To a human, summer means sunshine, warmth, and the opportunity to relax and take things easy. What’s a better way to enjoy all these things than to share them with your four-legged companion?
As a dog parent, you’ll have the precious opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen the bond with your furry friend during the summer months. Take advantage of the good weather and the wealth of activities to do by going outdoors and basking in the summer sunshine with your pooch.
Here are six recommendations from PrideBites for ringing in the summer with your dog, ensuring a season filled with joy, fun, and wagging tails:
Go on a Picnic
There's something delightful about sharing a picnic with your dog amidst nature's beauty. Take advantage of the balmy summer weather and visit a pet-friendly park near you. Pack a dog-safe meal as well as treats in a dog treat bag and fresh water to be served in a dog foldable travel bowl, and don’t forget a comfortable blanket for lounging.
Your dog’s favorite toys can also serve as a means for them to entertain themselves while you enjoy the tranquility of the picnicking setting. Do consider taking along those customizable beer can dog toys, rope toys, or tennis balls they love so much.
If your dog is friendly with other pups in your area, you might also want to turn your picnics into doggy play dates. Your pooch will surely benefit from the social stimulation that other dogs provide, and you’ll be able to slot in some much-needed quality time with friends and neighbors in the process.
Enjoy Dog-Safe Summer Fruit Together
Summer also brings an abundance of delicious fruits, and luckily, some are safe and healthy for dogs too. Treat your furry companion to dog-safe summer fruits like watermelon, blueberries, and strawberries, especially when you have an occasion to feast together (e.g. a block party or summer barbecue).
These treats will not only be super refreshing to your dog, but also provide them with valuable nutrients. Remember to remove any seeds, rinds, or cores, and serve fruit in moderation only as a special summertime snack.
Get Them a Summer-Appropriate Haircut
As the temperature rises, consider treating your dog to a summer-appropriate haircut. Certain breeds, especially those with thick coats, may benefit from a trim to stay cool and comfortable. Consult a professional groomer to ensure a suitable cut that still offers protection from the sun.
Once your dog’s been all made over, do also bear in mind that you may need to maintain their coat, depending on their breed. Regular brushing and grooming at home will help prevent matting and keep your dog's fur healthy.
Take Your Dog to a Lake, Beach, or Pool
Most dogs love water and will welcome a trip to a nearby lake, beach, or pool. Some especially pet-friendly cities have dedicated dog-friendly pools, while other establishments may set up “doggy swim days” for pet owners.
If you don’t have a pet-friendly pool in your city, then try looking into local lakes or beaches you can drive to for a day trip. Then, once you arrive, you can introduce your pooch to the refreshing waters, play fetch, or simply let them splash around.
Wherever you and your dog end up, be sure to prioritize their safety throughout the outing. Here are some essential safety tips you can follow to ensure that you both enjoy your day out to the fullest:
- Familiarize yourself with any rules, requirements, or restrictions at your chosen location, as some places have specific guidelines or designated dog-friendly zones. For areas that demand that your dog be on-leash, bring requisite items like their dog collars and leashes.
- Evaluate the water conditions to ensure they are safe for your dog. If your dog is not a strong swimmer or familiar with water, choose calm areas with relatively shallow entry points. Avoid deeper waters, strong currents, and rough waves.
- Always keep a close eye on your dog while they are near or in the water. Avoid letting them venture too far from shore, especially if they are not experienced swimmers.
- Bring fresh water and a separate water bowl so that your dog can drink during breaks.
- After swimming in saltwater or chlorinated pools, rinse your dog with freshwater to remove any residue. This helps prevent skin irritation and keeps their coat clean and healthy.
Set Up Sprinklers or a Kiddie Pool in Your Backyard
Dogs love the sensation of water play, and it's a fantastic way to keep them cool on hot days. You also don’t have to go very far from home to let them enjoy a splash of cool water on their fur.
Transform your backyard into a refreshing oasis for your furry friend by setting up sprinklers or a kiddie pool. Just make sure that the water is clean before you let your dog out for playtime, and supervise them throughout their play session to prevent any injuries or accidents.
Take a Hike
Embarking on a hiking adventure with your dog allows you both to explore the great outdoors while getting some exercise in. Before you leave for your hike, make sure to choose a dog-friendly trail and pack essential items such as water, snacks, and waste bags.
You’ll also want to keep your dog leashed throughout the hike as it may be unsafe for them to roam around freely in a mountainous area. Hike slow and pay attention to your dog’s comfort levels, and you’ll be sure to have a great time relishing the sights, sounds, and scents of nature together.
Now that it’s summer, you and your dog will have countless opportunities to create cherished memories to revisit all year round. Embrace the call to relax or go on a paw-some adventure, and relish every moment spent with your fur baby!