7 Fun Ways to Keep Your Dog Happy This Summer

Dog summer
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The kids are on vacation from school, and you’re taking time off from work. That’s what summer is all about.

But doesn’t the dog also deserve a little warm-weather R&R? Of course! Summer is a great time to let your puppy have a little extra fun in the sun.

Just remember to do it safely. As the American Kennel Club reminds you:

Hot weather can make anyone feel uncomfortable, and your dog is no exception.

The AKC offers a bunch of tips for keeping your dog safe this summer. Take a look at their advice, which includes:

  • Keeping your dog hydrated
  • Getting your dog microchipped
  • Updating your dog’s vaccinations
  • Talking to your vet about flea, tick and heartworm prevention

Following are seven ideas for keeping your pooch happy — and healthy — during the “dog days of summer.”

1. Take your dog to the beach

Dog beach
rebeccaashworth / Shutterstock.com

Just like people, most dogs love to splash around on a hot summer day. So, let your pup dip his or her paws in at the beach. PetFriendlyTravel.com has a list of puppy-friendly beaches throughout the U.S.

If you don’t live near the ocean or a lake, consider turning on the sprinkler for your own at-home aqua fun.

2. Build a dog obstacle course

Dog obstacle course
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In many parts of the country, people and pooches spend all winter and much of the spring cooped up indoors. If you can’t wait to spend every possible moment outside this summer, build a dog obstacle course, and you and your pup can get a little exercise in the fresh air.

Cesar’s Way, the website of dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, offers a few tips for building such a course on a budget. The DIY Network has detailed instructions for a three-part agility course featuring a climbing wall, teeter-totter and weave sticks.

3. Whip up some ‘pupsicles’

Dog frozen treat
Cyhel / Shutterstock.com

After all that running around, your pup is probably ready for a “pop.” There are many types of frozen dog treats that can keep man’s best friend cool after a hot summer day of fun.

Modern Dog magazine has recipes for frozen fruit treats and chicken-broth pops. DogVacay has more ideas.

4. Take your dog out to dine

Dog restaurant
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A frozen treat is fine, but doesn’t your furry family member deserve to be with you as you hit the town?

You can search for dog-friendly restaurants worldwide on BringFido.com, a self-described dog travel directory. You also can look up pup-friendly eateries in the U.S. and Canada on DogFriendly.com, which provides city guides and travel guides for dog owners. Bone appétit!

5. Head off to summer camp

Dog camp
Kazantseva Olga / Shutterstock.com

Many states have seasonal camps geared toward having fun with your furry best friend. Examples include:

Can’t find a dog camp in your state? Then, take your pup camping! You can search for dog-friendly campgrounds on BringFido.com.

6. Hit a hiking trail

Dog hike
marvlc / Shutterstock.com

Hiking is one of the best and most enjoyable forms of summer exercise. That’s as true for dogs as it is for people. Just about everybody is close enough to a hiking trail to spend hours of free and healthful fun with their four-legged best pal.

Just make sure to keep your dog hydrated and to clean up after him or her. And afterward, check under fur thoroughly for pests like ticks that might have hitched a ride. PetCareRx offers tips for the perfect hike.

7. Jog with your dog

Dog jogging
Dirima / Shutterstock.com

Your canine companion will look forward to a daily run. Plus, it’s a wonderful way for both of you to burn extra energy and calories. If your pooch seems disinterested or a little unwieldy at first, don’t give up. According to Health.com:

Even if you think your dog is too hyper or too poorly behaved to jog alongside you, he may just need some training and some time to get used to it.

What is your favorite way to have summer fun with your dog? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

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