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10 Outdoor Dog Activities for You and Your Pup

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Updated to link to full adventure guide pages

Little dog jumping over rocks in a stream with cut wood logs behind him.
Who knows? There might be tons of outdoor dog activities right in your backyard!

Most dog owners would agree that one of the best parts about having a pup is being able to share all sorts of fun outdoor activities with them. Whether you're looking for a way to get some exercise or simply want to spend some time outdoors with your four-legged friend, there are plenty of options for outdoor dog activities.


Just be sure to do your research ahead of time to find pet-friendly locations. Always take basic precautions like making sure your pup has ID tags in case they wander off; check the weather beforehand and plan accordingly; and always bring water, food, and snacks for you and your dog.


While we will be briefly covering these activities, some will have buttons underneath that will link to that particular activity in our Dog Adventure Guide where we will cover the topic more in-depth. And of course, it's all free!

10 Amazing Outdoor Dog Activities for Pups at Every Level


From taking a leisurely walk around the block to hiking up a mountain, there are adventures to be had at every level. Here are a few easy, moderate, and advanced outdoor dog activities to try with your pup.

Always consult your physician and veterinarian before any strenuous and/or high-risk activities.


Easy Dog Activities

Moderate Dog Activities

Agility Advanced Dog Activities


Easy Outdoor Dog Activities


On the easy end of the spectrum are activities like going for a walk or run around your neighborhood, taking a hike on your favorite dog-friendly nature trail, going in the backyard and playing fetch, and visiting your local dog park.


Walking Your Dog

Man and woman taking their two dogs for a walk in an industrial area

Dog walks, or walkies as we call them, are a great way to enjoy time outdoors with your dog. Not only is it good for your physical health, but walking can also have positive effects on your mental well-being. In fact, research has shown that spending time with pets can help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve moods. Plus, it's a great way to explore your neighborhood, local park, or Farmer’s Market. Just be sure to keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them.


Running

Man, woman, and dog running together on a street

There's nothing quite like hitting your favorite running route with your four-legged friend by your side. Whether you're running for exercise, fresh air, or just to explore, dogs make great running companions. And, since they always seem to have boundless energy, they can be a great motivator to help you keep up your pace. Once you're all set to go, enjoy the time spent bonding with your furry friend as you explore the world together - there's no better feeling than that!

Check out our Adventure Guide for more info and tips:

Hiking

Man and woman hiking on a nature trail with their large dog

One great way to explore the outdoors with your dog is by going on a hike. Not only will you both get some exercise, but you'll also get to take in all the sights and sounds of nature. With some planning and preparation, you're sure to have a paw-some time hiking with your furry friend. There are plenty of trails out there that welcome dogs. Whether you're looking for an easy nature walk or a challenging mountain hike, there's something for everyone and your dog will love the chance to explore new territory. Hiking with your dog can be a great bonding experience. You'll get to explore new places together and create lasting memories. Just be sure to pick a trail that is appropriate for your dog's fitness level and always keep them on a leash.

Check out our Adventure Guide for more info and tips:

San Diego Local Tip: Check out our blog on Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and our guide to 15 San Diego day hikes.


Playing Fetch

Man throwing a Frisbee disk for his dog

There's nothing quite like playing fetch with your dog. The feeling of the wind in your hair as you run around, the joy on your pup's face as they chase after the ball - it's simply unbeatable. Whether you're at the park or in your own backyard, playing fetch is the perfect way to bond with your furry friend and get some exercise at the same time. And who knows - you might even end up burning a few calories yourself!

Visit a Dog Park


A great way to get your dog some exercise is to visit a dog park. These parks are filled with plenty of open space for dogs to run around and play, and most offer water fountains and areas for owners to sit and chat. If you're lucky enough to live near a dog park, taking your furry friend there is a great way to help them burn off some energy. Just make sure to keep an eye on them at all times, as not all dogs are well-behaved.

Friends and their pups meeting up in a dog park in San Diego.

