Summer is in full swing, so make a plan to get out-and-about with your dog for a summer adventure! Here are some ideas, and feel free to add your suggestions in the Comments section below.
Visit a Vineyard! Many wineries welcome dogs on their grassy grounds and we’re sure your dog would enjoy a picnic there with you (no need to even ask!). Find dog-friendly wineries in California with The Wine Institute’s handy list, or search online for them in your area. Many wineries even have dog-friendly events for pups and their people – see a sampling in Woof Report’s past tip, Wineries are Going to the Dogs.
Catch the Show. Pack a blanket, some snacks and a bottle of wine (water and a bowl for you-know-who) and sit back and enjoy! Movie nights light up local parks all around the country, from New York City’s Bryant Park to Chicago’s Grant Park, and parks around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Take Your Best Shot. Get snap happy with your dog. Pick a gorgeous day to pose your pup, shoot the scene, or have a friend take some of you with your dog. Choose a familiar location, bring your dog toys and set a playful tone. If your photo day’s a fun experience for both of you, your shots will shine. And come holiday season, you’ll be set with photos for holiday cards and photo framed gifts.
Hit the Open Road. Pick your destination and get out of town with your pup. Just you, your dog and the vacation you both deserve. Search for pet-friendly hotels by chain at petswelcome.com or visit VRBO.com where you can filter your search to find pet-friendly vacation rentals by owner, or check out luxurypaw.com. And of course, bone up on pet friendly travel with Woof Report’s past tip, Sniffing Out Dog-Friendly Accommodations.
Cook From Scratch. Pick a recipe and pamper your pup with a homemade surprise. Doesn’t your dog deserve some of your home cooking? Find recipes for homemade frosty paws, peanut butter treats and more in the Woof Report Feasts & Treats tip category. There’s even a tip on no-cook Kong recipes if you can’t take the heat.
Take a Class. No need to wait until Back to School time. Summer’s the perfect time to take a class or study up on doggie tricks and tips. Check in with your local SPCA for classes in flyball, agility, nose tracking and more, or maybe your dog can just use a refresher on basic manners. There’s a class out there for you two and you’ll enjoy the bonding time as much as she will.
Ruff it. Take to the hills on a dog-friendly weekend camping trip. Pitch a pup tent or go car camping. National camping resort chains like KOA and Jellystone are dog-friendly as are many private campgrounds and national forests. Rules for state parks vary, so check them out before you go. Learn more at hikewithyourdog.com.
Meet Up. Join that doggie meet up group you keep meaning to check out. Visit MeetUp.com and search by breed and/or location. Local dog resources and pet papers can also point the way to dog groups you’ll enjoy. Socialize together, isn’t that what best friends do best?
Hit the Trail. What better way to stay fit and bond with your dog than hiking together? He’ll love the nose-to-ground tracking and picking up the little critter scents. Check out Woof Report’s past tip, Hit the Hiking Trails With Your Dog, for hiking tips and to find a pup-friendly trail near you.
Show Up with Pup. Check out local calendars for upcoming doggie events in your area this summer. There’s Poochapalooza in Marysville, WA, Loreal’s Because Your Dog is Worth it Too! in Cranbury, NJ, and 14th Annual Bay to Barkers in Berkeley, CA just to name a few. Since most events benefit humane societies, attending one is a great way to help homeless pets in your community. Check in with local rescue groups and BringFido.com to learn about upcoming events.
Shore Him You Love Him. Find the off-leash beaches nearby and go-go-go! Let your dog run wild, bring Frisbees and balls for fetch, whatever you like. It’s your day together. Just don’t forget to pack plenty of water and an umbrella for instant shade whenever you need it.
See a Dog Fly. Check out dock diving, a fun sport in which dogs of all breeds, sizes and shapes compete to see who can jump the longest or highest distance into a pool from a dock or raised platform. Find events across the country where you and your pup can choose to compete together or simply enjoy the action as spectators at one of the websites for the three national dock diving organizations: DockDogs, Splash Dogs, and Ultimate Air.
Clean Up the Pup. Pick a gray day for your doggie’s home spa treatment. Start with sudsy bath, followed by ear cleaning, nail trimming and a doggie massage. Then, pop his bedding into the washer and get the grime off his dirty toys for the full makeover.
Splash Around. Spring for a kiddie pool, or even a bone-shaped one made just for dogs to set up in the yard. Then, pull up a poolside lounge, a cool drink and call it day. Your dog will love it as much as you do.
Alpo Alfresco. Pick a date and organize a dog-friendly picnic with other pooch people. Relax with your friends while the dogs romp around. Share a meal and open a bottle of wine – just don’t forget the doggie treats. Check out Woof Report’s past tip Find Great Places to Dine Out with Your Dog, to search for restaurants in your area with outdoor patios and enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner and anything in between with your fuzzy pal.
Take Pup Out to the Ballgame. Don’t miss the Dog Day Baseball games. See Woof Report’s past tip to see if there’s one near you or check with your minor league or local teams. (SF Giants fans – the 2011 Dog Day game is still not listed on the Giants website, but according to folks at the Giants, it’s August 28!)
Skip Town. Check out a new neighborhood in your city or play tourist somewhere close by. Go for a walk, try a new outdoor cafe and stop by the neighborhood pet store for a new toy and treats. What a great way to spend the day with your fur family member.
There are so many excellent outdoor activities for you and your dog to enjoy. Just remember that just like us, dog can overheat, dehydrate, even sunburn on the hot days. So it’s always best to schedule activities before or after the sun’s peak hours and pack along lots of fresh cool water and pup-approved sunblock. This way, nothing will get in the way of your good time together.