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Dogpacking 101: Getting Started

8 Science-Based Benefits of Adventuring with Your Dog

As if you needed more reasons to get out there with your dog. Turns out that engaging in outdoor adventures together (aka dogpacking) brings many benefits to both you and your furry friend. Here are eight cool science-based advantages of dogpacking:

1. You both get benefits of physical activity

Photo: Cass Gilbert

Regular outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and playing fetch provide excellent physical exercise for both you and your dog. This helps in maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening muscles, keeping joints healthy and improving cardiovascular health. Both owners and dogs tend to maintain better fitness levels with regular outdoor activities. Dogs with regular physical activity have a lower risk of obesity-related conditions, a lower tendency for joint problems and often exhibit better overall health and longevity.

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2. Provides mental stimulation

New environments and experiences keep your dog mentally stimulated, which can enrich your dog’s life as well as reduce boredom and the associated behavioural problems such as inappropriate chewing.

3. Strengthens your bond with your dog 🐶💕

Spending time together strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Shared adventures build mutual trust and companionship. Interacting with pets has been linked to the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and reduced stress levels.

4. Reduces stress levels

Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety for both humans and dogs. The calming effects of natural surroundings can enhance overall well-being.

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5. Helps socialize your dog

Outdoor adventures often involve encounters with both people and dogs, which allows you to help them improve their social skills. It also lets them get used to novel situations, such as busy airport terminals.

6. Helps reduces behaviour problems

Regular exercise and mental stimulation can lead to a reduction in boredom-related behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging.

7. Great opportunity for doggy training

Outdoor adventures provide an excellent opportunity for training and reinforcing good behaviour in various settings.

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8. It’s way fun 🐕🤗💕

And much better than any alternative we can think of. 🐶💕 There are so many ways to go dogpacking with your furry best friend: walking on a trail, visiting a new park, traveling by bike, car camping, trying stand-up paddle boarding. Choose your adventure and get ready for fun!

Engaging in outdoor adventures with your dog provides many physical, mental, emotional, and behavioural benefits, contributing to overall well-being for both you and your pet. So next time you need an excuse to go dogpacking, here are eight of them.


References

Christian, H., et al. (2013). “Dog ownership and physical activity: a review of the evidence.” *Journal of Physical Activity and Health*, 10(5), 750-759

Barker, S.B., & Wolen, A.R. (2008). “The benefits of human-companion animal interaction: a review.” Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 35(4), 487-495.

Oka, K., & Shibata, A. (2009). “Dog ownership and health-related physical activity among Japanese adults.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(4), 412-418. 

German, A.J. (2006). The growing problem of obesity in dogs and cats.” Journal of Nutrition, 136(7 Suppl), 1940S-1946S.

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