Summer is definitely one of the best times of year to spend extra time outdoors with your pets because the weather is good and the days are long. We all know how excited dogs get at the prospect of activities outside, so why not make the most of this summer and spend some quality time together. Many activities don’t require lots of planning or equipment, dogs love to explore and spend time with their owners so its win win.
It’s a well known fact that dogs love water (except maybe bath time), so heading to your nearest lake or pond is a fun filled trip for you both. Often you won’t need more than a stick or ball, and enjoy throwing it into the water to encourage your dog to swim and retrieve it. Swimming is great exercise for dogs and they’re guaranteed to be all played out afterwards! Be careful, however, not to overdo it; swimming uses much more energy than running on land, start with short distances and just one or two swims in the first sessions and gradually build things up over the following weeks. Don’t have a water source close by? How about a water fight in the garden; just use your hose and watch in amusement your dog’s fascination with the water stream. If you feel your dog is becoming over excited, over assertive or over tired – then stop. Dry off together afterwards in the sun and you’ll find yourself with one happy dog.
Frisbee is the ultimate game for a summer’s day in the park, and one step up from the usual fetch, so see how your dog copes with a flying saucer. Be careful not to overdo things to start and go gradually to build up your dog’s fitness over weeks and months. It’s rewarding for both of you and we can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny afternoon!
Lots of us take annual leave during the summer months, so make the most of any extra free time by training your dog to be a good citizen and perhaps even a few new tricks. Training them to do actions such as to roll over, jump through a hoop, catch a treat or take a bow is a great bonding experience for you both. Dogs appreciate acquiring new skills and find the process of learning very rewarding. Using positive reinforcement and treats while training means it’s extra enjoyable for them.
If you’re a big fan of the outdoors (and the weather is on your side), then why not take a trip and bring your dog along for a spot of camping. Pack a blanket and some treats and toys for them too and enjoy the fun nature and a change of scenery can provide – plus it’s great for extra long walks. An anchor, tether and harness can provide you with a little more security and relaxation.
There are lots of fun activities you can do together which will improve your relationship with your dog and bring joy to you both. The summer months are ideal for this so get outdoors and start playing!