The temperature is rising and your dog wants to go outside. When the thermometer is on the upswing and heat is an issue, what is a doting dog mom or dog dad to do? Here are 25 things to do with your dog in summer weather.
Note: Always get clearance on your dog’s state of health before embarking (pun intended) on any sort of physical activity, but especially ones that involve being outside in warm to hot climates. Use your common sense judgment if the weather is TOO hot: Never put a danger in danger, leave a dog in a vehicle, and pay close attention to dog paws, which can be severely burned in 30 seconds or less depending on the temperature.
In or On Water
Summer means outdoor day trip trekking for Fido and his pack. From guided water adventures to dinner cruises with dogs and even whale watching and canoeing, if water’s involved, there are waves of dog-friendly activities in which to partake.
Paddleboarding: Imagine standing up on a long surfboard, a tranquil day, calm waters and a canine sidekick to take in the beauty of nature’s bounty. Paddle boarding serves as a great form of exercise, allows quiet time to connect with nature and unplug electronically and plug in to your dog’s water zen zone. Be sure to use a protective flotation device and know what you are doing before going far.
Choose to Chance the Rapids and Dare to Dance the Tides: Garth Brooks wrote that, but if you and your dog are ultra water savvy, consider whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, canoeing, sailing, and/or surfing.
Swimming: Dogs are not natural born swimmers. Some swim, some don’t, and dogs should never be forced to swim or engage in water behavior they don’t enjoy and/or that can scare or harm them.
CLICK THIS: Dog Water Dangers No One Talks About
Canoeing: Canoeing in a clear, shallow river provides good water play for dogs if he or she likes it. Your pooch can frolic in the water for a refreshing dip.
Kayaking: Pet and irresistible blogger, Aimee Beltran, kayaks with her dog, Chuy, who loves it and is a pro! See? Must Have Gear for Kayaking with a Chihuahua
Kiddie Pool Fun: For the less active or less enthused but likes water dogs, consider a child’s pool and fill it with water. The heat relief and fun associated with frolicking in the shallow water is a quick and easy way to keep dogs active and cool at the same time.
Safety Alert: Water intoxication happens when the body takes in more water than it can handle. The result is often fatal. How is it possible dogs can take in too much water?
- Swimming and swallowing water
- Playing with the hose
- Frolicking in the ocean and taking in water
Whale Watching: Captain Ahab would be proud to know that the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown, located at the tip of Cape Cod, welcomes most dogs aboard their whale watching excursions. Dogs must be accustomed to water, leashed or crated, friendly with people, and able to handle a three- to four-hour water ride. Pack essentials, sunblock, camera and something warm and water-resistant/protective for Rover as the open waters and whales await! If you aren’t near Cape Cod, look into local water excursions that welcome dogs. One must ensure that Fido does not get sea sick, so never make a first water trip a long one. Boats and vessels will not turn around and come back if dogs get sick.
Dog Friendly Beaches: If you live or visit out west, the majority of Carmel, California businesses strongly embrace the canine set. In fact, Carmel has more dog-friendly businesses per capita than any other community in California—possibly in the entire United States. There are many beaches across the country that welcome pets, some in off hours, and others at specific times of the year. Always use a pet-friendly sunscreen and keep a close eye on your dog at the beach. Obey leash laws, too.
On Dry Land Outdoors
Early Morning or Late Day Walks: Temperatures tend to be cooler in the early morning hours, so take any walks in the early or late parts of the day.
CLICK THIS: Dog Paws Need Protection
Dog Friendly Baseball Games: Bark in the Park is something more and more baseball franchises are catching on to, and scoring a home run in doing so. Here’s a list of 2016 Dog Friendly Major League Baseball Games from the folks at GoPetFriendly.com.
Valley Forge Historic Park: In looking for things to do during these sweltery summer months that are both pet welcoming and fun, it is with great pride that we share a recent historical find with you: Valley Forge National Park in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Valley Forge National Historical Park is nationally significant as the location of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army under General George Washington. Learn about Valley Forge Historic Park.
