Summer Activities For Dogs

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activities for dogs

Summertime brings with it a list of potential outdoor activities for you and your dog. But for every fun activity you have planned, you should realize that there’s proper etiquette to follow. Below are some activities for dogs and proper summertime etiquette guidelines to follow for your dog.

The Park

If you have plans on going to a dog park, there’s an entirely different set of dog park etiquette guidelines to follow. If, however, you have plans of bringing your dog to a normal “human” park, you should keep in mind the following:

Most, if not all, public parks require your dog to be leashed. This doesn’t mean “under control” (which you can usually get away with leashless, so long as you maintain voice control). This means, you need to have your dog leashed at all times. Why? Well, because while your dog may be safe, everyone else doesn’t know that. Everyone who is at the park deserves to have a good time without fear of being bitten by a dog. Even if your dog would never bite a ham sandwich (let alone a person), it’s only fair to all park-goers that you keep your dog leashed.

As far as leashes are concerned, avoid using retractable leashes.

Also keep in mind that parks are filled with other dogs, squirrels, rabbits and such. If you believe your dog can’t handle that excitement, it’s probably best to go elsewhere.

In order to keep up the appearances that you have your dog under complete control, bring some treats so that you can nab your dog’s attention anytime you want.

Picnics

Picnics are great family get togethers. There’s nothing like taking a hike to a secluded place, putting down a blanket, and having a nice picnic. While many people opt to make picnics a two-person affair, others want to share the experience with their dogs.

If you plan on bringing your dog to a picnic spot, here’s what you should keep in mind: your dog is ALWAYS HUNGRY. This means that if you really and truly want your dog to lounge on the blanket beside you, then you have to be prepared to shoo him away everytime you go for another bite of your sandwich.

How can you avoid this hassle? Bring a picnic basket made especially for your dog. That way he can stay focused on his meal, and you can stay focused on yours.

Here’s another tip: no one wants to eat nearby a messy and smelly dog. Before you take your dog out on a picnic, do yourself (and your guests) a favor. Give your dog a nice brushing, and perhaps even a bath. This will lessen the amount of dog hair that floats around, and we’ll also lessen your dog’s natural odor.

Hikes

One of the reasons I got my dogs was to go hiking with them. They love it, and it makes each hike a bit more adventurous. But here’s what you should remember about hiking with your dogs.

For starters, some trails don’t allow dogs. You’d be surprised how many don’t. Be sure to check ahead before bringing your dog.

Also, you may be comfortable with letting your dog run leashless, and so long as there are no rules against it, go for it. However, always, always, always bring your dog’s leash with you. That way you can secure him if there are people who are afraid of dogs, if another dog distracts your pet, or if a wild animal poses a risk. Don’t ever go on a hike without a leash.

Bring treats and water for your dog! Chances are your dog is going to have a bigger workout than you. He runs around, jumps, and basically does acrobats all while you simply put one foot ahead of the other. He needs water and food. If you don’t give him either, this is what will happen: he’ll find some family camped off the trail, enjoying a snack. He’ll run right up to them, snatch a kid’s granola bar, and carry on. Believe me, it happens.

Backyard BBQs

You love your dog and want to show him off to your friends and family. Good for you. But before you bring him to your next backyard BBQ, keep the following in mind:

Some people don’t like dogs, or don’t want them in a yard with them. Make sure that everyone (not just the host) is okay with your dog.

Make sure your dog is kid friendly. If you don’t know how your dog will react around children, don’t bring him to the BBQ. You need to test him out in a more controlled setting before you take him to where kids are.

Keep him away from the table food and grill. If your dog is a food snatcher, then you may want to tie him up to a fence or post. That way he can be in the yard, but away from food.

There are for more summertime activities than what’s listed above, but in the end, you can follow a common-sense list of guidelines: always bring a leash; always bring treats and water; always make sure your dog is welcomed by EVERYONE that will be where you’re going; always make sure your dog’s up-to-date with his shots.

Enjoy the summertime safely so that you and your dog are still welcomed everywhere next year.