With the sun rising earlier and setting a little later every day, you now have extra hours that are perfect for adventuring with your dog. You have a whole wide world of dog-friendly activities open to you, so don’t settle for simply adding a couple more residential blocks to your daily walks. Clip on that leash, pack up some treats, and strengthen that incredible human-dog bond with these 10 suggestions for great warm weather adventures!
1. Day hiking is a simple way to explore outdoors. There’s a nature trail just a short drive away from almost any village or city in the United States. You can often scope them out in advance online. Choose your distance based on how ready you and your dog are to add more activity to your day, and whether the trail is flat or hilly. If you aren’t sure how much exercise your dog is up for, choose a short loop for your first hiking experience. Are you both are still raring to go after stopping for a lap of water and a snack on the trail? Forge right on! When you get home, be sure to check your pup’s paws for abrasions and give your dog a quick once-over for foxtails and ticks.
2. Take in a drive-in movie together. Does your dog love your car as much as your couch? A drive-in movie may be your dog’s best night ever! Happily, post-pandemic caution has revived the bygone days when a movie was an outdoor community experience for everyone to enjoy. Relax in the upholstered comfort of your car’s front seat or pack a lawn chair or blanket to lounge with your dog under the stars. Pop-up drive-ins are blossoming all across the U.S. – even in the parking lots of some big box stores. Or visit one of the 325 original drive-in theaters that have kept the nostalgia alive for decades. Check your community website or try Googling “drive-in pop up near me.” Then pack some snacks for you and your dog and enjoy your relaxing adventure back in time.
3. Raise a mug at a dog-centric bar, brewery, or coffee house. Did you know some social hotspots have completely embraced the dog-centric lifestyle? A few, for example the Bar K bar, restaurant and dog event space, were designed from the ground up with canines in mind. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with other patrons when you all have a shared love of dogs! More and more breweries, wineries and coffee houses are adding outdoor dining areas designed for the comfort of both human and canine visitors, and there are lots of online resources to help you find them.
4. Camp with your canine. Like the drive-in movie, family camping is a once-popular tradition that has been revived by our increased desire to socialize outdoors. If you prefer not to invest in a tent or sleep on the ground, cabins are available at many state and national parks. You’ll want to book these in advance as they are now in high demand. Or consider car or van camping! There’s as much square footage in many vehicles as there is in some tents. If you discover you and your dog really enjoy the nomad life, when the time comes to upgrade your vehicle consider a camping van specifically designed for road-tripping with your pup.
5. Take an ice cream tour. This is a sweet adventure you can revisit all summer long. You’ve no doubt heard of antique and wine “trails.” There are ice cream trails, too! If your region doesn’t have an advertised trail, it’s easy enough to look up the roadside ice cream stands near you to plot out your own. Pick one whenever you and your dog would enjoy a fun evening or weekend drive. After you and your pup have finished your frosty treat, enjoy a walk along the residential sidewalks of a new town and share a conversation (or a sniff) with the locals.
6. Puzzle your way through letterboxing. Here’s an adventure you, your dog, your entire family, or a group of friends can enjoy together. Letterboxing involves tracking down some of the 22,000+ boxes hidden outdoors across the US, following clues that provided on the internet. When you discover one, you mark the letterbox’s logbook with your own personal stamp. You’ll find everything you need to know about letterboxing right here, and be sure to check out the informal code of conduct for letterboxing with pets.
7. “Secret Stones” on Facebook is a fun, local scavenger hunt. All over the US, children and adult stash painted stones for others to find. You can keep stones that strike your fancy or hide them again in a new spot. Take a pic of your dog sniffing out your discovered rocks and report your find on Facebook. The local Facebook page name is usually written on the stone’s underside. Paint some dog-themed stones of your own to hide and share some hints on Facebook. It’s easy to find Facebook pages that host this activity. Just search for your county, parish or borough on Facebook and add “Rocks” or “Secret Stones” to the name (ex. “Tioga County Rocks”).
8. Visit a dog beach. Unless you live on the shore and your dog is a born beach bum, a lake or oceanside shoreline with soft sand and lapping waves will be an exciting new experience for your dog. Be sure to choose dog-friendly locations. You’ll need your beach bag for towels and sunscreen, and to tote sun-safety products for your dog, too. Of course, you’ll want to choose cooler days for your dog’s comfort. Check out these safety tips for visiting the beach with a furry sun-lover.
