As summer gets underway, you might be thinking of new ways to create fun memories and try something new with your dog.
Here are five things we think should be on your dog’s bucket list now that the days are long and the warm weather is here.
1. Challenge Yourself to Learn Something New
“There’s something very special about working with your dog and the relationship you built together during training sessions”, says Ryan O’Meara, K9 Magazine’s editor and a former professional dog trainer.
So, if you’re looking to set yourself a new challenge to build even stronger bonds between you and your dog this summer, then we might have just the thing for you.
Sports like agility and flyball are pretty well known, but one of the latest dog activities taking off (literally) is dock diving and it’s ideal for dogs who are confident in water and love to splash around, with dogs competing against each other to make the longest or highest distance jump into a body of water.
Photo Credit: Radio DockDogs Episode 36, Shannon Conner & Bella
In the UK, it’s run as a seasonal sport with classes and competitions run by clubs, but in warmer climates, such as in the US and Australia, it’s a year-round activity.
2. Plan a Doggy Date
A good walk can do wonders for your body, mind and soul - your dog’s too.
So why not plan a doggy date to give your dog some social interaction with a canine pal while you catch up with a friend, or if you’re looking to expand your social circle, consider joining a local walking group to meet new likeminded people and their dogs.
Often you’ll find local groups plan weekly walks to explore new areas and there are usually always dog owners among them, so during the summer months, walk times will vary to make sure dogs can be walked safely during peak temperatures.
3. Find Somewhere New to Explore
According to the Petplan Pet Census 2018, four in 10 pet owners call their dog their best friend and so when planning a holiday or day trip for some R&R, it’s no surprise that so many of us plan where to go with our dogs in mind.
There are so many pet friendly hotspots in the UK that make ideal locations for pet friendly getaways. Whether you’re looking for a day trip nearby or a longer break further afield, you won’t need to look too far to find somewhere to visit.
Dorset has some fabulous and very welcoming dog friendly beaches, such as the Durdle Door, which is part of the iconic Jurassic Coast and further north Edinburgh makes for a great city break with historical walks around Arthur’s Seat, which towers over the city.
To help plan your trip, find more pet travel tips from pet insurance provider, Petplan on their website.
4. Got a Garden? Get a Pool
With summer comes longer days and warmer nights, and usually also, for a period of time anyway, hot weather.
Most dog owners have a list of go-to measures to combat the warmest spells and keep dogs happy and healthy, such as avoiding going outside at certain times of the day, never travelling in hot cars, ensuring a big bowl of fresh water is always available and making fun icy treats - frozen watermelon dipped in natural yoghurt sounds like a winning combination, doesn’t it?
One other measure some dog owners have been taking in increasing numbers in recent years (yes, we’ve seen your photos and videos on social media!) is getting a paddling pool for dogs to cool down in. We say if you have the room, go for it! It could be a lot of fun for you and your dog.
5. Consider Getting Your Dog a New Friend
Summer often means the whole family is at home for an extended period of time, so if you’re already considering getting a new pet, it can be an ideal time of year to adopt or bring a new puppy into the home with the whole family around to help settle him or her in.
The first few weeks can be a big learning curve as everyone gets used to each other and there is nothing more rewarding than being a dog owner, but before you bring your new puppy or adopted dog home, make sure you research everything necessary, from the breed and their requirements, from health to lifestyle, to dog insurance so you’re fully prepared for the fun times ahead!