April is a month of spring and new beginnings, but did you know it is also National Canine Fitness Month? That is right! Staying active is important for both you and your four-legged friends, so make it a point to get outside and explore the great outdoors.
In honor of Canine Fitness Month, we wanted to give you an inside look at a few of the programs we use to keep dogs in our shelter active during their stay with us.
Our amazing volunteers will take a dog out on a supervised adventure and let them explore new surroundings. These adventures range from a walk to the park or a day outside the shelter.
This change in surroundings provides mental stimulation and extra enrichment as they get exposed to new scents and scenery to explore. Some volunteers have taken their assigned dog on a hike.
We have an onsite agility course that our dogs can run through and play in. Usually, we do not do any extensive training on the course. Instead, the focus is on allowing the dogs to figure it out on their own. Many of them enjoy this problem-solving activity!
Nature Trail Exploration
There is a nature trail at the back of our property and, weather permitting, staff and volunteers will take dogs on a long walk on the trail. The dogs love being out among the trees and grass—and do not get us started on the sheer joy of checking out new scents.
Did you know that, just like children, dogs enjoy play dates? Interacting with other dogs can help them burn energy and improve socialization skills.
We host supervised doggy playgroups for our rescues and let them run around and play together. This is also a great source of exercise!
Safety tip: when introducing your dog to potential playmates, please supervise the interaction closely. Keep an eye out for reactive behaviors.
Few things beat the comfort of a pool on a sweltering summer day! We have a small pool built for dogs to swim and play in, and most of them love it. Swimming provides great exercise and the opportunity to escape the heat.
Safety tip: has your dog been swimming before? If you are unsure, get them a life jacket for their first few swims. Contrary to widespread belief, not all dogs can swim!
We hope you are inspired by our enrichment programs to try a new fitness activity for you and your best friend! Are you interested in volunteering with us to help animals in our shelter stay healthy and active? There are many ways to volunteer with us.