Dog Dad Zack Manko and his dog Sorcha have some great summer fitness tips for you and your dog!
July is here, which means summer is in full swing. For many people, this is the best of seasons. Warm weather, vacations, school’s out—there’s a lot to love.
With all this activity, there’s plenty to think about, and plenty to do, when it comes to your faithful furry companion. Last year, we talked about staying safe with your dog during the summer months. While we do think that food, firework, and heat safety is important, we’d like to spend some time today talking about all the fun summer has to offer.
Now, Sorsha and I are well aware that inflation and supply chain issues have put a stranglehold on family finances, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them squeeze the joy out of summer too. Many of the activities below are completely free, so drop your excuses and get out the door!
Fido Fitness Goals
Summer is often the season for setting goals for physical health. That warm sun beckons us off the couch and outside, energizing us to get moving and get fit. Or maybe it’s not the sun. Maybe it’s the thought of getting out on the beach with all those holiday pounds still hanging around our midsections.
In any case, if you’re thinking about getting into shape this summer, consider incorporating your dog into your fitness routine in some way. If you’re planning on doing some weightlifting, why not warm up and stretch by taking your dog for a walk around the block first? Or, if your dog is a large breed like Sorsha, why not just lift her instead of weights?
Similarly, if you are looking to increase your cardiovascular fitness and endurance, running with your dog can make all those laps around the track a little more fun and a little less tedious. Plus, you can give your dog an added workout by strapping them up with a weighted vest or backpack—you could do the same for yourself too, of course!
Then again, maybe it’s not you that needs the exercise. Maybe you’re in shape, but your dog is huffing and puffing after a few throws of the ball or frisbee. If that’s the case, consider making an exercise plan for your dog.
Before starting any new exercise routine, take some precautions. Start by clearly identifying your goals, as different exercises will lead to different results. Do your research and find some activities that make sense for your goals, your time, and your body.
When you do begin your routine, start slow, and make sure your body is up for the challenge. Be sure to bring plenty of water for yourself and your trusty hound. Scheduling in your workouts can help you stay on track and prevent you from skipping them. Trust us, you’ll be happy that you stuck to your guns—you always feel better after a workout!
Mail with Tails
If you’re not the exercising type, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of opportunities to have fun this summer. For example, there are typically many events that fall during the summer months, like weddings, graduation parties, and more—why not catch up on writing out some congratulation, best wishes, and other types of greeting cards?
Pet Perennials has a full stock of pet-themed greeting cards to help you give your best wishes to all those special people in your life. There’s something comforting and even nostalgic about the thought of sitting on the front porch in the sun and writing out cards for snail-mail delivery. It’ll be a breath of pause, a moment of stillness in our otherwise fast-paced and jam-packed schedules.
Many of us have the tinker bug, and summer is the perfect time to get out our old toolboxes for some kind of building or home improvement project. While fixing gutters or adding on a new deck are great for you and the house, what about something a little more canine-oriented?
For example, you could build your dog a new doghouse, or an awning to provide them with some shade from the heat and summer sun. In fact, July is National Doghouse Repair Month, so chances are you won’t be alone in your dog dwelling improvements. If they’ve already got a place to rest, maybe they need something to help them exercise instead. A new run or tie-out placement could be just the ticket to pump up their fun this summer.
Summer is the ultimate vacation season. Warm weather and sunshine make it the best time of year to get outdoors and see some of our nation’s greatest natural features. Additionally, there are also some wonderful, dog-friendly locations throughout the Midwest (Sorsha and I chose the Midwest so we could split the difference as far as travel times go).
For example, Wisconsin is home to the Dells, a town with waterparks, zipline forests, zoos, and more! It’s the ultimate vacation station, and it has plenty of canine activity spots, like Devil’s Lake State Park and several dog-friendly restaurants. Also, be sure to check out Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort which offers dog friendly lodgings!
Ohio also has some doggy destinations. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath offers tremendous views of the landscape and canals, and plenty of walking for your dog to get into. If you’re looking for something indoors, the Cleveland Scavenger Hunt has you exploring malls and buildings for objects and artwork!
Before you start making plans and buying tickets, remember to consider whether your furry friend is up for a road trip. They may do better with a sitter or at a doggy daycare facility. If that’s the case, but you are still determined to do some sort of vacation with your dog, look for options closer to home, so you and your hound won’t be miserable on a longer car ride.
Keep It Fun
Summer has plenty to offer, and we’d like to encourage you to get out there and enjoy it. We know times are tough, and saving money is important. However, so is taking a break and making the most of the warm weather while it is available. So, get out there and have a good time!