They aren’t known as the Dog Days of Summer for nothing. Lay low during the mid-day heat and take advantage of mild mornings or evenings for some summertime fun with your dog.
Hit the Trails
Once temps reach 85 degrees for the day, the pavement may be too hot for your dog’s sensitive paws. Instead, head out for a hike on a dirt trail. Your dog will love getting out in the fresh air of a State Park or the open wilderness. Explore local nature preserves and introduce your pup to the joys of the outdoors. The mental stimulus of seeing and sniffing other terrain and wildlife outside the borders of your home provides added energy exertion that will wear out your dog for an afternoon nap.
Find the best trails in your area and research whether dogs are allowed before you go. Keep in mind the best etiquette practices and keep your dog on a leash for his safety and the consideration of other hikers. Leave no trace and pick up after your dog, just like you would in your neighborhood.
Cool Off at a Dog Beach
There’s nothing like the feel of sand beneath your feet (or paws)! If you’re lucky enough to live near a dog beach, pack up a dog picnic and prepare for a day watching happy dogs Splish and Splash in the water. Bring treats, drinking water, and a small plastic bowl to stay hydrated under the hot sun.
If you plan to be on the shore for several hours, bring some shade for you and your pup when he needs some downtime. If your dog doesn’t have experience in the water or is not a swimmer, consider a dog life jacket with handles to keep him safe and easily accessible if you need to scoop him out of trouble.
Eat at a Dog-Friendly Restaurant
There’s nothing like chilling on a shady patio with your friends for dinner al fresco. No need to leave your dog at home for a sunny summer meal. Call ahead and make sure your pet is welcome if you’re unsure, and then let him tag along. He’ll love observing the other people and pets he encounters while lying safely by your feet under the table.
Better yet, check out specialized restaurants like MUTTS Canine Cantina that cater to dogs and their people. Let your dog enjoy the off-leash dog park while you enjoy a burger and a refreshing beverage. Don’t forget to order a treat for your dog for being such a good boy!
If you’re headed out for a coffee or dessert, you might be surprised how many coffee shops and ice cream stores offer an option for a free doggy treat. From Puppuccinos to ice cream treats, your dog will love partaking in some summer favorites with you.
Take a Doggy Vacation
Whether you’re spending a long summer weekend at a nearby campground or road-tripping to a dog friendly town like San Diego, vacation plans don’t have to exclude your pet. Your dog is a part of the family, so bring him along for the adventure. More people are choosing to travel with their pet companions, so dog-friendly lodging is becoming a common amenity to accommodate furry travelers.
Air travel can be highly stressful and even dangerous for dogs, so stick to road trips. Plan for plenty of rest stops along the way for bathroom breaks and a little exercise. Once you reach your destination, set up his crate and bedding to recreate the comforts of home. He’ll be grateful for a safe and secure space when he needs some rest and relaxation.
Hop In and Go for a Ride
Of course, you don’t need a full-blown road trip for your dog to enjoy a ride in the car. There’s nothing like hitting the road on a sunny summer day. Whether you have a destination in mind or are just out for a Sunday drive, dogs love to stick their heads out the car window to feel the warm air blow through their fur. For a dog, this favorite summertime dog activity is pure joy. A simple car ride offers a different perspective of their world, with new sights and smells to overload the senses. The bonus is that they get to do it alongside you. Any chance for attention from their favorite person is a positive experience for them.
Escape the Heat and Do Some Shopping
Beat the heat and check some errands off your to-do list by getting some shopping done at dog-friendly stores. There are several national chains known to welcome trained, leashed dogs inside. If you’re unsure, give them a call before you go. One go-to option, and a great place to practice, is a pet supply store. Enjoy the air-conditioning while your dog gets some great training and socialization. Bonus for your dog: You’ll most likely go home with a newly purchased toy or two to play with at home.