I feel like a lot of my previous FitDog Friday posts have been about dog sports and the elite athletes in the dog world. And that is true. I do a lot of sports with my dogs, and a lot of the stuff we do is simply not things most people have the time or motivation to participate in (though I think you would have a blast trying them!). But I promise, we aren't always working on training for some crazy sport.
Where we live, the Farmer's Market just opened up for the summer. I took the dogs to the market for opening day and set Koira up with the GoPro to take some pictures. Let me tell you, the dogs had a great time, people loved seeing a dog taking pictures, and the market was wonderful. And, this is something anyone with a dog-and-people-friendly dog can participate in. Not only are you getting some exercise, but you can pick out some healthy, fresh, locally grown food to stay fit at home as well!
A few tips for bringing your dog to the Farmer's Market/ Saturday Market in your town.
First, make sure the market is open to dogs. Most markets allow dogs, but restrict them from entering the stalls due to health regulations. Follow all those restrictions carefully so that dogs can continue to come to the markets!
Use a 4 or 6 foot lead for your dog. Using anything longer, or a flexi/extendable leash can cause your dog to be out of your control or causing problems without you being able to immediately take care of it. Markets are often crowded as well, so long leashes can cause people to get tangled and trip. Also, make sure your dog is walking under control, whether that means on a loose leash on their collar, or using a no pull harness or head collar.
Be courteous. Bring plenty of bags to pick up after your dog. I like to walk my dogs in a grassy area away from the market so they take care of business before we get into the middle of everything, and give them a few breaks in case they need to go again. You might even bring along a spray bottle with some water to spray down poop or pee marks on pavement to get rid of sight and smell, if there aren't convenient non-paved areas for pottying.
And, of course, have fun. If your dog is nervous of people or other dogs, try walking only on the outskirts of the market and work up to the full experience slowly. The goal is to have fun with your dog, and that can only happen if both of you are relaxed and enjoying yourselves.