Splashdown! Summer Fun with Your Pets

We’ve done summer pet hazards and safety info before, so let’s cheer things up a bit and talk about something more fun…like FUN! Now that you know how to do it safely, let’s go over some summer fun activities that are pet and vet approved.

1. Water, water everywhere! Most dogs, and even a few cats, love water. What better way to cool off on a hot day than to have few dog-loving friends over, set up the sprinkler and watch the happy wags and sloppy kisses ensue. I have known many a dog who goes intergalactically insane when chasing a stream of water from a hose sprayer. It’s a great way to cement the bond with your pets, interact with your neighbors and get your dog (and you!) a little exercise. A kiddy pool is great for splashy fun, too. If you can get your cat to go for a swim, take a video and send it to us, because we want to see that action! Standard precautions apply about supervision, interdog aggression and swimming ability.

2. Take a hike! Strap on the hiking boots and make for the hills. Most dogs I know would give their puppy teeth to be able to get out with you and go on a long hike in the woods. There are new smells, critters to watch and chase and literally millions of trees to pee on! Find a nice nature preserve or park near you and hit the trails. Make sure your dog’s flea and tick prevention is in action mode (a fipronil-containing product like SENTRY Fiproguard works best) and only go as far as your dog wants to. If the temperature and humidity are high, or your dog is not in great shape, start out easy and work up to the long walks. Snub-nosed breeds like bulldogs and pugs can’t do high heat, so maybe take in a nature video on the couch with them instead when the mercury climbs.

3. Rule the Pool! Many public pools will have a special “dog day” right before they close the pool. They figure, “Hey, we’re gonna drain the pool anyway — why not let the dogs have a little fun!” They invite all the neighborhood dogs in for a splashy romp and you wouldn’t believe the hair ring that forms at the edge of the pool when they are done! Dogs love it and, in lots of cases, the admission fee goes to support a local animal charity — it’s win-win! Check your local municipal pool for if/when they offer it, and if they don’t, ask the head pool honcho if they’d consider it. Make sure your dog is good swimmer and invest in a doggie life jacket for the landlubbers.

4. Anchors aweigh! Love to sail? So does your dog! Sailing is one on my favorite summer activities — the salt air, the fresh breeze, the Christopher Cross songs… For lots of dogs, there’s nothing better than the wind in your face as you cruise a lake or the ocean. It’s like hanging your head out of a car window, but with your whole body! A life jacket’s a requirement for this one, but don’t leave your dog on the dock — take them along for a little sea cruise!

Whether you like land or sea, the mountains or the beach, there’s a ton of fun things to do with your dog in the summertime. Slap on some bug spray, make sure their flea and tick prevention is current and go carpe yourself some diem!


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