Summer is here, the kids are off, and Fido is getting restless. The kids can entertain themselves, or there will be some beautiful days you can all enjoy together as a family. But more often than not, Fido always seems to be put on the bottom of the list when it comes to activity planning. But not anymore!
Here we have come up with ten fun summer activities for your dog. We laid them out, one by one, all with some top ideas and tricks to make the most of each activity. Some of these activities can be enjoyed just by you and Fido for some one-on-one bonding time.
Other activities are perfect for getting the whole family involved, including your four-legged friends. So, whether he is a water baby, a camping lover, or a wannabe model, here is a summer activity checklist for every person and their dog. You’ll also get some safety tips to ensure your pup is safe during hotter months. Let’s jump in!
- 1 Something Closer to Home
- 2 Keeping It Local
- 3 Get Outside Your Bubble
- 4 Summer Safety Tips
- 5 Final Thoughts
Something Closer to Home
It’s always good to stay at home and chill, either because it’s great to sling on some sweatpants and simply do nothing, or because some of us have to work from home and earn the dollar to pay for it all. Kids and dogs, take note! For the days where staying at home is the one, here are some of our favorite doggy activities in the summer.
Splash Around in a Kids Pool
There is nothing better than cooling yourself off in the water on a hot and sweaty summer day. It’s not just us humans that enjoy dipping our feet into the water. Whether you have a big swimming pool or a blowup one, if Fido loves water, or even if he doesn’t mind it, he will enjoy this activity for sure.
Keeping your pup cool in the summer months is important, and it can be lots of fun too. Why not bring out the water guns and sprinklers for added excitement!
If he isn’t overly keen on water, there are many things you can do to tempt him in. One way is to get in there yourself and be calm. Show him that he will come to no harm in the water, and you’ll be by his side. Let him come in of his own accord, and if not, a treat in hand is sure to entice him in. After a few minutes, we reckon he’ll love it.
Create Your Own Doggy Agility Course
Have you watched a doggy agility course on the telly and thought, “I wonder whether my dog has got it in him to do that?” Well, there’s no time like the present to find out. It looks fun, and that’s because it is.
Agility is also physically stimulating and mentally challenging for Fido, and it’ll kick boredom in the butt! And with the warmer and drier months, it’s the perfect time to give it a go.
If you’ve never tried it before, keep sessions short and fun to keep his interest. 5 to 10 minutes is an ideal time. Offer him plenty of praise, and tasty treats will encourage him to follow your direction.
A great first trick to get you started is to teach him to touch your hand or a target with his nose. And once he’s got that down, you can teach him to follow your hand in all directions for the course.
Household objects are all you need to make the DIY dog agility course. Two stacks of books with a broom balanced on top create a hurdle, and two wooden planks can make an A-frame. If you’ve got a kid’s tunnel or a long cardboard box, you’ve got a tunnel for him to run through. Tires, piping, rope, and other household objects can be also be used as a tunnel
Why not get the kids involved in creating the course? You can make a whole day of it with the entire family.
Following on from the DIY dog agility course, you can also create a treasure hunt for him. Use his favorite treats or toys, and hide them around the home or yard.
This activity is a great option for all the doggy owners out there who do not have a yard because it can be done anywhere! It’s also great for those days when it’s far too hot to go outside, and you’re stuck indoors.
To start him off, show him where you have placed a treat, and direct him to sniff it out. Eventually, he will work out that there’s more than one to be found. Once he starts to figure it out, you can make the hiding places more difficult each time.
This activity is great for mental stimulation because he has to rely on his scenting abilities and thought process to work out how to reach the treat.
Frozen Treat Time
We have never met a dog that isn’t interested in treats. So this activity is sure to be a winner! Not only are frozen treats yummy, but they also help to keep Fido cool and hydrated in the warmer summer months. There are many recipes out there that are super simple to make.
Sweet frozen treats using watermelon, banana, and blueberries are a big hit. Or meaty options using meat broth with a chunk of meat inside are tasty and nutritious.
