Summer is here (or at least the signs show that it’s trying its best). Picnics are scheduled, theme park tickets bought, sunscreen in hand, and paddling pools purchased.
The kids are alright; we always make sure of that first. What about that sweet, furry face, looking at the front door though?
Last time I took my pup to the grooming parlour, I had his coat cut right back for this very reason. He is a Pomeranian, and his fur is SO thick.
How will his summer be? Left at home to stay cool inside, or time spent outside on his own in the garden?
Well, this recent hot spell has reminded me that our dog needs to have as much fun as the kids this summer. With a little bit of preparation, Freddie the Pom can tag along on our family’s adventures, and it will be a win-win for all.
So here are a few tips from Mat at Petstop on how to enjoy fun family days out with your dog this summer.
Basic transport safety. In the car, you can place your dog in a kennel, or utilize a pet-friendly safety harness or booster seat. A ride in the car will perk up your pooch, but please keep him safe!
Essentials. To make the journey comfortable AND pleasant, remember to pack some fresh water, a water bowl, and, if he’s riding in a kennel, a small cooling pad to lay on. For really really hot days, a clip-on, battery-powered fan is another great way to help keep the heat at bay in his space.
Poo bags. It’s the law in many places to have them with you while out with your dog in public. Bring along plenty, plus a throwaway plastic container, to ease disposal of the remnants of a fun-filled walkabout.
Arrival. Do not let your dog bound out of the car. Teach your dog to wait (or have one of the kids hold him) while you open the door. Check your surroundings, then carefully take your dog’s collar and attach the leash. Let the dog exit the car and then, watching him closely, close the car door. This is crucial, as dogs will, in their excitement, try to jump BACK into the car. A little caution and patience will go a long way!
Now, in order from easy to more challenging, 7 fun outings for your lucky dog this summer.
- Your own neighbourhood. Do not underestimate the fun factor for your pack animal. Even a short stroll around the block, at his pace, will make for a very happy pup. Try to make your pack as big as possible and create a whole-family adventure.
- A trip to the pet shop. Kids got cabin fever? Want to kill a couple of hours? Drive over to the nearest pet store (almost all welcome pets) and check out the latest treats and toys.
- Dining out. Grab some grub at a dog-friendly restaurant. Check out Bring Fido or Doggie Pubs for a list of local eateries. Insider info – outdoor seating is typically designated for pets, so remember to pack hats and extra sunscreen.
- Dog parks. Think playground or soft play centre, but for dogs! Agility activities, plenty of water and poo bags on tap. Who knew?!
- Dog beaches. A trip to the seaside can offer a lot of fun for water-loving canines.
- Trails. Dogs are welcome on most trails, and a little planning can make a day of hiking a fun and rewarding experience. Dogs need to ‘get away from it all’ too! Bring extra water and poo bags.
- An overnight trip. Look no further than Dog Friendly. Since 1989, they have published guides to the best of pet-friendly travel and lodging, from the beach to the slopes. Bone voyage, as they say!
Make this a summer full of great memories for every member of your family. Taking your dog with you to fun places will help inject another layer of curiosity, joy and adventure in the most mundane car ride!
See you at the dog park (whatever that is!).