With kids out of school, family vacations planned, and warm weather allowing for more time outdoors, summer comes with a lot of changes to day-to-day life.
As exciting as your summer plans may be, your dog doesn’t necessarily understand the concept of summer vacation. If he’s used to quiet days at home, for example, a household of children can be quite the shock!
Dogs are creatures of habit; they love their predictable routines. Keep reading for some tips to keep your summer as stress-free as possible for everyone in your family—furry friends included.
Summer Schedule Changes
For some pet parents, summer routines aren’t much different from the rest of the year. The main exception would be modifying the daily walk schedule to mornings and evenings in order to avoid the hottest time of the day.
For those pet parents with children, though, summer routines can be drastically different from school year routines. Perhaps the kids are home all day; perhaps you’re constantly dropping them off and picking them up from various summer activities. Either way, your pup is going to have to adjust to some inevitable changes while school’s out of session!
Depending on your family’s summertime activities, your dog’s meals may need to be later or earlier than usual during the summer. If possible, make this a gradual transition rather than an unpredictable, back-and-forth meal schedule.
Your dog will also have to become acquainted with anyone who will be regularly visiting your home during the summer, such as a babysitter or maintenance worker.
Of course, we can’t forget about summer trips. If you’re planning a family vacation with your dog, check out our blog on travel tips for pet-friendly vacations.
Dogs and Separation Anxiety
As much as you may want to include your four-legged family member in all of your summer adventures, there are times when you’ll have to leave Fido at home.
Unfortunately, not all dogs are comfortable staying home alone. Even if your dog doesn’t typically struggle with separation anxiety, certain factors such as changes in household members and drastic schedule changes can contribute to your dog’s anxiety.
With kids at sleep-away summer camps and/or day camps, or the entire family on a vacation or day trip, it’s important that your pup feels comfortable staying home alone.
Check out some of our favorite remedies to help your dog with anxiety for some of our favorite tips for soothing a stressed-out dog.
Summer Activities for Pets and Kids
With kids being home from school for the summer, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with the family dog.
Summer is also a great chance to give your kids a better understanding of your dog’s routine—when he eats, relieves himself, goes for walks, and naps, for example. Consider getting your kids more involved in your dog’s care, with chores such as poop scooping, walking, and feeding.
Of course, your kids and dog will want some extra fun activities, too!
Some of our favorites include:
- Building a backyard agility course
- Splashing in the sprinkler or pool
- Teaching Fido some fun new tricks
- Making healthy homemade dog treats
- Playing a classic game of backyard fetch
If your dog is used to quiet days at home, there is bound to be an adjustment period. Help your children understand when to leave him alone and when it’s okay to play. After all, no one wants to be bombarded with a squirt gun while they’re trying to snooze!
Make sure your dog has a safe space for quality alone time when he needs a break from the chaos. This could be a room that’s off-limits to the rest of your family members, or a crate that your children know not to disturb. Whatever you choose, it’s important that Fido has the option to retreat as needed before he gets too overwhelmed.
If the new summer routine is anxiety-inducing for your dog, try PetHonesty’s Premium Hemp Calming Chews. These gentle, non-sedating chews use a blend of natural ingredients such as hemp, melatonin, and chamomile to make stressful situations more enjoyable for your pet.
Dog Days of Summer
Fun is definitely a priority, but safety should always come first. Before spending extended amounts of time in the summer heat, make sure your children are aware of summer safety guidelines—for pets, and for themselves.
When playing near bodies of water, your dog and young children should be wearing flotation devices. They should all have plenty of sun protection, too, with access to plenty of shade and drinking water.
With summer’s long days, your dog may be involved in extra activities during the day, and even extra walks in the mornings or evenings. With all of that activity, he may be dog tired by the end of the day—and that’s okay! Just make sure he’s well-hydrated, has plenty of chances to rest, and is protected from the sun, heat, and pests.