With the dog days of summer in full swing, there's never been a better time for you and your furry friend to enjoy the outdoors together. Even if you normally go on long walks together or expend some playful energy at your local dog park, there are other activities that are especially fun to do with your fur baby in the summer. As more cities offering more dog-friendly amenities everyday, going outside your normal routine can recharge you and allow your pup to meet new playmates (and you their owners).
Read on for 5 fun summer activities made even more enjoyable by the presence of your pooch, as well as what you'll need to pack to ensure you're prepared for any contingencies.
#1: Make Some Pup-sicles
When the mercury rises, your pets enjoy cool treats even more. But many commercial popsicles and ice cream treats aren't great for dogs' sensitive bellies. By making and freezing your own yogurt- or peanut-butter-based popsicles to accompany your own human treats, you and your pup will be able to cool down safely and deliciously. A quick search for “healthy dog popsicles” will bring you a ton of fun and easy to make icy treats for your fur babies.
#2: Take a Swim
One of fido’s favorite ways to cool off and have fun is swimming. If you are one of the lucky ones who live near the ocean, chances are your city will have dog friendly beaches. Be sure to check on times when dogs are welcomed on different beaches in your town.
If that is not an option and you don’t have a private pool where you live, more public pools are starting to offer "dog days" toward the end of the swimming season, during which they permit pups (with their owners) to swim freely in a safe and controlled environment. If your pooch enjoys swimming but isn't necessarily good at it, this can be a great alternative to swimming in an open body of water that may make a sudden rescue difficult.
#3: Dine al Fresco
One of the greatest joys of summer is getting to enjoy your meals in the great outdoors, whether at a nature-centered cafe or on a busy city street perfect for people-watching. And although not all restaurants permit dogs inside, pet restrictions on outside dining are more rare. More and more online resources are becoming available where they curate dog-friendly places and restaurants for you, such as Sidewalkdog.com and Bringfido.com; so planning your next meal with fido is easier than ever.
#4: Go Camping
Camping enthusiasts know that it's not really summer until you've gotten at least one camping excursion under your belt. And with more dog-friendly campgrounds than ever, it's easy to plan your next trip while ensuring the whole family will be welcome.
#5: Hit the Road
If you've spent the summer sticking close to your hometown, perhaps it's time to venture out a bit. Many cities offer everything from dog-friendly restaurants, farmers market, museums, dog-friendly hotels, and even breweries, often without any extra fees, which makes it easier than ever for your furry friend to accompany you on a solo road trip.
What to Bring to Ensure a Fun and Safe Outing
Whether you're hitting the road for a few days or are just headed to your local pool, there are a few things you can bring that should make it a safer and more fun trip for all involved. These include:
- Cleanup bags, to avoid having to fish around for a napkin, sandwich wrapper, or some other less-than-ideal way to pick up after your dog
- A collapsible bowl for water, allowing your pooch to refresh himself as needed
- A leash and tie (especially if you're camping or taking your dog to a restaurant where other dogs might be present)
- And don’t forget a smartphone or camera to record your adventures
With just a little advance preparation, you and your pooch will be ready to tackle the new adventures that await you both this summer!