9 Fun Things To Do With Your Dog This Summer

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

When the heat is on, try out these fun things to do with your dog.

The weather is finally amazing – it’s the perfect time to get outside with your dog and make the most of it. After last year, you and he BOTH NEED THIS.

But are you scratching your head, wondering what activities both you and your dog can do together? Not to worry, we’ve come up with 7 fun things to do with your dog this summer.

1. Go for a swim.

Take your dog to the lake and play fetch in the water. Some cities even have their own dedicated dog beaches and swim areas, where you can let your dog off-leash to frolic in the sand and water. Take your dog in the morning or late afternoon when it’s not too hot out. Your dog can have loads of fun swimming, but it is important to also take some precautions to help keep your pooch safe the entire time. You might, for example, buy one of the great new life jackets for dogs, which can be an ideal solution for canines that aren’t the best swimmers. Plus, a lifejacket can help your dog stay afloat if he ends up overdoing it and getting tired while in the water.

Also, remember to always supervise your pet when he is near or in the water. In fact, you might even want to take a canine first aid class so that you could feel all the more confident that you’ll know what to do in an emergency. That way, everyone can have a good time without having to worry about accidents.

Not all dogs are going to be comfortable visiting the local dog beach. If crowds of strangers make your dog uneasy, you may want to bring the fun of the beach to your backyard. Set up a small kiddie pool with cool, refreshing water for your playtime. They come in a variety of sizes including those that are large enough that you could comfortably sit in there with your dog too. Layout a towel near the pool to bask in the sunshine and sunbathe, or relax together with a cool treat.

2. Run through the sprinkler.

If your dog’s not a swimmer or there’s no lake close to you, a sprinkler is the next best thing. Revert back to your childhood and show your dog how it’s done. Play chase through the sprinkler together, or play fetch with your dog, and encourage him to get himself wet with the water so that he can stay nice and cool under the hot sun. And if you have more than one dog, or kids and a dog, something as simple as a sprinkler can provide hours of summertime fun.

In addition to the traditional sprinklers, there are also some fun splash pads available that you can set up at home. These incorporate a sprinkler set up with a shallow pool space for you and your dog to splash around. If your dog is a toy lover, consider grabbing a couple of tennis balls to toss around in the water and add to the fun.

3. Take a road trip.

Hit the open road with your furry partner in crime and see where it takes you. Perhaps it’s a visit to friends in another city you haven’t seen in a while. Or perhaps it’s to a place you’ve always wanted to explore. It doesn’t matter – but call ahead to ensure that any overnight accommodations you make allow for dogs. There are plenty out there. The number of pet-friendly hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts are always growing, thanks to all the pet parents out there who travel everywhere with their dogs!

Like swimming, making sure you take some safety precautions is wise whenever you travel over long distances with your dog in the car. Be sure to pack his vet records, just in case anything were to happen and also pack any medications that your pooch needs to take. On top of that, make sure you always have easy access to water, food, and treats—there are handy, compact travel bowls that you can easily use when you are out and about and need to give your dog food or water. It is also a great idea to invest in a seat belt or harness made especially for dogs, as this will help keep your pet secure during the ride, and prevent him from distracting you from your driving. It is all about safety!

4. Explore your local farmers’ market.

What a great way to spend some time with your dog and support local farmers and businesses! These open-air markets are usually held on the weekend, so take your time, wander around, meet some new people and buy something yummy. This is a great way for both you and your dog to get some walking in for the day, and your pooch might love seeing all of the people at the market while you browse all of the vendors’ offerings. Like other summer activities, it is a good idea to bring some treats with you to keep your pooch energized, but also bring a water bottle and a collapsible dog bowl that you can use to give your pet a quick drink whenever he needs it to stay hydrated.

5. Make a frozen treat.

Om nom nom! There’s nothing like a frozen treat to cool you off on a hot day. So why not make some for your dog as well? Dogs can’t eat frozen treats meant for humans (it gives them an upset tummy), so make some at home. Try these super-easy-to-make Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats. We have to admit, we’ve tested them and they are pretty good – share a pupsicle with your pup! Just make sure that, whenever you make a frozen treat for your dog, you use ingredients that are safe for him to consume, as not all human foods are appropriate for canines.

