Friday, May 9, 2008

Outdoor Fun With Man’s Best Friend

NAPSI-Taking your canine out for some exercise can be more than a doggone good idea. Outdoor exercise is a good chance for you and your dog to make new friends, burn off excess energy and bond with each other.

Here are some ideas for outdoor fun with your dog:

• Take a long walk. Vary the length and direction of your walks from day to day to keep them interesting. Dogs need variety to stimulate their senses just the way people do.

• Play games. A simple stick, ball or chew toy is all you need to play fetch with your dog.

• Go hiking. Dogs love to explore new terrain. But if you’re hiking through woods or tall grass, be sure both you and your dog are protected from ticks. And before you go on a long hike, consider if your dog needs to build up his stamina with shorter walks.

• Enjoy the park. If you walk in the park, be sure there are no restrictions. Can dogs walk there? Must they be on a leash?

• Visit a dog park. Many communities offer dog parks and trails, which offer dogs plenty of opportunities for exercise and a chance to meet new friends.

When you do take your dog outside, a few pointers can make the experience more pleasant:

• Don’t forget the leash. Most communities require your dog to be on a leash and it helps you keep a hold on your dog should he become startled and tries to bolt. Leashes also help when training a new pet. Make sure your dog wears identification just in case he does break loose.

• Stay hydrated. If you are heading out for more than a few blocks, don’t forget water for yourself and your pet so you both stay hydrated.

• Take a break. Be sure to take plenty of breaks if it’s hot or humid so neither of you gets overheated.

• Be a good pet neighbor. Don’t forget to clean up after your pet in both your own yard, neighbor’s yard and anywhere else you may roam. Cleaning up prevents the spread of disease, keeps your neighborhood clean and beautiful and could save you a fine. Many communities now charge fines of a few dollars to over $350 for people who don’t clean up after their dogs.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to pick up after your pet. For example, you can make it easy on yourself by using products such as Bags on Board, a refillable waste pickup dispenser that comes in a variety of designs including either a fire hydrant and bone shape or polka dot and geometric designs.

Each dispenser houses a roll of 15 biodegradable bags and the dispenser can be refilled as needed. The dispenser attaches to any kind of leash--retractable or standard--and fits neatly under the leash handle. For more information, visit www.bagsonboard.com.

Exercise is an important part of every dog’s day and can help prevent destructive indoor behavior in pets.

Dogs love an adventure, so take them for a walk in a new and interesting place. Be sure to clean up afterwards.

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