Get inspired to make the most of the season with these 17 ideas for summer bliss!
1. Add a summer twist to your regular routine.
We all know dogs like treat-stuffed Kongs, so why not try a simple summer twist? Stuff the Kong (or any food-stuffable dog toy) with whatever stokes your dog—peanut butter, wet dog food, softened kibble, mashed banana—and then pop it in the freezer for a cool, frozen treat!
2.Cool your dog down.
Dogs don’t sweat like people do. Instead they regulate their body temperature through their paws and by panting. Help them keep cool on extra hot days by wetting a bandanna, wringing it, out and then popping it in the freezer to make a cooling icy bandana.
3.Combine two of your dog’s favourite things
So simple it’s genius: float treats in a wading pool. Fun for everyone involved!
4. Become a modern day treasure hunter.
Take to the woods—or even an urban park—with your trusty hound, a GPS receiver, and the co-ordinates for buried “treasure,” and prepare to have a blast. Geocaching, the 21st century search for hidden stashes, may be all about the hunt but it’s still an awful lot of fun. Read all about it and how to get started at moderndogmagazine.com/geocaching.
5. Make frozen dog treats.
The fastest way to a dog’s heart? Through the stomach, of course! (This actually holds true for most people, too.) Let your best pal know how much you care by whipping together some super, seasonal treats, from savoury “pup”sicles to frozen watermelon cubes. Healthy, cool, and quick to throw together, they’re a fun way to celebrate the season. Get the how-to here:
6.Create a splash zone.
Some dogs love to play in sprinklers. How do you know if your dog is one of them? Set up a sprinkler and play a game of fetch through it. Some dogs just love it.
7.Be a tourist in your own town!
A surprising number of historical sites, museums, and art parks like Seattle, Washington’s outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park (seattleartmuseum.org) are dog friendly, allowing well behaved, leashed dogs to visit.
8. Dine out with your dog.
Summer = restaurant patio season, which means dining al fresco with your dog! Get out of the kitchen and take a stroll with your BFF (that would be best furry friend) to the nearest dog-welcoming spot with outdoor seating. If your dog has questionable table manners, grab some take-out and head to the park instead!
9. Take your dog on a drive-in movie date!
Our Sara took her Pug, Roxy, to that date-night staple of yesteryear, the local drive-in movie theatre, and had loads of fun. Roxy was thrilled to be included in a night out and even got to eat a few French fries. Yes, you might have to journey a bit, but a night at the drive-in means the whole family can come along. In fact, a fair number of drive-ins are recognizing the draw that is the ability to bring your dog along, and have even created “doggie patches” so your best bud can relieve himself midway through a double header.
10. Teach your dog to hunt for truffles.
Our newest obsession? Teaching our dogs to hunt for truffles. Get training now so that when harvest season rolls around—that would be December to March—you’re ready to unearth some black gold.
11. Hit the (dog-friendly) beach!
Get high-tech help with a fundamentally low-tech pursuit: explore new dog-friendly areas with the help of a handy app that maps out dog-friendly parks, beaches, and hikes in your geo-location. We like Dog Park Finder Plus for iPad and iPhone, just $1.99 through the iTunes app store. It shows the details and locations of dogs-welcome walks and off-leash-romp spots in both the US and Canada. Perfect for when travelling or checking out new areas in your hometown!
12. Go camping.
Many provincial and state park campsites allow dogs provided they’re on leash. Check your state or provincial park website for listings of which sites welcome dogs.
13. Start a walking group.
Set a date, put a call out (old school: flyer in your local dog boutique; new school: meetup.com) and get ready to meet new people, make dog friends, learn about new pup-friendly spots, and swap training advice and vet recommendations. Your posting can be weekly—every Wednesday night—or monthly—like the third Sunday of every month, and can be breed-specific (Dachshund-Corgi cross meet-up!) or all-welcoming. Let the romping and socializing begin!
14. Create an agility course in your backyard.
With a few simple pieces of equipment (a Hula Hoop, two pylons, dowelling or a hockey stick, a mesh tunnel), you can get started practicing the basics of agility.
15. Host a BBQ party.
Time outside with the fam and the promise of sneaked bits of meat? Doggie heaven, plain and simple.
16. Swap for cool new-to-you dog stuff.
You’ve heard of a clothing swap—why not hold a doggie-stuff swap? Trade collars, clothes, dishes, gently used toys or puppy stuff your dog has outgrown with friends. Invite the dogs along for a socializing op in which you get to take home some new-to-you scores!
17. Hit the Farmer’s Market.
One of our very favourite summer activities is hitting the farmer’s market and returning home with a basket brimming with glorious vegetable bounty. Why not transform that bundle of kale you’ve returned with into a healthy, tasty treat both you and your dog will adore? Get the how-to for making kale chips (it’s beyond simple)