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5 Dog-Friendly Summer Activities

Our four-legged friends love to explore, play, and have fun in the sun, but the heat of summer can sometimes make this tricky. Don’t get disheartened though! We’ve put together our five favourite activities for spending time with our dogs in summer. 

1. Take Your Dog Camping

Camping is a fantastic summer activity for dogs and humans alike. It gives you both time and space to explore the great outdoors while breaking up the routine of everyday life. For your dog, it’s also a great opportunity to bask in the sun!

First up, look for dog-friendly campsites and check their rules. Some sites only allow dogs if they remain on their lead, while others can have areas where dogs aren’t allowed to enter. This is a good moment to check out the campsite’s water supply too, as well as other details such as their arrangements for dog poo and the details of the nearest vet.

Next, pack everything you and your pooch will need for their usual summer dog care. That’s food, treats, a water bowl, toys, their bed, a leash (consider bringing two), and any medication. We’d also recommend bringing along an ADAPTIL Calm collar. These can help your pooch to remain calm – helpful when you consider all the potentially stressful situations going on for our furry friends at a campsite!

As a last little tip, consider brushing up on your basic training before you go. Having a good recall in place could be very handy, as well as any distractions that you know will work. Similarly, you could practice camping in the garden before you commit so your dog can get used to sleeping in this new environment!

Before heading camping, just bear in mind how your dog will cope with the heat. Tents can get very hot in the sun, so your dog should never be left alone in them.

2. Go Swimming With Your Dog 

Swimming is a great summer activity for dogs as it helps to keep your furry friend nice and cool. Visit somewhere with water – a lake, a river, the beach – and let them have fun. 

If your dog needs a little encouragement, try a floating toy for them to retrieve. You could also give them a lifejacket to boost their confidence. Just make sure you’re not forcing them into the water if they don’t want to.

Once you’re comfortable swimming with your dog, and provided they’re comfortable too, you could even take them out on a boat, canoe, or paddleboard. Start out in shallow water before venturing further out, and ensure they have their lifejacket on at all times.

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/nova-scotia-duck-tolling-retriever-dog-2139847027

Dog in lifejacket with floating toy playing in the sea

3. Water Activities For Dogs In Summer

If you don’t have any accessible sources of water nearby, and swimming with your dog is out of the question, then you might be tempted to rule out any water-based activities altogether. Don’t! Instead, consider investing in a paddling pool. This will still provide your dog with plenty of enjoyment and can be set up easily in the garden.

A paddling pool doesn’t need to be deep – your dog should be able to stand in it with their head out of the water – but you should still supervise while they’re in the pool. You also need to make sure your dog can easily get in and out, and that they have access to shade nearby.

Alternatively, another dog-friendly summer activity could be to set up a water sprinkler – water restrictions allowing. Try throwing toys through the spray to encourage your dog to get wet and cool down.

Small brown dog playing with a water sprinkler

4. Morning And Evening Walks

The air is at its warmest in the middle of the day, so it stands to reason this is when dogs are most at risk of overheating too. To avoid walking dogs in hot weather, you should opt instead for walks in the mornings and evenings. 

Even then, pay attention to your dog’s paws on the pavement. It can heat up quickly under direct sunlight, which in turn could potentially cause burns. Try the summer dog care five-second test: if the pavement is too hot to touch with your own hand for longer than five seconds, it’s also too hot for your dog.

Remember, your dog’s daily walk can be one of the most important parts of their day, but don’t feel under pressure to walk them if the conditions aren’t suitable. If in doubt, consider alternatives such as indoor games instead!

5. Make Dog Popsicles And Other Summer Treats

Making frozen goodies can be a fun thing to do with your dog in the summer, and it has the added benefit of cooling your dog down.

You could try simple ice cubes, perhaps freezing something inside them or using something other than plain water to add a bit of flavour. Alternatively, try freezing frozen cubes of fruit, such as bananas, blueberries, and watermelon – just make sure there are no pips. Or how about filling and freezing a chew toy?

Dogs should be supervised when enjoying their frozen treats, and don’t be tempted to give them too many at once. A sudden change in diet could upset their stomach.

Dog enjoying frozen treat outdoors

6. Travelling Further Afield?

If you’re planning on a longer holiday with your pooch this summer, consider using ADAPTIL Transport. This calming dog spray helps to make travel less stressful, as well as reducing panting, trembling, and restlessness. It could be great to keep on hand for those longer summer road trips!

Would you like to stay up to date with our latest guides, Q&As, tips and advice? Consider signing up for our newsletter. If you’d like further help on caring for your dog in summer, or are interested in advice on using ADAPTIL Transport, please get in touch. We’re always interested in hearing more about your dogs’ situations and how we can help!

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