For many families that have dogs, a walk around the neighborhood or a visit to a local dog park is a popular outing. There may be times when you want your family to enjoy another activity with the dog. There are many different options that may be available where you live, and while you'll need to look online to confirm that any place you plan to visit is open to leashed dogs, it can be fun to plan a family activity that includes your pet. Here are some ways that a family can get active with their pet.


Hiking can be an enjoyable activity for many families, and this is definitely an outing on which your dog can accompany you. Most dogs will love the idea of going on a hike, whether you're simply following a paved trail around the perimeter of a lake or you're navigating a slightly challenging dirt or gravel path through a wooded area or up a hill. You may wish to give each of your children a chance to hold the dog's leash at various times during the hike, which can increase the fun of this activity for them.

Canoe Ride

If you live a short distance from the water, there's likely a place at which you can rent a couple of canoes and spend some time paddling. Dogs can fit easily into a canoe, and your kids will get a kick out of seeing the animal enjoying the fresh air and occasional splashes from their paddles. If your family consists of two adults, two children, and one dog, rent two canoes. Each boat can hold one adult and one child, and the dog can spend some time in each of the boats so that everyone gets to be close to the animal. Remember to buy a life jacket for your dog before this outing.


Look online to find a place in your community at which your family can go swimming with your dog. While dogs are prohibited at lots of beaches, there are often other spots that families and their pets visit. If you can find one of these spots, it can be a lot of fun to spend some time swimming with your pet on a hot day. The kids will have fun throwing sticks for the dog to fetch and will have lots of fun swimming around with the pet. Pack a picnic — including some water and treats for the dog — that everyone can enjoy in the shade after the swim.

For more information, contact a company like the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.