Get in Shape with Your Dog This Summer

Your dog isn’t just your best friend, they’re also your best workout partner.

Dogs love schedules, and when yours figures out that every morning at 6 am is exercise time, they’ll make sure you stick to it.

When 6 am rolls around, they’ll be excited and ready to go. And you can’t resist that cute face and wagging tail.

These 6 activities will keep you both active and healthy all summer long. With any luck, the habits will continue year-round and you’ll both help each other live happier, healthier lives.

Forget a walk around the block. Hit the trails.

The Don River Valley Trails are easily accessible, long and beautiful. You and your dog can go for a quiet run or bike ride in the morning or after work to add some variety to your normal walk around the block.

Visit the park map to find the most convenient trail entrance and scout out a fun stretch of trail for you and your dog to explore. There are lots of side trails to drop into, just watch out for mountain bikers. The trails are beautiful, and that makes them popular at certain times of the day.

Get out to the dog park and socialize!

Dogs love working out together, so a dog park is a great place for your furry friend to find workout partners of their own kind.

Dogs create their own games together and they are always physical. It’s a great way for your pooch to exercise and make new friends when you’re a little too worn out to participate.

Nearby off-leash dog parks include:

  • Cherry Beach (at the foot of Cherry Street, just south of Unwin Avenue)
  • Ashbridges Bay and Boardwalk (located along Lake Shore Boulevard next to Woodbine Beach)
  • Ward’s Island, and pet-friendly ferry (from the Toronto Ferry Docks at Queens Quay and Bay Street)
  • Greenwood Dog Park (Dundas and Greenwood)
  • Cassels Ave Playground (near Woodbine and Gerard)
  • Monarch Park (south of Danforth and Coxwell)
  • Merril Bridge Road Park (enter on Aldergrove Ave, near Woodbine and Danforth)

And of course, a little further away, in High Park, is a large and busy off leash dog park with lots of friends to meet!

You live in The Beaches, so play in the water!

You can make your game of fetch more physical for your dog by playing in the water.

There are lots of dog-friendly stretches of waterfront in our neighbourhood, so grab your frisbee or ball and find a space where you can toss out into the water for your dog to chase. And if you’re worried about your dog going too far, don’t forget to bring their life jacket!

The resistance of the water is a great workout and if your dog loves swimming, they’ll be excited to go every day.

Make sure to check the flags to be sure it’s safe:

  • Blue/Green: Natural waterfront. Light wind and waves. Lifeguard on duty.
  • Yellow: Caution, moderate hazard. Rough water and/or strong current and/or strong offshore wind. Lifeguard on duty.
  • Red: Danger, high hazard. Extreme wave action and/or currents. Swimming not recommended. Lifeguard on duty.
  • Red/Yellow stripe: Limit of supervised swimming area. Swim between flags.
  • No flag: No lifeguard on duty.

No more brief games of tug-of-war

Dogs often invite their humans to play tug of war, but we don’t often stick with the game as long as they want.

We have a huge supply of long toys that are perfect for the ultimate game of tug of war.

It can be a workout for you and your pup, and it’s a type of exercise your dog won’t get anywhere else.

Take an agility training course

Agility is a great way to burn off your dog’s excess energy.

Running through a course that involves:

  • Jumping
  • Twisting
  • Ups and downs
  • Problem-solving

… challenges every part of your dog’s mind and body. They get stronger, smarter and become more bonded with you.

Plus, it’s a great exercise for you, as you run through the course to direct them through each obstacle.

Exercise your brains together with obedience training!

Dogs are lifelong learners, just like people.

No matter how young or old your dog is, obedience training can improve:

  • Their quality of life (through fitness)
  • Their behaviour (through learning)
  • Your relationship with your dog

You and your dog can join one of our always-running obedience classes.

They run on Mondays and Fridays all year. Classes start at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm, and run for 6 weeks once you start. Contact us today for more information.

However you do it, get out for some exercise with your dog this season. You’ll be glad you did!