The warm temperatures and long days make summer the ideal time for you and your dog to get out and about. If you’re stuck for ideas about how to have fun and keep cool at the same time, check out these great suggestions.
Summer days are perfect for spending time with your dog, but it’s important to plan activities that help your dog to stay cool and comfortable. If temperatures are soaring, you might want to swap your midday walk for some fun in the paddling pool, or enjoy an indoor treasure hunt instead of playing fetch outside to encourage mental stimulation and avoid your dog getting bored!
1. Splash around with water
Most dogs love splashing about, and introducing some water into their playtime is a great way to have fun while helping your dog to cool down. The fun could be as simple as turning on a sprinkler, getting out the hose or filling a small paddling pool and introducing water toys such as floating fetch sticks. Alternatively, depending on where you live, you could take your dog for a walk by the sea or alongside a river or lake for them to splash around in (but make sure you keep them under close supervision!).
2. Create a treasure hunt
This activity can take place indoors or outside. Regardless of which location you choose, however, a treasure hunt will help to keep your dog’s mind active and engaged.
Start off by allowing your dog to watch as you hide a treat or their favourite toy, before encouraging them to find and collect it. Continue the game by making the hiding places more and more difficult, so that your dog has to increasingly rely on their sense of smell to locate the treasure. This will help keep your dog’s mind stimulated for longer periods.
Remember to reward your dog with praise and attention when they find the treasure.
3. Play new games with your dog
Time off over the summer can be a great opportunity to teach your dog new things. If your dog loves agility, you could create an activity course for them in your own back garden. Build a tunnel by cutting the ends off a cardboard box and use buckets to create a weaving obstacle course. You could also use an old curtain rail or broom, set on top of boxes, for your dog to jump over – make sure you set the bar at a comfortable height for your dog though! Just be sure to try out this activity during cooler times of the day so that they don’t overheat.
You could also try other games, such as temptation alley or a brain-training puzzle. These are perfect for playing inside the house on a hot day. Make sure you take plenty of breaks and always ensure your dog has easy access to cool, fresh water.
4. Organise a day trip
A great way to make the most of summer with your dog is to organise a day trip. Your friends and family might even want to come along as well. Getting out for a day is not only a great way for you and your dog to get some fresh air and exercise, new places and trails can be incredibly stimulating for dogs. They may even meet some new friends along the way!
Options for a good doggie day out include a trip to the beach or lake, a country walk or a relaxing lunch at a dog-friendly pub. You might also find an agility course or dog park you can visit and enjoy. Make sure you carry plenty of water with you to offer your dog throughout the walk, and bring an umbrella so you can give them some shade if they’re getting too hot.
5. Take a break
Not every summer activity needs to involve making the most of the sun. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with having a rest and taking a break! While playing outside with your dog can be fun for you both, the midday sun can be extremely hot and a refreshing siesta might be exactly what you both need. You could even invest in a cool mat for your dog to help them beat the heat!
The hottest part of the day is usually between 11am and 3pm, so in very warm weather, this period is a good time to stay inside. It is also the perfect time of day to offer your dog a frozen treat while you check out the latest apps for dog owners. If you’re looking for inspiration, try out our quick and easy frozen blueberry yoghurt treats.
Watch the heat
It’s important to remember that while hot weather and sunny days allow us to spend more time outside with our pets, dogs struggle with excessive heat. This is because dogs aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures as easily as we are. This is especially true for flat-faced breeds, such as Pugs and French Bulldogs, as well as breeds with thick double coats, such as Huskies. Always make sure your dog has plenty of shade and easy access to fresh water and never leave them alone in the car. Check out our summer heat cheat sheet for more tips on how to help your dog keep their cool this summer.
What fun summer activities do you and your dog love? Let us know on social media using #PethoodStories.