With long days and warm weather, summer is the perfect time to spend some extra time outside with your furry best friend. Whether your summer is filled with travel plans or staycations, there are plenty of ways to make fun new memories with your pup.
Keep reading for expert tips for enjoying some of our favorite dog-friendly summer activities.
Of course, we have to start with one of the most classic, quintessential summer activities: swimming!
Swimming is an ideal activity for dogs. It’s a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day, it’s a good form of low-impact exercise for dogs with joint issues, and, of course, it’s a great way to spend some quality time together.
That said, not all dogs are natural-born swimmers; some breeds such as Pugs and Dachshunds have trouble swimming due to their proportions and weight distribution. Fortunately, with the combination of a doggie life vest and some swimming lessons, it’s absolutely feasible that your pup can learn to feel comfortable in and around water regardless of breed.
If swimming isn’t in the cards, try cooling off your canine by splashing around in a backyard sprinkler instead.
You don’t have to be an avid backpacker to enjoy a hike with your dog. If you’re both beginners, try an easy nearby nature trail or state park.
Before going hiking with your dog, research park or trail regulations to make sure Fido is actually allowed, keeping in mind that many areas have leash policies.
Pack plenty of food and water, offering plenty of opportunities for rest. Be mindful of your dog’s limits—if you push him too far, you may end up having to carry him the rest of the way!
Summer is the perfect season for camping, from rustic off-the-grid trips to casual weekend campsite visits.
Before you set off on your trip, be sure to do plenty of research and preparation. Check that the campsite allows dogs, and be ready to follow all pet policies.
If your pooch doesn’t respond well to changes in his routine, it may be better for everyone involved to leave him at home. After all, camping should ideally be a fun, restful activity.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Camping with Your Dog for some expert tips on preparing, packing, and enjoying your dog-friendly camping trip.
Backyard Agility Course
Of course, fun summer activities don’t always require a change of scenery—there are plenty of ways to get creative and have some summer fun in your own dog-friendly backyard.
If you’ve got a big enough backyard and plenty of patience, try building your own backyard agility course for dogs! In addition to exercising your dog’s body and mind, an agility course is a great way to improve the bond between pet and owner, boost your dog’s confidence, and teach your pup to control his impulses.
Stick some PVC pipes into the ground for makeshift weave poles; use a broom handle or pool noodle for a jump hurdle; create your own teeter-totter with a well-secured wooden plank… you get the gist.
Before you let your dog take the course for a test run, check that everything is safe and secure. Of course, don’t forget to reward your pup with plenty of treats after a great training session!
We know you and your doggo are the best of friends, but sometimes there’s nothing like a fellow furry friend to keep Fido entertained.
If your dog doesn’t have any furry siblings, you may want to consider arranging a puppy playdate. Not only is this fun for your dog, but it also offers opportunities for exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization.
Before you plan a puppy playdate, consider your dog’s personality and play styles. Don’t just set him up with the first friend’s dog you can think of—you’ll want to match him with a dog of similar size, age, and energy level.
If the dogs aren’t already familiar with each other, introduce them to each other in a neutral location to avoid any territorial tendencies.
Dog Days of Summer: Protecting Your Pup from the Elements
Regardless of the activity, it’s important to take the proper precautions to protect your pup from the sun and heat, not to mention those pesky pests.
Did you know that dogs can get sunburns? Protect your pup from sunburn with dog-friendly sunscreen, and even protective dog clothing such as sun shirts and hats.
Protect your pup’s paws from hot pavement by scheduling your walks for mornings and late evenings when the weather is cooler; it also helps to stay in the shade and let your dog walk on grass whenever possible.
Whenever you’re outside, make sure your dog has access to plenty of shade and water.
In addition to sun and heat protection, you’ll also want to make sure your dog is getting sufficient protection against fleas and ticks. PetHonesty’s vet-recommended Flea and Tick Defense Chews use ingredients such as brewer’s yeast, garlic, and coconut oil to provide a natural defense against seasonal pests.