As summer arrives, it’s time to get out in the sun. After a long winter, your dog may be just as excited to get out of the house as you are. The summer is one of the best times to take your dog out with you. There are more options for your fur baby to take part in and you’re more likely to be outdoors yourself.
In colder weather, you’re more likely to leave your dog at home when you go out. Summer outings may occur at parks, festivals or out in nature. There’s no reason that your pooch should be left out of the fun. If you’re trying to plan a dog-friendly summer, here are some top picks for activities to do with your dog.
Go for a Hike
Summer is one of the best times of year to head out on a hike. You get the perfect mix of shade from the hot sun and can still enjoy the blue skies. Research your local trails to ensure that you go to a dog-friendly trail. Most dogs are highly active and need a lot of physical activity. Choose trails that are fit for your fitness level.
If you’re a new hiker, you may want to start on beginning trails. If you’re an avid hiker, feel free to try something a little more challenging. When you go on a hike, stay prepared. You should always have extra food, water and supplies for yourself, in case something happens. The same goes for your dog. Make sure to pack extra water and food for the both of you.
Host a Dog BBQ
Summers are supposed to be full of friends, family and fun. If your family is like most, then the pets are a part of the family. Hosting a BBQ brings everyone together. If it’s outdoors, there’s no reason you can’t bring your dog to the event. Invite the dog-lovers in your family and friend group to bring their dog over to enjoy the BBQ too.
When preparing BBQ dishes for your dogs, keep in mind that barbecue sauces and spices can be difficult for them to digest. Instead, focus on plain meats for the dogs. Drained, plain beef or grilled chicken is appropriate for dogs.
While the dogs play in the yard and enjoy their treats, you can gather with your friends and family and enjoy your flavorful human options.
Hit the Beach
There is nothing that says summer quite like the beach. Whether you live near the beach or are planning a summer vacation, take your dog along for the ride. Dogs love the ocean as much as people do. Not only is it a fun place to swim, but the entire beach setting can be great for the both of you. The beach can be a place for you and your dog to run along, play fetch with driftwood and to soak up the atmosphere.
If you do take your pup for a swim in the ocean, make sure that you take safety seriously. While dogs are natural swimmers, it doesn’t mean that they are going to be talented swimmers in the ocean. They can still tire and the current can still overpower them. You need to be careful of how far you let your dog swim. In addition, you should always consider purchasing a doggy life vest for your pet.
Jump in the Pool
Many dogs are natural swimmers. In fact, for some owners, it is difficult to keep dogs out of the water when they see it. If you have a swimming pool, don’t be afraid to let your dog come for a swim with you. Chlorinated and saltwater pools are safe for dogs, as long as you maintain them properly. If the chlorine is at healthy levels for you, then odds are it will be at healthy levels for your dog.
If you have never taken your dog swimming before, then you do need to be careful. Introduce your pup to the water slowly. Do not rush your dog. If you push or toss your dog into the pool, you could scare him or her. Dogs tend to be wary of anything that scares them initially. Some dogs may acclimate quicker to the pool if their owners are with them.
One thing to be aware of is that dogs will bring a lot more debris with them into the pool. Dogs are covered in hair, after all, and tend to be dirtier than their human counterparts. This means that you have to make sure that your filter is working properly. You may need to clean your pool more often if you let your dog swim with you. Also, keep in mind that dogs do have sharp claws so if you have a vinyl liner, you need to be extra careful.
Watch your dog like you would a child in the pool. Keep in mind that everyone ingests a little water while swimming. This isn’t going to hurt your dog unless he or she drinks too much. Children and animals tend to ingest more pool water than adults. Don’t let your dog try to drink the water. It can make him or her sick.
The best pool to have is an inground pool. These pools are easy for dogs to get in and out of. If you’re interested in installing a pool in your backyard, there are pool loan companies that can help you make that dream a reality.
Play in the Sprinkler
Do you remember running through the sprinkler as a kid? The sprinkler makes an ideal way to cool off on a hot summer day. You may not be surprised that dogs tend to like sprinklers as much as people do. They may enjoy hours of running through the sprinkler and playing in the water. You can even play fetch through the sprinkler or run with your dog to cool the both of you off.
A lot of the activities that kids can do to beat the summer heat, dogs can also do. If you have a dog that doesn’t like to swim, this could be the best way for him or her to cool off. If you can get the dog to run through the water to chase toys or to chase you, then it’s a more fun way to help the pup cool off.
Make Summer Treats
Dogs cannot handle heat like humans can. Dogs cannot sweat, except for a small amount through their footpads. One way that you can help them handle the warm weather is to create cold treats. Everyone loves a cold treat in the heat of the summer. Your dog is no exception.
In the stores, you can find frozen treats and ice cream for pups, but you can also make your own. If your dog loves bananas, consider freezing banana pieces as a quick snack. You can put a toy in an ice mold so the dog has to get through the ice to reach the toy.
Take Agility Classes
Just like people, dogs love to learn new things. No matter the age of your dog, all dogs can learn new tricks. You may want to consider obedience or agility classes. Agility courses can be built outside and once your dog learns a few different tricks and can follow directions, you can set up courses in your yard for him or her to run.
Agility classes and other training classes help stimulate your pet’s mind. Most people know that a worn out dog is a good dog. If you can fill his or her day with fun exercises and training, then your dog will most likely be tired and well-behaved at the end of the day.
Go Summer Shopping
If you want to hit the shopping center for some summer shopping, you may be able to take your dog. A lot of outdoor malls allow you to bring your dog with you. You can go to outdoor food courts and browse the shops. Many of the stores may also allow your dog to come inside.
Make sure that if you take your dog into a mall that he or she is well-behaved. You do not want your dog to be barking at strangers or distracted by the other people. While indoors, he or she will have to be on the best behavior possible. When in public places such as outdoor shopping centers, your dog should always be on a leash.
Summer is one of the best seasons to enjoy the outdoors. Dog’s thrive when they are able to spend more time in the sun and warm weather. If you want to spend your days outside this summer, try to think of activities that you could do with your furbaby.
Consider nature walks, doggy events, swimming and more. Every person’s pet is different so every dog may thrive performing different activities. Think about what your dog loves and try to come up with activities both of you will enjoy.
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