It’s blazing hot outside, and you would like to do nothing better than lazing around indoors with your best friend, sweating and complaining about the heat. But why opt to do so when there are so many wonderful ways to take advantage of the longer days and the warmer season? You can have much more fun outdoors if you follow the following suggestions.
Plan a dog-friendly toxin-free landscape. No pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, no herbicides, no fungicides, no snail bait and no allergic plants (for a list of ones to avoid, check the ASPCA site.) The ideal hardscaping/landscaping material doesn’t get too hot fast, should be easy on the paws and shouldn’t creep into the house on fuzzy feet. Pea gravel and pavers fit the bill.
Make your friend a hot-weather flop spot to lie in. Scout around for a shady area outdoors, in the backyard or lawn, dig a shallow pit in the ground that fits your pup and line it with a thin layer of concrete. Make sure to poke holes in it (for drainage) before the concrete dries. Once it has set, fill the pit with some playground sand, spray dampen it and watch the fun start.
Set out to have some good, wet fun—summer’s the perfect season for water sports. However, keep a watchful eye on your dog for signs of water intoxication (hyponatremia), which can attack fast and is life-threatening. Be aware of the symptoms and make sure that your dog takes frequent breaks.
Take your pet on a cruise. You can rent a houseboat or a dog-friendly camper trailer and see the world from a whole new viewpoint. Quite few camper rental companies offer to handle the entire delivery, setup and hauling away. Carry out an online search for a company in your preferred location.
Some communities revive the lovely summer tradition of a drive-in, and some even allow you to skip the wheels and loll on a blanket under the stars. Search for a suitable summer drive-in in your area.
Sign up for summer dog camps—the summer camps of your childhood, but way better. Get back to school and master new skills or relearn old ones. Training, herding, agility and freestyle are all on the menu and for maximum relaxation, match the activity level to your and your pet’s temperament.
As always, while out having fun with the pup, keep safety in mind. Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours, take plenty of water, dab sunscreen on both of you (believe it or not, there are sunscreens for dogs) and take frequent rest breaks in shaded spots.
When out walking, pay attention to what your pet’s telling you. Let them rest when they want to and don’t force them to move faster. Avoid areas with foxtails, those sticky, diabolical stalks with seeds that burrow into fur and skin and, once in, are a pain (literally) to get rid of. And never, ever leave your dog in the car.
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