When it comes to frozen treats, you need to remember Fido cannot eat the same frozen treats humans enjoy. Human ice cream usually contains sugar and sweeteners toxic to dogs, along with many other ingredients. When making your treats, you need to research whether each ingredient is safe to use.
Thankfully, with only three or four ingredients to each recipe, it will be quick. Freeze them overnight and toss him a few in the daytime for cooling bliss!
Keeping It Local
Here are a few activities that will take you and Fido outside and away from home to mix it up a bit. Keeping it local means you can do it on a whim if the mood takes you. Plus, you can also meet up with friends, both the two-legged and the four-legged kinds, for extra socialization and fun. Let’s take a look at the local activities waiting for you right on your doorstep.
Nothing says summer more than outdoor dining. And you know who makes the best company? Your four-legged bestie, of course! Most restaurants with outdoor seating will allow you to bring Fido and provide a bowl of water, complete with a free side of belly rubs.
What better excuse to try that new restaurant than exercising Fido? If you’ve got your eyes (and belly) set on a special menu, check ahead for their dog-policy.
If your pup doesn’t have the best table manners, you might opt for a picnic in the park instead. However you decide to do it, take a few snaps, and upload it onto the ‘gram with the hashtag, #ladyandthetrampstyle.
Explore Your City
Be a tourist for the day with your furry sidekick. Although most of us like to think we know everything about our hometowns, along with all the best places to go. There are likely to be places you have yet to discover.
Dogs love nothing more than to explore and sniff out new places. And, it’ll be interesting for you too. It’s also a great way to socialize him with new surroundings, people, and their four-legged besties.
Why not find your nearest coffee shop and treat him to a puppuccino? A small cup of whipped cream is bound to go down a treat. Never heard of one before? Ask one of the baristas! They’ll know what you mean. This treat is indulgent and should only be reserved for special occasions such as exploring your city.
Plan a Photo Shoot
Pick your favorite local spot, such as a park or a subway with some hip street art, and get snapping. Most of us dog owners are forever taking photos of our dogs but mostly only on walks and messing around the house.
Why not plan something special? That way, you can print them out and display them. Or, if the holidays are approaching, make it festive and use these as your greeting cards.
Make sure he’s looking spick and span. Why not have a grooming session that morning to get him looking his best. Remember to fully charge your phone or camera.
Bring any props you might want for the shoot. But most importantly, bring his favorite treats and toys. Place the treats above your device so he looks lovingly into your lens! Or throw them for some action shots. This activity is best saved for a non-rainy day.
Get Outside Your Bubble
Sometimes, you simply need a change of scenery, and the same goes for Fido. Why not plan a day out? It can either be with the whole family or just you and your furry bestie. Whether you want to go somewhere just for the day, or you want to make a weekend of it, there is something for everyone.
Road Trip to the Beach
There is probably not a dog in the world that doesn’t love the feel of sand in between his paw pads. The sand zoomies will never get boring, not for us and not for Fido.
Whether you are within driving distance for the day, or you need to stay somewhere overnight, it’s something you will both enjoy. Many beach hotels or apartments welcome four-legged friends, so it will not be too tricky to find one.
Search for your nearest doggy-friendly beach, and set your sails. Some beaches welcome dogs all year round, and some just during off-peak periods. Fines can be hefty, so be sure to do your research before heading out.
Bring fresh water and doggy sunscreen if your pup needs it. Doggy-friendly beaches are a great way to socialize your dog; just be sure to keep a close eye on him.
While you’re at the beach, why not learn a new skill? Or if you’re a watersports pro, why not take Fido with you? There are many dogs out there that love to surf or paddleboard with their moms and dads. It’s great for mental stimulation and physical activity. And more than anything, it changes things up and beats boredom.
If Fido is new to water sports, be patient with him and pick a day where the water is calm. If you overwhelm him, he’s unlikely to enjoy it. Investing in a doggy life-jacket is a great idea, especially for newbies or those who aren’t natural swimmers.
