemes you could join too.
9)Track your walks
Use a step-o-meter to keep track of the distance of your walks (or runs). This is a great way to compare your fitness level or walking distance over time or even compare with other dog walkers. A great app you could use is Runtastic, designed to support you during your favorite fitness activities. This app can track distance, time, speed, elevation, calories burned and more.
Get the gear
We know you’ll be out walking your dog each day no matter what the weather may be, so you’ll need the right gear to ensure you keep comfortable and stay protected against the elements. Clothing engineered with GORE-TEX fabrics is versatile, water and windproof, and comfortable – making it the perfect clothing for your daily dose of dog walking! If you’re spoilt for choice, here are our top two picks that are ideal for this activity. On your next walk, be prepared for the weather and wear a Stussy GORE-TEX Fishtail Parka in a dark moss colour, stylishly paired with Timberland Adventure Cup Sole 2.0 GTX® shoes in a camel leather. These Timberland shoes were designed with both style and comfort in mind, and are very practical for keeping your feet cool and dry whilst walking through unpredictable grounds. Shop the full collection here. Do you have any tips to share with us on how you keep your dog walks interesting? Let us know in the comments below!