Summer is here! That means sun, shades, and more opportunities for adventures with your pooch. Take advantage of the warm weather and get in some exercise, bond with your dog, and maybe even shed some of that leftover winter weight! The summer months are the perfect time to do a little extra exploring or to find some new activities.
Fun Summer Activities
Here are some fun ideas for outdoor activities for you and your pup to try this summer:
- Dog-friendly beach trip – Dig those toes – and paws! – into the warm sand. But make sure you’re at a beach that is cool with you bringing your canine counterpart.
- Sprinkler or pool – Splash around in the pool or run through the sprinkler to stay cool this summer. You can also play fetch by having your pal retrieve a ball or toy from the water (safely, of course) or by jumping through the sprinkler while in pursuit of a ball or toy.
- Geocaching – Take your dog on a tech-inspired scavenger hunt! Geocaching takes the whole “X Marks the Spot” adventure to a new level and, of course, there are plenty of smartphone apps available to help you get started.
- Agility course – Set up a few obstacles in the yard – think hula-hoops and sports cones – and enjoy some pet-friendly exercise. Physical activity is a great way to keep your dog in shape by strengthening their joint, muscles, and heart.
- Camping – Dogs like to ruff it, right? It’s a bad pun, but a fun activity for the two of you. Roughing it in the wilderness is a great way to bond while mixing up your routine a little bit. Before you blaze those trails, make sure your dog is up-to-date on their flea and tick treatments!
- Tour the town – Take advantage of the weather and explore some new parts of your town. Every city has little, hidden gems – shops, parks, etc. – and some canine company can make exploring all the more enjoyable.
- Walking group – Get your pooch’s pack together and take their pals on a stroll together.
- Patio dinner – Mix up mealtime and dine out on the patio or find a restaurant with outdoor seating and a pooch-friendly policy.
- Hiking – Get in touch with nature and bring your dog along for the adventure. It is important to check in advance to see if your trails of choice are dog-friendly. It’s also helpful to know which plants are potentially harmful to your dog whether you’re in the woods or around the yard.
- Farmer’s market – What’s better than scoping out some fresh fruits and veggies? Bringing your dog along to enjoy the summer weather and bounteous produce.
- Baseball game – Many minor league ballparks offer select days for pet parents to bring their pooches to the park. Fun, right? Bring your dog to the bleachers and enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
- Frisbee – Tried and true, a little game of fetch with your pal is a good way to get outside and enjoy some exercise.
- Floating treats – If you and your pup go for a dip in the pool, take it to the next level by floating some treats on the water for your dog to plunge after.
While increased activity for your pal can be good for their health and wellness, it can also create the potential for increased injury risk. Keep these things in mind when you and your dog amp up the activities this summer.
Schedule a veterinary checkup
Before you undertake any new exercises or increase your pal’s physical activities, a quick trip to the veterinarian is a good idea. Your veterinarian can give your dog a thorough exam confirm they are healthy enough for greater activity levels and also to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could prevent your dog from enjoying the outdoor fun.
It’s important to remember dogs don’t sweat all over like people. To stay cool, dogs pant and sweat a little through their paws. When you’re outside enjoying the warm weather, make sure your pooch has access to water and shade. You can also consider putting a cool bandana around their neck – simply wet the bandana down, wring it out, pop it in the freezer for a bit, and, once it’s cold, drape around your dog’s neck.
Avoid overdoing it
The warm weather and increased camaraderie can cause a lot of excitement, but when you’re out and about with your pal, make sure you don’t overdo it. Take a break every once in a while and, if you’re in the sun a lot, make time for some shade and AC.
Know dog CPR and first-aid
While it can be painful to think about your dog getting injured, it’s important to know what to do should you encounter an emergency. Prior to going on your summertime adventures, make sure you know dog CPR and first-aid. This can be especially important if you enjoy camping, hiking, or other activities that tend to be isolating and further away from help.
Have them microchipped
If you and your dog ever get separated, you will want to make it as easy as possible for you two to be reunited. If your buddy sneaks away or gets spooked and bolts, it can be nerve-wracking when you can’t find them. Getting your dog microchipped is a great way to find them should they ever get lost. What’s more, wearable technology for pets is a growing market that includes GPS for dogs – just another way to keep track of your pooch!
Rain Rain Go Away
When rain showers strike, they put a damper on the outdoor activities many of our dogs look forward to. It can be especially troubling for high-energy breeds that need frequent and consistent exercise and stimulation.
When the inevitable scattered shower disrupts playtime, here are a few safe indoor activities that can give your dog a little physical activity:
- Climb the stairs – Obviously, do this safely, but if you have a staircase in your home and it’s not treacherous, a few trips up and down the steps can get your pup’s blood flowing while also releasing some pent-up energy.
- Hide-and-seek – Hide some treats around the house and let your pooch sniff them out. It’s a great way for them to move around when the weather is rotten. Plus, it lets them put their powerful nose to work.
- Indoor fetch – Ideal for long hallways or open rooms, an indoor game of fetch can help simulate the classic outdoor game.
Conquer the Dog Days of Summer
Summer is a great time to take your playtime routine to the next level! From exploring the great outdoors to soaking in the rays from the swimming pool, the opportunities for fun are seemingly endless. However, as the activities increase, so does the potential for injury.
An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Complete CoverageSM plan is a great way to help cover the costs for both unexpected injuries and routine visits. Fetch a free quote now and enroll in a plan that is right for you. Enjoy the summer with the comfort of knowing you’re covered!