9. What’s “SUP” pup? Teach your dog to kayak or paddleboard. Paddle sports are growing exponentially, and a lot of dogs join their guardians on the water. Remember — just as you need practice learning to handle a kayak, canoe or paddleboard, your dog does, too. Check out these resources to thoughtfully teach your dog to navigate a paddleboard, learn to kayak or canoe, or even to join you on a larger motorboat. Then let a quiet river carry you on your next adventure together.
10. Spend some time outdoors at night. Now that evenings are warmer, be sure you and your dog take time to enjoy the stars and perhaps a crackling fire after dark. The sounds and smells are quite different after night settles in. Sit outside with your family, invite some friends over for a quiet evening gathering, watch a meteor shower, or walk along the beach after you’ve enjoyed that glorious sunset. Even familiar walks are quite different after dark.
7 things you’ll need for adventuring with your dog.
1. A little practice. Even fit dogs (and humans) need to build up to new adventures, and certainly puppies and senior dogs deserve consideration if you want them to join you in a long day of excitement. If you and your dog aren’t used to long walks, or if you aren’t sure if your dog will even enjoy natural waterways, it’s a good idea to thoughtfully build up to extra-long walks and new destinations. Make a few exploratory short visits before committing to a days-long vacation camping or at the beach.
2. A life jacket for water adventures. If you want to introduce your dog to boating, purchase a well-fitting life jacket. Slowly introduce your dog to wearing it long before venturing out onto the water. There are some great tips here on how to teach your dog to LOVE, not just tolerate, their vest.
3. Identification. Is your dog microchipped yet? If not, schedule a quick appointment with your veterinarian. Purchase a collar with your cell phone number embroidered right on it (they’ll be no danger of lost tags). The American Humane Association estimates that 10 million pets are lost every year in the US, and only 15 percent of dogs without ID are reunited with their guardians. You don’t want your best friend to become part of that statistic.
4. A six-foot non-retractable leash. Even if your dog is a perfect angel on a retractable or extra-long leash, you’ll find that many parks or businesses specifically require leash that’s no more than 6 feet long. Keep an extra 6’ leash stashed in your car if you usually use a longer lead.
5. Pup-stenance! You will of course need travel bowls for your dog, nutritious food that’s easy to pack, a jug of clean water and treats to reward your dog’s good behavior. To help keep your dog’s joints healthy for a long and active lifestyle, treat your dog daily with Pampered Pets USA HEMP Hip & Joint Chews. They’ll support the health of your dog’s bones, joints and connective tissue, with 3 mg of CBD per chew, no detectable THC, and wholesome, preservative-free ingredients. A nutritious diet and wholesome supplements help your dog stay fit for adventure his entire life.
6. Your full attention when it comes to heat, even on “cooler” days. We’ve all been surprised by a cool but sunny day that unexpectedly heats up the car. Make sure your car’s cooling system is in tip-top shape, never leave your dog unattended in your car, and remember that your barefooted pup is at the mercy of hot pavement. Choose cool surfaces to walk on and always test pavement, wood boardwalks and beach sand with your hand (or walk barefooted yourself) on warm days.
7. A clean bill of health and a current rabies certificate before you leave home with your dog, check with your veterinarian to be sure your dog is fit and up to date on everything needed for safe outdoor exploration. Here are a few things you’ll want to ask your veterinarian about”
- Heartworm preventative to protect your dog from mosquito-borne parasites.
- Flea and tick preventative to keep the biting crawlies, and the diseases they carry, at bay.
- Leptospirosis vaccine to protect from this water and soil-borne blood infection.
- A rabies vaccine and certificate, often required for access to state and national parks.
Remember to include wholesome treats (not junk food!) for your dog, as you pack you beach bag or backpack. Health and fun are the whole point of choosing adventures that exercise your body and de-stress your mind. Pampered Pets USA soft-baked treats are both wholesome and delicious, and break apart into smaller pieces to use as training rewards or just to enjoy more slowly as you pause together to rest during in your explorations. Keep them close at hand to grab anytime you and your dog have an opportunity to go explore!
At Pampered Pets USA, we know you consider your pet to be part of the family and want nothing but the best for them. We are here to provide you with accurate and updated information that will help you give your furry friend a healthy and happy life.