Drive-In Movies: We highly recommend seeing if there are any drive-in movies near your town. Here’s the link for finding them: Drive In Movie Finder . This is a fun, affordable way to spend a night together. We always have a good time as a family, away from all technology, a night under the stars, meeting lots of dogs and people, and watching movies (and the snacks are fun, too).
Side Bark: We recently saw The Secret Life of Pets at the drive-in. < ===== Read our review!
Pet-Friendly Wineries: We love sitting in the air conditioned comfort or breezy outdoor seating at many wineries that welcome pets. Some of our favorites include Working Dog Winery in New Jersey and Barrel Oak Winery in Virginia. In fact, you can make a weekend of it with Arlington National Cemetery and neighboring Barrel Oak Winery.
Dog Mountain and Dog Chapel: Dogs are welcome with their parents to visit Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury. Housed on this glorious land are 400 acres of nature for hiking, and the famous Dog Chapel. Atop the white steeple, a Labrador Retriever points his wings to the wind as if beckoning to visitors. We visited in 2015 and plan to go back. If you love dogs, this place is a must visit.
Click This: Dog Mountain and Dog Chapel
Go Glamping: Glamping is a growing, hot trendy way to seek refuge in the great outdoors without having to completely “ruff” it. A combination of the words glamorous and camping, glamping’s origins are deeply seeded in countries such as Africa, yet its popularity in the states and Europe are on the rise
Open Air Trolley (ABQ Trolley): Albuquerque, New Mexico: Since Fidose of Reality prides itself on finding dog-friendly things to do and we are mega fans of the show, Breaking Bad, we had to get our paws on tickets for the ABQ Trolley Co. Breaking Bad tour. There are also general town trolley tours and the ABQ Trolley is generally very pet friendly.
Make and Share Ice Cream Treats: We take our dog for doggie ice cream or allow him a very small cup of vanilla ice cream with a doggie biscuit, as some local ice cream parlors do. If making your own ice cream or dog-safe frozen treats sounds fun, check these easy recipes out:
Fido al Fresco: Bring your dog to a restaurant with a patio that allows well-behaved dogs and chill out under the shade with your bestie.
Biking Together: Nowadays, there are bicycle trailers designed for folks who want to take Fido biking along with them. This will take a some getting used to so that your dog does not freak out or get startled. If you invest in a bike trailer, be sure your dog is okay and comfortable with it. Allow him to sit in it before even hooking it up to the bike. Make it a happy zone. Be sure the dog is safely secured/harnessed so he or she can’t jump out.
Plan a Shaded Picnic: Plan the route and pit stops with a fun picnic basket–style lunch for ravenous road warriors. Save on fast food costs and carry pooch snacks, cool water and a “paw-nik” basket of sandwiches, fruits and beverages of the human variety.
Marshalls / TJ Maxx / Home Goods: Always call ahead, but it has been our experience to be welcomed with open paws at these stores. We love Home Goods. Always be sure to ask first and to have a soft pillow or blanket for your dog to sit/lay on while he or she is carted around the housewares!
Malls: Grab a leash and a credit card, as shopping is going to the dogs, quite literally. The aptly named Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Virginia boasts over 90 stores, many which allow dogs inside. Get a bargain and shop with your dog: Talk about retail therapy. There is no breed, weight, or size limits and all stores that welcome dogs have a sticker indicating so in their front window. Try a Google search on “dog friendly malls” and see what turns up in your area.
Indoor Games: Much like the games you play during rainy and cold days, indoor play lends itself well during hotter temperatures.
Click This: Indoor Games for Dogs
Canine Coffeehouse: Do you like to get together with friends for lunch or perhaps get caught up on work in a quiet environment? Coffee hounds can unite where dogs are welcome and embrace the chill out and enjoy the moment attitude as Fido kicks back with you. When in doubt, make a call to your local coffee house and inquire about their dog welcoming policy.
Have Your Dog Become a Pup Scout: Similar to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organization, PupScouts is strictly for dogs and their parents. The dogs earn badges for things such as swimming, hiking, beach clean-up, arts and crafts, and more. For more about joining, visit PupScouts.org.
What is your favorite summertime activity to do with your dog(s)?