6. Head out to a dog-friendly café or restaurant patio.

What better way to relax on a summer afternoon than people watching on a patio with your dog? Find a shady patio that allows dogs, order a large coffee and a large bowl of cold water for your furry companion, and sit back to watch people for a lazy hour or two. This is a great way for both of you to relax, and it can be a nice summer activity for less active canines who would prefer to take it easy.

The number of businesses that are open to welcoming dogs is on the rise. This makes it even easier to find dog-friendly locations including cafes, restaurants, and even breweries. Not only can you enjoy a great time out with your pup, but you may have the opportunity to meet and connect with some other dog lovers in the area. Check the menu closely when ordering, they may even have a dog-specific menu item to give your pup a special little treat.

7. Take a class with your dog.

This could be a training class, a socialization class, or even a yoga class (assume the downward dog position!). Any kind of class where you can bond with your dog is a fantastic idea. Plus, this can be a really entertaining way to do something with your dog that is indoors, where it’s nice and cool. Check your local dog businesses or park for flyers or details on neat classes in your area.

Can’t find something local? There are many great options available online that you can enjoy from the comfort of home. Crank up the air conditioning and log onto a virtual class. There are even fitness classes designed to incorporate your strength and flexibility workouts for both you and your dog. When you’re done, don’t forget to have cold, fresh water waiting for both you and your dog.

8. Consider some brush-up training.

Sure, that doesn’t sound like a vacation, BUT the summer is a great time to do either training if you didn’t already do it or brush up to help them remember their manners and learn some new tricks. Our dogs love pleasing us and training can actually be a fun way for you and your dog to interact with each other and work on more bonding.

Do you have a dog that has mastered basic obedience? This could be a fun time to take your dog’s training to the next level. Check out the different classes and activities available through your local dog trainers. Many trainers will specialize in advanced training such as trick training, agility, dock diving, or scent work. These activities build on the skills that your dog already knows while offering him a mental and physical challenge. When choosing which activity is best for your pup, consider his strengths and interests. A highly energetic dog may love to have agility work as an outlet for all that energy. If your dog is regularly driven by his nose on walks and outings, harness that sense of smell with some scent work.

9. Get together for some play-dates.

This last year has been pretty loooooonnnnneeeelllly for a lot of us. Gather up your furriest friends (and their pawrents) and hit the dog park or some other great place for a dog meet so those doggos can get some socialized interaction too. They’ve missed it as much as you have, promise!

Do you have the luxury of a large fenced-in yard? Why not throw a dog-friendly party for friends and family with their pups. You can incorporate some fun dog-friendly hot weather activities by setting up kiddie pools or sprinklers for them to all play together. Don’t forget to pick up some tasty treats to spile everyone that’s in attendance! This is a great way for everyone to enjoy some quality time together.

Hydration is KEY

You know that hydration is important for you, but did you know that it’s the most abundant nutrient for our dogs too? While we humans are about 55-60% of water composition, our dogs are 75-80%. That means they need more water than we do, and the loss of it is even more important to them.

Water is the medium for all cellular metabolism in your dog’s body and it’s vital for removing waste products from their system. Without proper hydration, they won’t have the necessary lubrication for joints, body temperature, or digestion.

And while we’re loving the summer weather with our doggos, this is also the time of year that they become dehydrated the most. Pretty quickly, actually, because they get hotter faster than we do (it’s true). They don’t have sweat glands in their skin so that’s why you see them panting like it’s their job when they’re overheated. It really IS their job (if they want to cool off, and they do). They don’t just come up to you and ask for water, either, so they may be more dehydrated than they even think before they start begging you–you need to be aware of their needs and make sure you’re being preemptive. Most dogs would rather please you than serve themselves, so be sure to offer hydration frequently during this summer fun!

Do you have any tips you’d like to add to our Fun Things To Do With Your Dog This Summer list? We’d love to hear them! Please leave them in the comment section below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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