Summer marks the time to take weekend getaways and enjoy quality time with your pup! Whether you and your four-legged friend are more outdoorsy or couch potatoes, below you’ll find plenty of summer activities for dogs.

Dog-Friendly Options Abound

Even though you can’t bring your furry buddy with you everywhere, many summer activities make it pretty easy to include your beloved pup. Consult our handy list below the next time you and your four-legged friend find yourselves with a free afternoon.

Backyard Games

If you can’t take time off work for a grand vacation, don’t stress. There are plenty of ways to play with your pup on any given day in the comfort of your own backyard – or even a local park.

  • Picnic – Your pup will be happy to just lie on a blanket in the sun with you, provided there are both dog and human snacks.
  • Home agility course – Use odds and ends around your house (like large packing boxes) or spring for a small set of tubes, zig-zags, and hurdles. Running through a home agility course will give energetic dogs a thrill. 
  • Home doggie water park – Sound expensive? Not at all! Set up a sprinkler and throw the frisbee. Your dog will have fun while cooling off.
  • Bobbing for kibble – Float bits of food or treats in a kiddie pool, and let your dog loose on them. The resulting acrobatics can be quite comical.

Hike Dog-Friendly Trails

Many hiking trails are dog-friendly, and some are even off-leash. This option can be a real party for dogs who are confident without that tether – running and sniffing wherever they please and mixing with other dogs. 

It’s worth checking out the AllTrails hiking app, since it has categories that allow you to filter for dog-friendly and off-leash trails. If you and your pup are feeling really adventurous, you can even set up camp somewhere in the great outdoors.

Dine Al Doggo

Many places serve delicious food and drinks – and make space for dogs. Try visiting one of these the next beautiful, sunny day with your pup:

  • Farmer’s markets
  • Dog cafes
  • Restaurants with outdoor patios
  • Pet stores with treat buffets

You can also make your own space at the park. Schedule a doggie play-date, a chance for both you and your dog to spend time with friends.

Remember that food and treats are not allowed inside of dog parks.

Do Crafts with Your Pup

We’ll admit… some of these might be more fun for you as a dog parent, but your pup will still enjoy getting to hang out!

  • Create a doggie work of art! Dip your dog’s paws in non-toxic, washable paint, then let them walk over a long banner of paper. You can guide them with praise and treats. When the paper is covered (and your dog seems ready to move on), they can have fun splashing around in cool water to clean off their paws.
  • Decorate fun bandanas for you and your pup to wear together – perhaps on July 4th? You can buy colorful fabric swatches from the craft store, as well as any dog-safe decorating materials you like, such as paint stamps or embroidery thread. Obviously, your dog will be more of a companion to this activity, but they’ll look so cute when it’s done!
  • Make frozen pup treats. This one might interest your doggie a bit more. (At least the eating part will!)

Stay Safe and Have Fun this Summer

Whatever summer activities for dogs you decide to do, make sure to keep healthy/happy dog essentials nearby – lots of water to combat overheating, a leash, treats, and a nice blanket or towel for your pup to safely rest when they’re on hot outdoor surfaces (and some poop bags, for good measure!)

Before embarking on any summer adventures, it doesn’t hurt to plan a routine veterinary exam. Make sure that your pup is in tip-top shape and all their vaccinations are up to date before you hit the trails. You can easily check in for an an affordable, same-day visit at Essentials PetCare.

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