Outdoor Summer Fun with Your Pets
Outdoor Summer Fun with Your Pets
If you use the Astronomical calendar, summer officially begins on June 20, 2021. According to the Meteorological calendar, summer begins on June 1. And if you’re a lifelong northerner like we are here at Pure Earth Pets, summer starts as soon as it gets warm. You know what I’m talking about...our shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops replace our parkas and boots. Grilling season begins, and we get more and more daylight with each passing day.
No matter what day summer begins, we love this season, especially all the outdoor fun that we can have with our dog Dover! Because of our love for summer, this blog post is all about sharing fun ideas to do with your dog now that summer is here, both at home and out and about. We have also shared some basic safety tips for having fun with your pup during hot weather.
Create a Backyard Oasis for Your Dog
Whether you have a large yard or a small one, or a large budget or a small one, you can turn your back yard into a private dog park. If you have human kids, you can also find ideas that both your furry kids and your human ones will enjoy together.
Agility Course & Interactive Games
Between your own imagination and Pinterest, you can add some really cool features like agility weave poles, tunnels, platforms, tug-o-war stations, ball pits, and more. We really love this Stick Library, that one dog loving dad created. You could also create a ball library with a variety of eco-friendly balls of different sizes.
DIY Doggie Waterpark
If your dog loves water, you can have fun together with a mini waterpark right in your own backyard. Start with a doggie pool, and add a sprinkler, a dog splash pad, and a paw-activated fountain. When choosing a pool, look for one that you can tip easily or that has a drain-plug. Without a water treatment system like in a regular pool, the water will get pretty gross very quickly, so you’ll need to drain and refill your dog pool often.
Stock tank pools have become popular in recent years. You can purchase stock tanks at agricultural supply stores and home improvement stores. Just remember to add stairs so your pup can get in and out safely.
Build a Canine Outdoor Oasis
If you love to just relax outside, your pup will love having his or her own bed to chill while you have a glass of wine or curl up with a good book. You can find a variety of outdoor dog beds at different retailers or make your own. You can repurpose pallets or reclaimed wood and then add an outdoor kennel pad or outdoor pillow for cushion. Pinterest has some adorable ideas like pet cabanas, pup-tents, and beds with matching awnings. Or build yourself a deep, comfy outdoor sofa using old pallets where you and your pup can snuggle together.
Take Your Dog on Fun Adventures
After a year and a half of spending time at home, most of us are ready to get out of the house and be around other humans. If your dog is friendly and well-socialized, they can join you during many social activities.
Dine Al Fresco with Your Dog
Many restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs to dine with you. The most dog-friendly restaurants even offer meals and snacks for dogs on the menu. Bring Fido and Yelp are great sources of information on dog friendly restaurants, as well as a regular Google search.
You can also find Yappy Hour events at many bars and restaurants where a portion of the proceeds goes to local rescue groups. To search for events near you, search for Yappy Hour, Pints n’ Pups, Barks and Brews, as those are popular names for these special events for dog owners. You can find a lot of similar events on Facebook, Bring Fido, and Eventbrite.
Go to Summer Camp with Your Dog
If you thought you were too old to go to summer camp, guess again! There are several summer camps around the country that cater to dogs and their humans. These interactive camps offer a weekend or full week of activities designed just for dogs and their humans. From agility, to swimming, to arts and crafts, and movie nights, most of the summer camps offer an extensive list of fun things to do. The AKC and Bring Fido both offer great suggestions on camps to research.
Visit the Farmer’s Market with Your Dog
Farmer’s markets are perfect for dogs who love to meet new people and sniff all sorts of new scents. Set your alarm clock and head out early before the heat of the day warms up parking lots and sidewalks. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find local pet treat bakeries and other pet related vendors in addition to browsing at produce stands and booths run by local artisans.
Go the Movies with Your Dog
Whether you have a local drive-in movie theater, or your town hosts an outdoor movie in a local park, grab your dog’s water bowl, some treats, and bring him/her with you. Of course, your dog won’t really watch the film with you, so this is an experience that is best for pups who are happy just napping by your side no matter where you take them.
Take Your Dog to the Ball Game
Check with your local major league baseball and minor league baseball teams for upcoming Bark in the Park dates. Most baseball stadiums host at least one of these events each summer. We recommend buying tickets as soon as possible, since people are anxious to get back to doing the things they love.
Take Your Dog on a Hike
Dover loves to go on hikes, and we have so many great hiking places here in northern New Jersey. You may have read our blog about our hike to Mt. Tammany last summer. Dover loved it and we were able to pick up some trash that other hikers had left behind. You can read more about our hiking tips at in this post: https://www.pureearthpets.com/blogs/greenpaws/5-great-hikes-to-take-with-your-dog. You can find dog-friendly hiking trails on the All-Trails app.
Summer Safety Tips for Dogs
The most important safety tip for having summer fun with your dog is to know your dog’s physical condition and how they tolerate the heat. Some dogs have a harder time in hot weather, like brachycephalic breeds and breeds with thick, double coats. However, any dog can experience heat stroke.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, “Dogs suffering from heatstroke can have elevated breathing rates, dry or sticky gums, abnormal gum color, bruising in the gums, may appear lethargic or disoriented, and can have seizures.” Any time you and your dog are outside in warm weather, watch for the onset of any of these symptoms and act immediately to safely cool your dog’s temperature. You can find information on how to treat a dog with heatstroke at this link: https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/heat-stroke-and-heat-exhaustion.html
During the hottest part of summer, plan your dog’s adventures in the morning or evening. Remember to also check the temperature of any pavement your dog will be walking across. A best practice is to hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 10 seconds. If it is cool enough for your hand, it is typically safe for your pet’s paws.
When preparing for your summer adventures with your dog, remember to take plenty of fresh cool water and a travel bowl. It is also helpful to bring a way to provide shade, and a cooling mat for your dog to lay. You can also purchase cooling towels that you can wet to start the cooling effect. Mission and Artic Cool make towels with this technology.
Are you and your dog headed out for summer fun this summer? Share your adventures with your pup on the Pure Earth Pets Facebook page, or tag us on Instagram with @pureearthpets.