If you’re like me, your dog is a part of your family. And now that the weather is turning warmer, I love looking for activities that we can do together as a family–all of us, dog included! Here are some ideas on how to make Fido a part of the fun.
Water, Water Everywhere
If you happen to live near a coastline like we do, many beaches allow dogs to frolic in the sea along with their owners. Check out DogFriendly to help locate dog-friendly beaches in your state. If you’re not near the ocean, look for state parks or local lakes that allow pets. Keep safety in mind–if you will be swimming in deeper water, be sure to have a life vest for your canine companion, and remember to pack some towels in the car!
A new trend hitting many cafes and restaurants is “Yappy Hour.” This is a time designated by the establishment when owners may bring their dogs and enjoy dining al fresco. Try searching the internet for Yappy Hours in your area, or consider asking a local restaurant with outdoor dining if they would consider starting a Yappy Hour for their pet loving customers.
I am fortunate that my puppy loves the car. If your dog enjoys the wind in his fur, head out for a road trip! Pack some snacks and water, and head out on the road. Be sure to make some pit stops or have a destination in mind (a local dog park, pet store or even a field to run around in). Don’t forget to secure your pet safely in the car. Many stores now sell travel harnesses for use in an automobile. As fun as it is to have your dog sitting on your lap while you drive, this is not safe by any means.
If you think an overnight stay with your pup is out of the question, think again. There are dog-friendly hotels all over the United States, and now with sites like BringFido, finding them is easier than ever. Just type in where you want to go and find a hotel that will allow your dog to stay overnight with you.
Fun in the Yard
Maybe traveling is not for you. Depending on what your dog likes, you can set up your very own festivities right in your backyard! Some dogs love water sprinklers or just playing with the hose. Set up a kiddie pool for them to splash in. Invite some doggy buddies over to play, and throw in some water toys for them to play with. If the water is not your dog’s idea of fun, how about a sandbox? Purchase a small plastic pool or even use a large cardboard box. Fill with sand and all of your doggie’s favorite play things and your pooch will thank you for it. Just remember to cover the sandbox when you’re done using it, to keep wild critters from using it as their personal litter box. Yuck!
Related Articles by Deborah Zelasny:
Best Grooming Tools for Pets
Top Valentine Gifts for Dogs
The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs
Mourning Milo: Dealing with the Loss of a Pet