How You and Your Dog Can Stay Fit On The Road

By: Henry Moore of

Some dog owners are so in sync with their furry friend that they could go anywhere together and be perfectly comfortable. Dogs are always great companions, and if you enjoy having your friend along on vacation or even on business trips, it’s a great way to bond and have a workout partner by your side while you’re on the road.

Of course, hiking and camping trips are ideal for a pooch, but there are ways for the two of you to stay active no matter where you go. When it’s the two of you together, exercise isn’t a task, it’s  playtime.

Your daily run

Whether you’re staying at the beach or relaxing in a pet-friendly downtown hotel, there’s always a place to go for your daily run. Do a little research in advance so you can locate a dog park near your location and set aside time for a good afternoon jog. You and your pet will both feel good and stay in shape. However, the first time you and Roofus venture out to a brand new park (even a dog-friendly one), go during a less-busy time of day. The new sights and smells will delight your pooch, but avoid the risk of overstimulating (and stressing) him by going at a non-peak time.

Play fetch

You can also enjoy a good game of fetch using a Frisbee, tennis ball or whatever your pup likes to chew on at the local dog park. It’s an ideal exercise for an athletic dog that likes to get out and stretch those legs. You’ll both benefit from the physical exercise and enjoy the positive feelings that come from activating endorphins in the brain and lowering your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Doggie yoga

Yep, doggie yoga. Dog owners who can’t bear to be away from their pets evidently love to bring them along to yoga class. No word on whether dogs have mastered the stretching exercises, but they can act as props and weights for their owners during class. It’s another good way to get in some bonding time with your favorite pet and help you both relax.

Do the dog paddle

Many dogs are good, strong swimmers, though it may or may not be possible or advisable to bring your pet to the pool. However, a weekend trip to the lake or an afternoon on the river can be the perfect time to take a dip with the dog. Swimming is good exercise for canines and people, and it’s always a hoot watching a four-legged friend do the dog paddle stroke (not to mention trying it yourself).

Agility training

An agility course is a great way for your dog to develop or maintain coordination and build speed. Dogs, especially larger breeds, often develop joint and bone problems as they age, and regular exercise can help mitigate some of the damage. Running an agility course allows your pet to work and strengthen those hips and hind legs. 

Play a game of chase

Younger dogs are so full of energy that they often have trouble sitting still and don’t need a good reason to take off running. Head out to a park or athletic field and get some exercise chasing each other around for a while. If there’s a wooded or hilly area nearby, check out the hiking possibilities, and go for a nice long hike together. Forests and mountains make great settings for some of the best dog vacations, and many parks, resorts and camping grounds permit pooches.

Dogs need exercise just like we do. When their owners are gone for an extended period, they tend to feel the absence emotionally and physically. Your pet will flourish by accompanying you on the road, and you’ll enjoy similar physical and emotional benefits from the experience.

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