If you’re anything like me, you look out the window all day long just waiting to get outside. If your dog is anything like mine, he’s doing the exact same thing. Here are some of the most fun activities you can do outside with your dog this summer!
Before you go, make sure you're in a safe area for your dog, especially if you’ll be off-leash. Consider these factors before determining what types of outdoor activities you want to take part in with your pet.
- Is the area fenced in?
- Could other dogs or people approach you?
- How comfortable will your dog be there?
Once you’ve got a safe area, there are so many exciting things you can do outdoors with your dog.
- Bring your dog to the dog park. You can meet and greet new dog park pals. The dog park is usually very busy in the summertime. If your dog is on the shy-er side, consider going in the early morning or during the business day when it’s a little calmer. When you go to the dog park, make sure your dog is comfortable and plays well with others, and make sure you're comfortable with the other dogs there. Brush up on your dog park etiquette before you go.
- Sign up for a 5K or dog walk with your dog. If dog parks aren’t your thing but you still want to be outside, consider doing a 5K or dog walk with your dog. Many local rescues hold fundraisers where you can take your dog for a long walk. It’s a great opportunity to socialize AND help an animal rescue!
- Let your dog tap into his natural instincts. Wild dogs tend to forage for food. Tap into that natural behavior by taking mealtime outside. Toss his kibble into the yard and let him stroll around in the grass looking for it.
- Go on a hike to a place you’ve never been. Make it your goal to let your dog decide the pace. Our dog walks are often on a deadline—we have to get back to the house to get something done. Take your dog on a hike and let him navigate, stop, and sniff as often and for as long as he’d like. Letting him use his sniffer to its fullest extent will be a mental thrill.
- Training your dog to do new tricks or new sports is a popular activity in the summertime. You can purchase inexpensive agility equipment or develop your own. Training your dog to walk through weavepoles or jump through a hoop using positive reinforcement training methods can be really rewarding and fun for you and your pet.
- Take your fish-- err… I mean dog—for a swim! Some dogs LOVE to doggy paddle around a pool or lake. Before swimming for the first time, make sure your dog is comfortable with the water. If he's not overly comfortable at first, let him take his time getting accustomed to the water so he can enjoy it throughout his whole life. Make sure he's safe with a doggy lifevest!
- Go out for a scoop. Call your local ice cream shops to see if they're dog-friendly. Many will have ice cream for pups during the summer. If they do, bring the whole family for ice cream—including your dog! The cool treat will be great for everyone.
There are lots of fun activities for our pets during the warm months. Make it a goal to get outside to enjoy some of these moments!