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When summer begins, many people make plans for outdoor picnics, lazy days spent by the pool, camping, hiking or traveling. It's the perfect season to take a vacation and spend time with family and friends. Do you also have summer plans with your dog? If not, here are two ways you can include your furry family member in your warm-weather ideas.
Make a Splash
Many dogs enjoy the water just as much as their human companions. Try setting up a sprinkler in your backyard and see if your pup enjoys cooling off under the spray of water. If your dog is new to the experience, turn the water on a low setting while you or the kids run through the mist. Once your dog is familiar with the sprinkler, you can try turning it up to a higher stage. A kiddie pool can be a big relief for a hot dog. Many canines dig up a spot in the dirt to rest in while the sun is high in the sky; your dog may also enjoy sitting in a shallow wading pool to cool down on a summer afternoon. Find one that's the right size for your dog, and start with an inch or two of water instead of filling the pool. Your dog may be perfectly happy splashing in shallow water, and you can easily change it when the water is muddy. Some dogs like to take the plunge in a full-size swimming pool, especially dogs bred to swim, such as Labrador retrievers. Your pooch may need a helping hand to get into an above-ground pool. Have you considered installing an inground pool? Your pup may enjoy it as much as you do. If you conduct research on inground swimming pool costs, you may find that you can work it into your budget. Your family (and your dog) can get years of enjoyment from an inground pool.
Take a Hike
Hiking is an excellent way for you and your dog to get some exercise during the summer months. Before you head out, do some planning to find dog-friendly hiking areas near you. Some trails may not be pet-friendly, so you will need to know that before you go. Once you arrive at your hiking destination, make sure you obey any rules and restrictions for pets. You may need to stay on designated trails or avoid areas that are off-limits for dogs. Plan on keeping your pet on a leash. This measure is for your dog's safety as well as the protection of other hikers. Meeting other people or dogs can create a circumstance that makes your pet wary, and a dog's behavior can change in an unfamiliar situation. An unleashed pet can also get distracted by interesting sights and scents and wander away from you. Bring along any supplies your furry friend needs during your hike. Waste bags are a must — don't leave behind your pet's solid waste. It contains bacteria that can be harmful to other people, pets or the hiking environment. Also, remember to bring along some water and a drinking bowl for your dog. Both of you will work up a thirst along the trail. Your pup may appreciate a small snack after an invigorating hike, so you can consider packing food or treats.
Keep in mind that people or pets you meet along the trail may feel uncomfortable around your dog. Approach others with caution, and always ask other pet owners for permission before letting your dog approach them.
No matter how you choose to spend the summer with your furry friend, keep in mind that extra drinking water and a break in the shade are always good ideas for both of you. You don't have to make fancy, expensive or complicated plans to have a good time with your pooch. Your dog just wants to spend time with you, no matter what season, so you're sure to have fun together.