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Apr 09

Outdoor Summer Fun with Your Dog

Explore the Great Outdoors

Summer_dog.jpg

Summer is a great time to be outdoors with your dog.  Photo Source:  Pixaby

Dogs love the bright sunshine and fresh air that the great outdoors has to offer.  So, whether it’s a week-long camping trip or an afternoon trip to the park, take your dog on an outdoor adventure.  Whatever outdoor activity you have in mind, make sure that your dog is safe.  For all outdoor adventures, flea and tick prevention is a must, and check the area for other hazards like sharp rocks or thorns that might cut your dog’s feet.

Read the post Bug Off! Keep Fleas and Ticks Off Your Dog for more information about fleas and ticks.

Hike

What dog doesn’t like a long walk in the woods?  There are so many new smells to sniff, sounds to hear, and sights to see!  I love to watch the excitement in my dogs when they realize that they are going on a hike.  Their whole body wags, and sometimes I wonder if they are going to actually burst!

Don’t know where to go?  Check out Wikipedia’s List of State Parks by U.S. State.

Fish

dog and woman with fish

Take your dog on a fishing adventure. Photo Source: @malbc

Who would be a better fishing companion than your dog?  Loyal and funloving, your dog will follow where ever you go.  When you come back, you can tell all the fishing stories you want, and your dog won’t call out your tall tales.

For more reasons to take your dog along on your next fishing trip, check out Bark Post’s 21 Reasons You Should Take Your Pup Fishing.

Camp

Whether you are in an RV, tent, or cabin, camping is more fun when your dog is with you.  Camping overnight brings some additional challenges as compared to a day trip.  For example, before you go make sure your camp site is pet friendly and that you can control your dog’s barking.  Losing a night’s sleep wouldn’t be fun for your or the other campers.

Camping tips: How to enjoy the great outdoors with your dog has some great advice and packing guides to make sure your camping trip is fun for all.

Swim

Even though my dogs hate baths, they will occasionally take a dip in their “swimming pool,” to cool off.  Silly me–I thought the 14 inch metal pan full of water was their outdoor water dish.  I was obviously mistaken.

Some dogs love water, and can’t spend enough time in it.  If you don’t believe it, check out this video of little dogs in the water.

 

 Should You Take Your Dog Swimming?

Never force your dog to swim.  Since having fun is the entire point of being outdoors with your dog, forcing your fearful dog into the water defeats the purpose of your outing.  Frightened dogs often panic, which can lead to early fatigue or drowning.  Besides, making your dog do something that scares him or her decreases trust in your dog-human relationship.

Some breeds are better swimmers than others.  Although some dogs are great swimmers, not all dogs are born knowing how to swim.  According to Animal Planet’s article, “Do All Dogs Know How to Swim,” natural instincts, anatomy, and genetics all play a part in a dog’s ability to swim.  For example, some dogs like retrievers, were bred to retrieve water fowl or perform water rescue.  Other breeds may have more difficulty swimming.  Anatomical features like short legs makes swimming difficult for some breeds, like bulldogs, dachshunds, and boxers.  The short faces of pugs make breathing difficult, and they tire easily.  Small dogs may be good swimmers but get cold easily.  Whatever the breed of your dog, always use your best judgement and consider the safety and emotional state of your dog.

Keep your dog safe.  Whether at the lake, beach, or pool, make sure your dog is safe.  Consider a doggie life jacket.  In my experience, I have found that Outward Hound offers quality products.  You can find Outward Hound life jackets and other gear in stores such as Walmart and Amazon.  

 

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Water

No matter where your pooch makes a splash, follow these pointers:

  • Rinse him off after he’s been in any type of water. Seawater minerals, salt, chlorine, algae, and pollution can irritate or damage his skin and fur.
  • Remove his flea collar before he swims. Water can wash off its active ingredients.
  • Dry your dog’s ears completely to prevent an infection. Try an ear cleaner that has a drying agent in it.
  • Learn canine CPR. Mouth-to-nose resuscitation and chest compressions could save a dog’s life in an emergency.
  • Never leave your pal alone in the water.

Source:  Dog Water Safety:  Tips to Keep Your Pet Healthy

Consider a Doggie Life Jacket

dog life jacket from outward houndOutward Hound makes doggie life jackets in a variety of sizes.

Blue Green Algae

One hazard at lakes that is often overlooked is blue green algae.  Blue green algae, which is actually a type of bacterium, produces hepatotoxins and neurotoxins, which can be fatal if ingested by you or your dog.  Read the post Toxic Algal Blooms are Hazardous to Dogs, for more information about identifying and avoiding this hazard.  As mentioned above, you should always rinse off your dog after a swim. 

Take an Afternoon Outing

If you aren’t ready to take your dog on an overnight trip, you can
still enjoy Mother Nature by taking an afternoon trip to the park or recreation area of your choice.  

puppy sleeping in chair outside

Outdoor relaxation.  Photo Source:  Pixaby

 

Picnic

Pack a lunch and head for your local park.  Make sure to take a walk first to dissipate your dog’s anxious and excited energy, and pack a special treat or chew for your dog.  Your dog will love the treat, and you might get a minute or two to eat your lunch in peace!

Nap Outdoors

What is nicer than napping on a lazy afternoon under a shade tree?  Stretch out with your dog in a hammock in your backyard or throw down a blanket.  It will be great bonding time for you and your dog.

What Do You Like to Do with Your Dog Outdoors?

Share you idea of a great day in the sunshine by leaving a comment below.

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