Dog friendly things to do to stay active together
Doggy member Buster, the Miniature Dachshund, enjoying the muddy tunnel at the dog park

Dog friendly things to do to stay active together

5 October 2023

Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 5 October 2023

Walking a dog every day makes a big difference in keeping us active, especially in our older years, according to research from the University of East Anglia and the University of Cambridge. Our own research here at BorrowMyDoggy, shows that 94% of our borrowers get more exercise by borrowing a dog. In fact the average BorrowMyDoggy borrower walks 2.4 times more steps!

Want to get fit with a pooch, or are you looking for someone to give your dog some pawsome company and exercise when you can't?

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If you're looking for a different way to get fit with your pooch, owned or borrowed, why not check out some of these dog-friendly keep fit activities. And always speak to your vet before starting any new exercise regimes with your pooch, to make sure they're fit and able to try them out.


Going for a run is a great way to exercise regularly and bond with a healthy, fit dog. Remember you’re working out together; if your dog slows down because they want to stop, you'll need to stop too.

Fancy a try yourself? Read up with our guide on how to start running with your dog (including a couch to 5k plan for you and your pup)!

Consider joining a dog charity running event near you. This is a fun way to race and challenge yourselves, whilst actively supporting those who care about animals in need.

Canicross running

Canicross is a version of cross country running but with dogs! It's becoming more and more popular across the world. Read how Nicola, one of our borrowers, developed a love for canicross.


There are lots of local agility clubs in the UK and Ireland. Many pups love the mental and physical challenges of the combinations of jumping, weaving and running on an agility course. Courses are adapted to suit all sizes of dogs. Just make sure you can keep up!

Chester, the Tibetan Terrier at a local agility class

Dog Friendly bootcamp

Would you like to move to the next level on your daily dog walks? Sign up to your nearest dog friendly boot camp so you can both keep fit, meet other dog lovers and furry friends. Always make sure your dog is having fun too, and they get plenty of breaks and water when they need it.

Playing Fetch

Whether your dog prefers to catch a rubber ball or a frisbee, playing an active game of fetch can burn up to 200kcal in just 30 minutes. Just avoid throwing sticks though, as they can cause some pretty nasty injuries to your pooch.

Visit our fetching toy guide for a selection of fetch toys.

Rory, the Lhaso Apso fetching their ball


There’s no better way to discover amazing landscapes and spend time with your canine pal than hiking. As long as your pooch is fit and able to do this kind of exercise, this activity will help you get fit without you even noticing it. Don’t forget to pack enough water for both of you, and take a rest at least every 45 minutes.

Visit your local dog park

Come rain or shine, walking to your nearest dog park is one of the best and simplest ways to keep fit with your dog. Vary your route to mentally and physically stimulate both of you.

Marley, the Labradoodle at his local dog park


Take a refreshing dip with your dog at the beach, lake or river. You’ll have a whale of a time with this low impact exercise. Just be sure the water is clean, safe and free from nasties like blue-green algae before going in.


This is one for the experienced cyclist and obedient dog. Riding your bike with your four-legged friend is a great way to burn extra energy and build leg muscles.

Important notes for amateur cyclists:

  • Start walking with your bike next to your dog before pedalling at a constant speed; once they get used to it, ride the bike slowly and take regular breaks until you both learn how to work together.
  • Do not use a regular dog lead - you need your dog off lead or to purchase a special bicycle lead if you prefer to secure your dog.
  • Only cycle in safe areas where you and your dog are both comfortable.

With recent studies suggesting 65% of dogs are overweight, now is the time to help out your four-legged friend by trying some fun and interesting exercises to keep them healthy and active. Not only do these activities help with weight control in addition to a healthy diet, but they can also help to socialise your dog and improve their mental wellbeing.

Can't make it outdoors? Simple indoor activities such as running your dog up and down the stairs can even count towards their daily physical activity which can be especially useful in pooches not so fond of the rain.

And remember, just because your dog is small doesn’t mean it doesn't need exercise. Lots of small breed dogs actually need more exercise than bigger breeds! If you are unsure about how much exercise your dog needs always be sure to ask your vet.

Just like us, it’s important to warm up before working out with your dog; so why not try a casual short walk before starting other exercises. Remember that sitting, lying down or panting heavily can be useful indicators that your dog has had enough. And always check with your vet before you begin exercising together.

Need some support getting your dog to burn off some energy with extra walks? Looking for an energetic doggy-shaped pawsonal trainer to help you get fit? Sign up to BorrowMyDoggy to find wagtastic people and dogs in your area today.

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