To make the day memorable, why not invest in a go-pro and film his new tricks. He might become the next viral sensation!
If your pi[ prefers to keep his paws dry, camping is another fabulous activity for a change of scenery. Not only can you hike to your heart’s content, but there are also so many other activities you can enjoy.
Light up a BBQ and grill some steak for your pup. Mix in some water sports if that’s his thing. Sing around the fire and meet new friends. Gaze under the stars. And when it’s time for bed, let Fido snuggle in with you for the evening. He will love every minute of it!
Find somewhere you are legally allowed to camp, or find yourselves a dog-friendly campsite. Invite your family or friends, as well as their four-legged friends. You’ll need to keep Fido safe and in your sight to make sure he doesn’t wander off into the wilderness.
Summer Safety Tips
Summer is most people’s favorite season, and the dry and warmer weather means there’s lots of fun to be had. But like you need to protect yourself in the sun, you also need to take care of Fido. Here are the top summer safety tips you need to bear in mind for any activity you pick.
Whether you decide to stay at home or go further afield, you need to make sure Fido can access fresh water. Always keep his bowl topped up at home. And when traveling, carry a portable bowl with you as well as a bottle of freshwater.
Keeping hydrated is important for both his health and to keep having fun. Dehydration can be very dangerous for dogs, and it is one of the most common reasons for vet visits in the summer. Keep an eye out for increased panting, or lethargy when your dog is trying to tell you something is wrong.
Access to Shade
It’s also important he has access to shade. If you’re at home, either keep the door open so he can go in and out when he wants. Or build him a shaded area or kennel he can retreat to when the rays get to be too much. Most dogs are good at knowing when they need a time out, but sometimes, you’ll need to take them inside for some rest.
Resting in the shade will help regulate their temperature and ensure they do not overheat. If you’re heading out for the day, make sure you’ve got somewhere to go for shade rest when needed.
In addition to the need for shade, for many dogs, you’ll need to protect them with a doggy-designed sunscreen as well. Dogs with a thick coat like a Bernese Mountain Dog or a Newfoundland aren’t as likely to need it. But for shorter-haired dogs like Pitties or German Shorthaired Pointers, they will.
Dogs need this protection especially around their muzzles and underbelly where they have super fine and barely-there hairs. Human sunscreen will irritate their skin, so please use one designed specifically for dogs.
The Hot Floor Test
If you cannot hold your hand on the floor for longer than five seconds, it’s too hot for Fido’s paws. If this is the case, find somewhere shaded. And if this is not possible, save walkies and adventures for another time. Walking your pup during the cooler parts of the day, such as morning and late evening, are often best for warm days.
Warmer weather brings with it more parasites. Fleas and ticks are easier to pick up in the summer, so his flea treatments must be up to date.
It’s also important to check over his body after every walking session for ticks. Investing in a good quality tick remover is a great tool to have in your doggy backpack, especially if you are an avid camper or hiker where ticks are more common.
Make sure their microchips and tags are up to date with your contact details. It’s easy to let dogs out of sight for a second, and that’s all it takes! They might become curious in the new and exciting environment and head off into the distance.
Having updated chips and tags is especially important if you have traveled somewhere new or further afield as Fido will not be familiar with how to get home. If the worst does happen, your dog must be identifiable and easy to return to you.
Summer is super fun! And there are so many activities you can do to keep Fido, and yourself, entertained in the warmer weather. Some are simple such as building a doggy agility course in your yard and making frozen treats. And some activities are a little more adventurous and kicks boredom’s butt for sure.
The key to enjoying summer activities with Fido, and more importantly, staying safe is preparation. Ensuring you plan your trip can save nasty surprises such as dehydration, paw injuries, or receiving a fine for being on a non-doggy beach.
Why not make a bucket list and check every activity off this summer? Discover which ones he enjoys best, and be sure to do them more often. Enjoy!