A black dog rushes at a red ball, larger in size than itself.

Sports involving pets–that usually brings to mind hunting dogs and agility. But we are combining our love of both recreational exercise and pets in new and interesting ways. Doga, or yoga with dogs, is one form of exercise that combines them. It doesn’t stop there. When you, Fido or Frisky is ready to skip the normal exercise routine or wants something more challenging than a game of Fetch, it may be time to try one of these five unusual sports involving pets. 

5 Weird or Unusual Sports Involving Pets

Has your cat mastered the cat tree and ready for additional challenges? Is your dog bored with normal tricks or puzzle games? Maybe it is time to up their game with some of these wacky but fun sports for pets.

  1. Cat Agility Training
    If you’ve ever tried to get your cat to do anything, you may be all too familiar with why there is a saying, “Just like herding cats.” But did you know that some felines are ready for the ultimate in fitness and go pro with cat agility competitions? Yes, that’s right. Cat agility is a sport that involves cats going through several agility obstacles while led by their handlers. Cats are judged on their level of skill through each obstacle course, as well as how quickly they get through the entire program.
  2. Canine Nosework
    If your dog has an extraordinary gift of smell, canine nose work can put him to the test. These competitions use a dog’s natural ability to sleuth out a variety of scents to locate several targets. In fact, specialized schools train dogs in identifying hundreds of scents. These schools are particularly useful in helping dogs who work with law enforcement. 
  3. Treibball
    Treibball is a positive reinforcement, competitive sport that originated in Germany. The goal of treibball is to gather 8 large balls and drive them down the field to a soccer goal. A dog must drive each of these balls down into the goal within a certain amount of time. This sport turned competitive in 2008. It was originated to strengthen a dog’s herding skills.
  4. Canicross
    This sport puts both dog and dog owner to the test by training them to run cross country distances. Canicross is the sport of running cross country with dogs. It originated as an exercise used to keep mushing dogs (sledding) well trained and active during the summer months. Canicross accommodates more than one dog at a time, but you can do it with a single dog.
  5. Dog Parkour 
    This extreme sport is trendy among those who want to live on the edge – literally. You may have seen this human kamikaze-style sport, which challenges people to run and jump over hurdles, skip along walls, performing handstands and other acrobatics in rapid succession.
    Well, now dogs are in the mix, too. Dog parkour combines dog agility with the sport of parkour through jumping, climbing, balancing, crawling, and other exercises. For the most fit among Fidos, this extreme game can be the ultimate challenge for a fur frind.

We hope some of these unusual sports involving pets inspire you. Your fur friend may not be ready for these extreme activities, but it may give you the motivation to try something new rather than your usual pet exercise routine. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and your four-legged friend will appreciate having some fun.

For questions about your pet companion’s health and well-being, please do not hesitate to check in with your regular veterinarian.