Enjoy What’s Left of the Summer with Your Dog!
The summer is nearly over, and with the cooler weather looming in certain parts of the country, you’ll want to enjoy what’s left of the summer with your dog! Here are some cheap or free things you can do to get the most out of the rest of the season.
Hike with Your Dog
One of the best ways to enjoy the rest of the summer with your pup is to hit the trails. What makes hiking so great is that you can do it almost anywhere. Do you want to go camp in another state and experience the trails there? You can even stay home and just check some of your own local forest preserves.
Whichever destination you choose, you’ll likely have a very willing trail partner. Just make sure you are prepared to hike. Depending on where you go, there is a chance you’ll run into dangerous animals like bears, mountain lions, or even snakes. You should also protect your dog against pests that are harder to see. If you are hitting the great outdoors, be sure to get a quality flea and tick collar or use a topical solution to protect your dog.
Throw a BBQ in Your Yard or Local Forest Preserve
Eating outside is a great way to take in all that summer has to offer. It’s even better if you can fire up your grill or smoker and enjoy cooking outdoors as well. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either. If all you have is a patio, feel free to sit out with your dog and enjoy a meal together. If you want to go the extra mile, many forest preserves and parks have grills accessible. Just make sure you follow the rules and clean up after yourself.
A simple change of pace can be very exciting for you and your dog. While most dogs like to stick with a routine, changing things up can still be fun sometimes. While we still have warm days and cooler nights, camping might be a great idea. Even if you can’t commit to a full camping trip, you might try setting up a tent in your backyard. Any way you choose to spend quality time with your dog will certainly be appreciated no matter where you are.
If you do want to make an adventure out of camping, you could bring your dog to one of our country’s many National Parks. Many parks allow you to bring your dog along, though some don’t. If you’re not sure which parks allow dogs, take a look at this map from the National Park Service to help plan your trip.
Made Homemade Summer Dog Treats
While it’s still quite warm out, you might be thinking of ways to cool your dog down. A fun way to do this is by making them frozen treats. It’s so easy to do, and your dog will appreciate the cool treat. If you make the frozen treats irresistible, your dog will even get a workout trying to slurp it all up.
You can make frozen treats in any container you’ve got on hand. You can use an ice cube tray if you want to be able to divvy out smaller treats more often. A Kong toy filled with a snack can be great stimulation for your dog too. Or feel free to simply use a bowl. You can pop the frozen treat out and have your dog enjoy their time outside while trying to lick their treat up before it melts.
Some ideas of what to include in your homemade pup-cicles can include:
- Chicken broth
- Peanut butter
- Bits of cooked meat
- Treats frozen in water
Get creative and figure out what your dog likes best.
Find a Dog-Friendly Beach
If you live near a beach, check to see if they allow dogs. It can be a lot of fun to run and swim with your dog. Even if you do not have a beach, check the local forest preserves for small lakes or ponds. Giving your dog a chance to enjoy some safe playtime in the water is a great experience.
Play in a Kiddie Pool
While temperatures may finally be lowering, that doesn’t mean the fun of summer has to end right away. If you already have a small pool for your children, it’s a great way to get your dog some fun in the sun. Small pools can also heat up quickly when left out in the sun. This is good if you have cold tap water that might be a little too cold for your dog to enjoy. Or if your water already comes out rather warm, you can place the kiddie pool in a shady spot to keep it from becoming too warm to enjoy.
Go for a Picnic
Summer may be coming to an end, but you can still enjoy a nice picnic with your dog. Pack a delicious lunch for yourself, and get something special for your dog too. Some nice treats lets your dog really enjoy their time with you. Just be sure you are safe when you picnic with your dog. If you pack yourself some chicken, be sure your dog doesn’t get to the bones. Chicken bones splinter easily and can get caught in a dog’s throat. Watch that potato salad too. While potatoes are perfectly fine for your dog, onions, garlic and chive are not. Pack your dog snacks they will want to eat. Make sure they are tethered somehow to keep them safe. And make sure they have a comfortable area to relax.
Summer may be coming to an end, but there is still a lot of fun you can squeeze out of it!