The combination of beautiful weather and longer days make summer the perfect time to enjoy outdoor fun with our four-legged friends. Because heatstroke is a serious risk for our pets during the warm months, playtime should be geared around keeping them cool and hydrated. When it comes to safe summer fun for dogs, you are limited only by your imagination…but here are a few ideas to get you started!

Just Add Water

Summer is in full swing, and these warmer temperatures put our pets at increased risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Playing in water is a great way to keep your pet from becoming overheated while you enjoy some fun in the comfort of your own backyard:

  • Sprinkler fun – A simple sprinkler attachment for the garden hose can provide an afternoon of wet fun for a dog. Just be careful that he or she doesn’t attack the sprinkler itself!
  • Hose effect – Don’t have a sprinkler? A hose with a spray nozzle can create the same effect of playtime combined with a good soaking.
  • Water tag – Break out the kids’ water guns and start shooting (if your dog wouldn’t find this scary)! See if you can get your dog to “catch” the stream, or play a game of water tag with your pooch.
  • Kiddie pool – Fill a hard plastic kiddie pool, or a more durable dog pool, and let your water-loving pooch splash the day away. When your dog gets tired, the kiddie pool is the perfect place for a relaxing, cool soak.
  • Bathtime – Baths are more fun outside! Bring your dog’s favorite toys to keep him or her occupied while you scrub/rinse/repeat.
  • Wet towel – Wet a towel with cool water for your dog to lie on.

Toys Galore

What could be better than a dog toy that is not only exciting but also keeps your furry friend cool? Check out the Hydro Ring, which can be soaked in water that’s released through specially designed holes as your dog chews, the Hovercraft Frisbee that’s soft, durable, and floats on water, or soak and freeze these Ice Cream Cone toys for cold fun on a hot day.

Pool Time

For dogs who enjoy swimming, a pool can provide hours of entertainment and burn off all that excess energy. Make sure your dog is a capable swimmer, and outfit him or her with a life vest. Like with children, dogs do need to be supervised in the pool. Make sure that your dog isn’t in the pool if you’re not nearby. Also keep in mind that the chlorine and other chemicals present in swimming pools make the water unsafe for consumption, so provide your pet with plenty of fresh drinking water.

Don’t have a pool? Some local parks have swimming areas for dogs and most public pools will have a dog swim event when they close down the pool.

Bubbles, Anyone?

Round, shiny, and unpredictable, bubbles have what it takes to entertain even the most stoic of dogs. Although commercial bubble solutions are often nontoxic, why not give your dog something extra delicious with this bubble machine made just for dogs, bacon-flavored bubble mix included!

Sweet Summer Fun for Dogs

No day of summer fun is complete without a frozen treat. Dogs love cold goodies just as much as we do, and there’s no shortage of ways to prepare a healthy, delicious, and frosty morsel for your best pal. Simply cut up your pup’s favorite fruit or cooked vegetable, freeze on a tray, and serve. Low sodium chicken or beef broth frozen in an ice cube tray also make scrumptious cold treats. We can’t find the maker for this  frozen treat anymore but it would be easy to make in a bucket.

Your friends at Union Lake Pet Services want you and your dog to enjoy a fun, cool summer! Please let us know if you have any questions about summer safety for pets, or schedule a visit to our doggie daycare where we have a kiddie pool, bubbles, cool treats and more.