It doesn’t matter whether you live in a climate with frigid winters or someplace where the weather is nice all year round–everyone gets excited when summer arrives. As the days get longer, you have more of an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, and one of the best ways to spend your time is by having fun with your four-legged friend. Dogs tend to appreciate summer just as much as their owners because of all the exciting opportunities it affords. Here is a look at seven fun summer activities for dogs that will make the season memorable for both you and Fido.
1. Go for a Swim
For dogs that love to swim, summer is the perfect time to spend hours at the pool, lake, or beach. Especially if the weather is hot outside, going for a dip can be an excellent natural way for your pup to cool down. If you haven’t ever tested to see if your dog is a water-bug, begin by letting her take a short swim in the shallow end of the pool. You’ll quickly see whether Princess has the natural talent to stay afloat, and she’ll indicate whether she likes swimming or not by using body language. Once you know your pup loves the water, you can expand her horizons by taking her to new spots. Just make sure to always use caution. Never take your eye off your dog when she’s swimming, and consider a doggy floatation device to help assist her on longer jaunts.
2. Take a Hike
Again, only certain dogs will be well-suited for hiking, but if your pup is hearty enough, then walking along mountain trails can be great exercise and great fun. Pay close attention to signs along your hiking trail that note whether dogs are allowed to be off leash. You should also take note of any wildlife that might be living along the trail. Depending on the size of your dog, he might make an appealing meal for a mountain lion or a coyote. If wildlife has recently been spotted in the area, make sure to keep Fido in your sight at all times. You should also bring provisions for your dog in whatever daypack you use. Make sure to bring snacks and a portable water dish so that you can keep your pup healthy and happy through the hike.
3. Share an Ice Cream Cone
Okay, so “share” isn’t exactly the right word, but Lassie will enjoy snacking on a cold treat just as much as you do on a hot day. You shouldn’t give your dog ice cream that’s meant for humans, but many shops (and even some ice cream trucks) carry treats that are formulated for dogs. Often, these frozen concoctions have peanut butter or fruit as their base ingredients, and dogs tend to devour them. You can also find Frosty Paws ice cream for dogs in the dessert aisle of most grocery stores.
4. Play in the Sprinkler
You’ve probably noticed how excited your dog gets when you turn on the sprinkler to water your lawn. Pups never seem to understand how sprinklers work, but they love to run through the stream of water (or in some cases, run away from it). Your furry friend might also try to bite at the sprinkler’s spout for a quick drink. Playing in the sprinkler is a great way for dogs to cool off on a hot day, and it’s a water-based activity that can even be enjoyed by dogs that aren’t able to swim.
5. Take a Class
Agility classes and advanced obedience classes are great ways to expand your pup’s mind. By learning more advanced tricks or burning off plenty of excess energy on an agility course, your dog will get to feel challenged and stay healthier. Summer is usually the best time to start these types of classes because they can be held outside and will give both you and Rufus an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
6. Discover Dog-Friendly Stores
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the weather is always going to be perfect. In fact, rain is a fact of life during the summer months in certain climates. If you are looking for something to do with your dog on a rainy day, try researching dog-friendly stores in your area. Taking your pet shopping can be fun for both of you because you can get your errands done while your dog can soak up lots of attention from strangers.
7. Go on Vacation
The activities you do with your dog don’t have to keep you close to home. In fact, taking your pooch on vacation can be a fun and exciting way to see the world with your whole family. Road trips are an especially good way to travel with your four-legged friend, but make sure that you take the necessary steps to keep Fido happy, safe, and healthy on the road.