Summer is rapidly approaching us, especially since it was such a mild winter here! I know people are already prepping their dogs for the warm days ahead by clipping them short and getting important vaccines before heading on vacations.
Summer seems to bring out the best in people; sunny days, free time, long evenings…all the perfect set up for some fun activities. Summertime is also the best time to include your dog in all of that fun! There are some simple things you can to do to enjoy some quality time with your pal and make sure he beats the summer heat.
Yes, you heard right. Pupsicles are a great way to cool your dog down and give them a tasty treat. With a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your house, you can create a Popsicle just for your dog. All you need is an ice cube tray, a low-sodium meat-based broth, and some small treats and/or fruits or veggies. By mixing this all together and then freezing in the ice cube tray overnight, you will have a quick tasty treat on hand to beat that intense summer heat.
There are even a few recipes for a huge block of ice with treats frozen in it to entertain them for hours and some companies even make special trays for making homemade popsicles.
This one is pretty obvious! Who doesn’t like a cool dip in the water? If you have any kind of Labrador, I guarantee this is where you will be spending most of your time; on the bank of some sort of water body.
Most dogs love diving into a stinky pond or lake for a nice refreshing swim. Others may have the luxury of a pool in their own backyard that will do just as well.
Before you go swimming, make sure you take necessary health and safety precautions. If you plan to be spending a lot of time in natural water, such as a lake, consider getting your dog the leptospirosis vaccine as it protects from parasites found in still water. Always pack a life jacket and possibly even booties if they will be walking over sharp, wet rocks.
For your own piece of mind, take along a towel and maybe even some shampoo to help with any wet dog smells you want to avoid.
Teach a New Trick or Command
With the longer days, you will have more time to teach your dog that command you’ve been wanting to work on. Whether it’s play dead, roll over, or shake, there’s no greater time than now!
There are many resources online to learn how to teach fun tricks to your dog. Sometimes local vet clinics or boarding facilities will host training workshops specifically for quick tips on training.
Not only is this a good mental exercise for your dog, it will help build a stronger bond between the two of you.
Host a Play Date
Do you have a huge backyard? Perhaps you live near a dog park? Organize a fun day out or an evening barbecue centered around your furry friends. Invite their closest doggie friends or a breed-specific pack walk so that you can have some time to socialize with like-minded friends and your dog can reap the social benefits of new doggie pals.
There are many dog friendly cake or treat recipes you can find online so that everyone can get a snack!
Who doesn’t love a great adventure? Let your dog go back to his instincts by taking him camping! All across America there are lovely places to bring your dog and spend some time in the great outdoors. It’s a sensory overload! Many places have great hiking trails and lakes that you can bring your dog on.
Just make sure to take a first aid kit, your veterinary information, and to pick up after your pooch! It is a lot of fun to watch them run free and wild, but no one likes to see a mess left behind.
I know my dog is thrilled when it’s time to go off the grid for a weekend!
Who doesn’t love to visit a nice restaurant with someone you love? I know I do! Summertime means that many restaurants allow dogs on their outdoor patio areas while you dine. I know several in my hometown even bring out a water dish and some treats to keep them occupied. This is a great social exercise for your dog as well to help teach them some public manners. I would recommend waiting to try this until your dog can at least do a down stay, however, just to avoid getting booted from your favorite local eatery.
In bigger cities, some restaurants even offer a full doggie menu so that your dog can dine along with you. How fun is that? I think there is nothing that would make my dog happier than her very own chicken burger.
Visit A Drive-In Movie
Remember those cooler summer nights and the smell of popcorn in the air while you took in a new movie at your local drive-in? Why not do it now? You and your dog could enjoy a movie and some snacks while staying out of the heat and in the comfort of your own car.
Of course, most dogs don’t understand movies, but maybe if there is something playing about animals they would enjoy that. I’m sure they won’t complain about dropped popcorn or even a sneaky hot dog treat!
I hope you enjoy these basic activities to do with your dog. The lists are endless, but these are some of the funnest ones I think! What do you and your dog like to do in the summer?