In Los Angeles, we are normally lucky enough to have great weather all year round. However, this past winter showed a different, rainier side of SoCal. We bet it left you and your pup stuck inside, spending a lot of couch time with Netflix. While everyone at Wags and Walks loves snuggling on the couch with our furbabies, we are so badly looking forward to the return of the warm SoCal sun and some much needed outdoor play time.
We all know maintaining an active lifestyle is important for our minds and our bodies, but we can’t forget how important it is for the dogs in our lives, too. As February comes to a close, we are hoping the next sunny Saturday is just around the corner. In preparation, here are five great local, dog-friendly outdoor activities that will keep both you and your furry friends healthy and happy.
Hike Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon
Everyone knows Griffith Park for its iconic Hollywood sign, but did you know there are over 50 miles of trails in the park? With trails ranging in length and difficulty, there is a hike out there for people of all skill levels and dogs of all sizes! For those of you closer to the West Side, Runyon Canyon is a ~3.5 mile hike that always tops lists for the best hikes in LA and is especially loved by dogs. Both parks offer great views of the city and plenty of places for your pup to stop and sniff, making them the perfect opportunity for both you and your dog to combine exercise and exploration.
Tips before you go:
- Before letting your dog off leash, check the surrounding signs to see if it is allowed, and keep your dog safe by staying aware of fellow hikers or dogs sharing the trail with you.
- Remember that dogs often become fatigued in the heat and sun much faster than humans do, so be sure to check the weather before departing and bring lots of water and treats to keep your dog hydrated and energized throughout your hike.
- As always, bring doggy bags to pick up after your pup. Keeping the parks clean not only helps the environment, but future hikers and dogs alike will appreciate it!
Jog the Santa Monica Bike Path
If your dog needs a more up-tempo exercise to stay in shape, make your way to the Santa Monica bike path and boardwalk. You can extend this jog/run for as long as you want, with over 8 miles of pavement lining the beautiful LA coastline in Santa Monica alone. If you can’t keep up with your pup’s speed, there are plenty of benches along the path where you can take a break, hydrate, bask in the sunshine, and even do some people and dog watching.
Walk Around the Silverlake Reservoir
One of the best things about LA is how many places there are for you to ditch the car and take your dog for a walk. One of our favorites is the Silverlake Reservoir. A little less than 3 miles around, it’s quite popular for walkers and joggers but also a quick way for you to turn an afternoon dog walk into an outdoor activity. The best part? There is an awesome dog park located along the path, so you can stop off at the end of your walk to give your dog a chance to run around off leash and play with the other pups!
Play Fetch at Your Local Dog Park
Speaking of the Silverlake Reservoir, next up on our list of outdoor activities for you and your dog is scoping out your local dog park. All you need to bring is your dog’s favorite tennis ball, frisbee, or maybe that stick your dog loves so much, and you have hours of fun awaiting you! Just like humans, dogs need to socialize and explore on their own. The dog park is the perfect place for a doggy play date or just a great way for you to let your dog run around off leash without having to travel far.
Play Hide and Seek In Your Backyard
There are tons of ways for you to keep your dog healthy with regular exercise without even leaving your backyard, like playing hide and seek outside. By placing treats around your yard, you aren’t only turning a fun game into an easy outdoor workout, but you’re also increasing your dog’s cognitive quickness and helping build your bond. Plus, seeing how excited your pup gets once he/she finally finds the treats is priceless.
Regardless of if you’re staying home or venturing out for a hike, getting outside and exercising with your dog is much easier (and more fun) than you may think! So, the next time the sun peeks through the clouds, try one of these five ways you can turn “exercise” into a fun activity for you and your pup!
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