dog in summerWith the kids out of school and long weekends and holidays on our minds, family activities and vacation planning may be occupying our thoughts. Not only do our kids love to get out and enjoy some fun in the sun, but our dogs do too.

But what are some safe warm weather dog activities, you may ask? And, how can you combine outdoor recreation that is both appropriate for kids and dogs? You are in luck! Summertime is the optimal time for recreation that can be inclusive for the entire family (four-legged members, too).

Creative Outdoor Recreation Ideas

Whether your plans entail heading upstate to the Catskills or lounging in the sand at a seaside resort, there are a plethora of dog-friendly vacation ideas to choose from, as long as you plan ahead. Be sure to bookmark BringFido and DogFriendly, two awesome resources to give you the scoop on lodging, dining, and a host of other places where pets can roam.

As far as activities go, be creative! Not all dogs and dog families dig dog parks or Frisbee. Some dogs would rather sit in a luxurious penthouse suite then hit the trail. Gauge everyone’s interests (including Rover’s) to come up with your summertime bucket list.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • For the bold, back to nature pet family; plan some weekend camping trips in the mountains or at a favorite New Jersey state park
  • Sailing or boating can provide exercise, sunshine, and dog-paddling fun for water loving types
  • Competitive families will up their game by creating relays and other sports activities that can include fitness-oriented dogs (running, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, etc.)
  • Philanthropists can include their best friends in summertime fundraisers, such as a kissing booth featuring a cutie-pie pooch or a walkathon that is canine inclusive
  • Does your child need swimming lessons? Why not include the family dog in these practice sessions? Dog swimming lessons do, indeed, exist…
  • Noshing on a patio is even more fun with your adorable dog – for a list of local restaurants that allow your dog to dine, consult Bring Fido
  • Trail-enthusiastic families will love the convenient-yet-wild feel of Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson, with over 30 miles of dog friendly hiking trails (from easy to challenging)
  • Staycations don’t have to be dull! Gather together all dog loving neighbors and friends and take turns hosting backyard tournaments, barbecues, and picnics

Outdoor Dog Activities and Hot Weather Safety

With all of the amazing opportunities for enjoyment this summer, it’s easy to want to just jump right in. But, safety precautions add another dimension when including the family pet. To keep your pup safe during any summertime activity, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Check on vaccination and parasite preventive needs, especially before heading into wild nature or around bodies of water
  • Always bring plenty of water for your pet and plan for frequent shade breaks, avoiding outdoor activities during days when the temperatures are dangerously high
  • Microchip your pet, if you haven’t already, and make sure ID tags are current
  • Be prepared by knowing ahead of time that your dog will be welcome, whether it comes to lodging, historic sites, attractions, parks, beaches, or restaurants
  • Keep your dog leashed, by your side, and never in a parked car
  • Consider your dog’s level of comfort and enjoyment before pushing onward through your day out with the family – not all activities are fun or appropriate for canines

We hope you’ve found these tips and ideas to be helpful! If you have additional questions or would like to schedule your pet’s vaccine and preventive check-up, please contact us.

Happy and safe summer fun!