Summer is here and there’s no better time to get out and about for some quality bonding time with your pup.
Here are some of our favorite ideas and helpful tips for fun activities that you can do together when the sun is shining.
- Hit the beach
With so many waves to jump through and sandcastles to ruin, it’s no wonder dogs love a day at the beach as much as we do. However, if you’re planning a trip to the seaside it’s worth taking a few precautions:
- Be sure to check the beach’s dog policy beforehand as not all of them welcome dogs.
- Bring plenty of fresh, clean water and stop your dog from drinking from the ocean as the water may contain bacteria or algae that can make him extremely ill.
- It’s always a good idea to bring a shade to give your dog a place to cool off and prevent over-exposure to the sun.
- Avoid the beach during the middle of the day when the sand or pebbles will be hottest as this could easily burn your pup’s sensitive feet.
- Hunt for hidden treasure
Geocaching is a fantastic way for tech-savvy dog owners and their pups to get some exercise whilst exploring the great outdoors. For those left scratching their heads, geocaching is essentially a global treasure hunt that has players searching for hidden prizes that they can locate using their phone’s GPS. Think Pokémon Go for grown-ups. It’s easy to get started, just download the app to find geocaches in your local area and beyond, and away you go.
- Have some fun with a doggy obstacle course
We love agility training. Not only does it help to strengthen the bond between you and your dog whilst you both get some outdoor exercise, the fact that making his way through the course satisfies his natural instincts to chase prey also makes it a great mental workout too. You can either buy your own equipment which can be inexpensive and easy to set up in your garden or local park, or head to your nearest training center for a class. Who knows, you may have an agility champion on your hands.
- Go on a family camping trip
We are firm believers that getting in touch with nature is good for the soul, and what better way to do it than by engaging in a great summer pastime – camping. Plenty of campsites accommodate dogs so this really can be a holiday for the whole family. Before setting off on your adventure into unknown territory, make sure that your pup’s vaccinations are up to date and apply tick and flea medication to protect against diseases and unwanted stowaways. Packing well for your camping trip with your dog is also essential so you aren’t caught unprepared.
If you’re looking for the ideal destination, check out our round-ups of the best dog-friendly campsites.
- Check out your local farmers’ market
Many communities hold regular farmers’ markets throughout summer where you can sample the finest artisanal produce your area has to offer. As well as being an excellent opportunity for you to meet and support local food businesses, they also offer a feast of new scents and experiences for your pup. Not to mention many of them feature stalls that sell homemade dog treats and all natural dog food that are far more nourishing than your average big pet brand’s offering. Just be sure to check your local market’s dog policy beforehand to avoid disappointment.
- Change up your dog walking routine
When temperatures soar, it can be dangerous for dogs to engage in too much physical activity as they can quickly become dehydrated and their paws are extremely susceptible to severe burns if the ground is too hot. So why not head out for your walk early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. Not only will it be safer for your pooch, we think a relaxing stroll during these more peaceful times could be the perfect way for you to mentally prepare for the busy day ahead or wind down for a better night’s sleep.
- Stand-up paddle boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding may require some time and training, but we promise that the experience of being out on the water together will be well worth it. Preparation is key to making this a rewarding and safe activity for your pup. It’s best if you are already a competent paddle boarder (anyone can learn!) and essential that you spend time training your dog to be comfortable and obedient on the board and around water before setting off together.
- Visit a dog-friendly vineyard
Sunshine and a cool, refreshing glass of wine are a match made in heaven. Why not venture beyond your local pub in search of a tipple and go explore you nearest vineyard. OK, this one is more for the humans, but many wineries are dog-friendly so there’s no reason for your furry drinking buddy to miss out.
REMEMBER: Whilst we want to be able to have as much fun as we can with our dog in summer, the hot weather can be extremely harmful. Always use your common sense to judge if it is safe for your dog to be doing physical activity in the heat before you head out. For more information, take a look at our helpful tips on how to to keep your pup happy and healthy in hot weather.