Assuming your dog is well-behaved, though, the dog park can be a great place to socialize them. Dogs of all shapes and sizes will be there, so it's a great opportunity for your dog to make some new friends. And if they're not the social type, they can still run around and burn off some energy. Either way, the dog park is a great option for a fun day out with your furry friend. Just be sure to bring along plenty of poop bags to clean up after your pup.


Moderate Outdoor Dog Activities


If you and your pup are feeling adventurous, there are plenty of moderate activities to choose from. Try exploring your local dog beach or going for a swim. Just be sure to take proper precautions (e.g., bringing plenty of water and snacks) and stay within your limits (and your pup's!).


Going to Dog Beach

Woman walking her white Husky on the beach by the water

There's nothing like taking your dog to the beach for a day of fun in the sun! Your pup will love chasing the waves and digging in the sand, and you'll get to enjoy some quality time together in one of the most beautiful settings around. After hours of fun in the sun, it's time to pack up and head home. Your dog will be exhausted from all the excitement, but they'll be looking forward to your next trip to the beach!

San Diego Local Tip: Check out Del Mar & Ocean Beach Dog Beaches!


Swimming

Golden Retriever jumping into a dog swimming pool with life jacket on

Dogs love playing in the water, so why not take them swimming? Pools, lakes, rivers and even the ocean provide perfect opportunities for a fun day out with your furry friend. Just make sure to bring along plenty of water and snacks to keep them energized. Whenever placing your pup in water, a dog life vest should always be worn. Swimming with your dog is a great way to have fun and bond with your furry friend. Just be sure to take some safety precautions and make sure that your dog is comfortable in the water before you dive in!

Agility

Man training hi Jack Russell Terrier on a dog agility course at the beach

If you're looking for an activity that will challenge both you and your pup, then agility training is the perfect option. Not only does it provide a great workout for you and your dog, but it also helps to build a deeper connection between the two of you. Agility training requires plenty of focus and teamwork, so it's a great way to strengthen your bond with your pup. You'll both be learning new skills while having fun at the same time - what could be better?

Advanced Outdoor Dog Activities


For those who like to really push themselves (and their pups!), there are plenty of advanced activities to choose from as well. Surfing, camping, and stand-up paddle boarding are just a few to name. If you and your pup are feeling more adventurous, these activities might be more your speed.

Surfing

Two dogs surfing tandem on an ocean wave

If you're a surfer, there's a good chance you've thought about taking your dog out on the waves with you. After all, what could be more fun than shredding some gnarly waves with your furry best friend by your side? Look for a dog-friendly spot that has gentle waves and plenty of space for your dog to run around. It might take a few tries before your dog gets the hang of surfing. Don't get frustrated if they don't catch on right away - just keep practicing and having fun!

Camping

Two large Huskies standing on a log stump

If you're looking for a true outdoor adventure, consider going camping with your dog. Camping is a great way to bond with your furry friend and explore the great outdoors together. Many campsites now welcome dogs, and there's nothing like spending a few nights under the stars with your best friend. Just be sure to do your research to find a pet-friendly campsite and pack all the essential supplies for both you and your dog.

Check out our Adventure Guide for more info and tips:

Heading to Sedona? Check out our blog all about Manzanita Campground.


Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Woman and her dog on a Stand Up Paddleboard in Mission Bay San Diego

If you're a dog-lover and an avid stand-up paddle boarder, why not combine the two and take your furry friend out on the water with you? SUPing with your dog is a great way to bond with your pet while getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors. Plus, it's bound to be a lot of fun for both of you! SUPing with your dog is a great way to spend some quality time together while getting some fresh air and exercise. So grab your gear and hit the water for some fun!

San Diego Local Tip: Contact Sam at Sup Pups for a lesson


Don't wait! Get Out, Get Active, and Fetch the Sun Today!

Dog standing on a log in front of a crystal clear lake with snow covered mountains in the background.

Dogs are a part of the family, and we want to spend time with them. They are natural explorers and love spending time outside. Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor dog activities you can do with your furry friend. From easy dog walks, to playing fetch at the park, to advanced activities like surfing or camping, there’s something for everyone and every dog. No matter what you choose to do, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy some quality time outside with your furry friend.


Always consult your physician and veterinarian before any strenuous and/or high-risk activities.

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