Top Ten Things to Do With Your Dog This Summer: Part One

If you’re looking for summer entertainment, bonding and memories with your dog, there are tons of activities to do with your four legged friend during the warmer weather.  However, before you participate in any new activities or outdoor festivities, be sure to know your dog’s limits....

Sara Forsberg · July 06, 2021

Top Ten Things To Do With Your Dog This Summer: Part One

If you’re looking for summer entertainment, bonding and memories with your dog, there are tons of activities to do with your four legged friend during the warmer weather.  However, before you participate in any new activities or outdoor festivities, be sure to know your dog’s limits. For example, you may love the water, but your dog might hate it. Some dogs will have a hard time adjusting to warm weather after they’ve spent the winter months indoors. So, if the weather is too hot,  remember to use common sense when engaging in outdoor activities. 

1. Take your dog to a dog- friendly beach

Summer can be a great time to check out some dog-friendly beaches. You and your furry friend can go to the ocean shore or a beach on a lake.  Your pet will love running around, playing frisbee or fetch with a ball in the sand and frolicking in the water. Plan and prepare before heading out.  Bring water, an umbrella (if needed for shade), toys, and be sure to remember the doggy poop bags. There are many beaches across the country that welcome pets, but be sure to check ahead to make sure dogs are allowed. Don’t forget the sunscreen.  For some breeds it is recommended to use a pet-friendly sunscreen. Also, emember to keep a close eye on your dog at the beach.  If you go to a beach on the ocean do not let your pup drink the salty water.  And of course, be sure to obey leash laws.

2. Swimming

Many dogs love to swim, while some dogs are not natural-born swimmers. If your dog likes to swim and enjoys the water, go and have a blast. You can go to a river, lake, ocean, or another safe body of water for an afternoon of swimming. Many breeds love the water so check it out and see if your dog is one of them. Most importantly, if your pup is clearly showing you that he doesn’t like to swim, you should never force him. For dogs who love the water, going for a refreshing swim on a hot day is a treat. Most dogs who enjoy swimming can safely swim in some swimming pools, lakes, ponds and rivers. Keep a close eye on your dog no matter where she swims as things can turn dangerous without supervision. Avoid lakes and ponds with algae and heed the warnings or signs posted in the area. Rivers can have a deadly undercurrent and oceans may have tides or dangerous currents that can sweep your pup away quickly. Many dogs love to jump around in the waves of an ocean but again, don’t let your dog consume the water. Additionally, water intoxication, even in freshwater, is a potentially fatal condition that affects dogs who consume too much of it. A life jacket can help boost a dog’s confidence if she is new to swimming. However, even if a dog knows how to swim, they get tired, and may even get scared.  Without a lifejacket and a strong current, your precious pooch could be swept away. It’s always advisable if your dog is venturing out in the summer to do some swimming or any other on the water activities to be sure they are wearing their life vest. 

3. Watersports- boating/kayaking/canoeing/paddle boarding

Nothing says summer to me than being out on a boat with the wind whipping through my hair and the cool spray on my face.  Did you know that most dogs love this, too? We’ve already talked about  ensuring your dog has a life jacket.  Purchase a vest that comes with a “handle”.  This will make it much easier to lift your dog in/out of the boat if they decide to take a swim. Another option is canoeing or kayaking.  This activity is a calming zen-like activity that you can easily enjoy with your pet. Be sure to use a non-aluminum canoe since aluminum is too hot for your pup to sit in. Stand-up paddleboarding is another fun option. Standing on a large board with your dog out on a pond or lake while using a paddle to move gently through the water, can make for a great memory.   If you have never paddle boarded, the easiest way to get started is to take a beginner SUP class taught by a certified instructor without your dog. When you have a firm foundation of the basics, you can then try it with your pup! However, for your safety as well as your dog’s,  Fido will need to be able to follow basic commands such as sit and stay.  Start out by having your dog get used to standing and sitting on the board on dry land, then try it on water.

4. A sprinkler or kiddie pool in the yard

Another favorite way to enjoy the hot summer months is running through a sprinkler in the backyard! Lots of dogs love this kind of summertime water play. Standard sprinklers will work fine, but there also are sprinklers designed for canine outdoor fun. Be sure to supervise sprinkler play because some dogs may bite at the water or constantly try to drink it (as mentioned earlier, even too much water can be dangerous!).  Also keep an eye on dogs with a shorter snout as they may inhale the water. For the less active or a less excited dog that doesn’t like swimming but loves the water, consider a child’s pool, or even better, a dog pool.  Although there are a lot of kiddie pools available, a dog pool is designed to last longer because they are more durable since dogs will likely be harder on a pool than a child.  Even if your dog hates baths, they may enjoy frolicking in and out of a small pool. The fun and relief from the heat while playing in the shallow water is a quick and easy way to keep dogs active and cool at the same time.

5. Have a backyard pet party

Have some friends that have four-legged best friends, too!  Buy a kiddie pool and throw a puppy pool party and BBQ for the humans in your backyard. Pick a theme, make some homemade “ice cream” or cool dog treats, and celebrate the summer.

Stay tuned for next week's blog filled with more fun ideas for you and your pet….

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Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg

Sara has been part of the BARF team since 2019. She is responsible for some admin duties, helping keep the office running smoothly and support for Rob Jr. and the rest of the team. She has been passionate about animals since a small child growing up with a Siberian Husky and 3 cats, and as an adult having a Labrador Retriever that suffered from a lot of allergy problems. She now has a rescue orphaned kitten, Poppy, and a new addition in another Lab named Jax. She has 7 children that keep her busy in most of her spare time; but enjoys anything on or near the water, spending time with friends and family, music, reading and cooking.

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!