Has summer boredom set in, yet? Are your kid and dog staring at each other looking for something to do? Look no further. Summer is a great time for kids and dogs to play together, and we've come up with some activity suggestions!
10 activities to keep your kid and dog occupied this summer
1. Enjoy outdoor dining. Whether you choose an at-home BBQ or a pet-friendly restaurant, summer is a great time to take advantage of outdoor dining. Most restaurants that accommodate pets will bring your pooch a bowl of water, and some even have doggie menus! Kids have a great time eating out with their dogs. They can provide each other with entertainment while you wait for your food.
2. Paint with water. Painting with water is cheap and easy and can provide hours of fun. All you need is a cup of water and a paintbrush. Your kid can go to town on the patio or sidewalk, and your pooch can cool his paws and make footprints. My daughter absolutely loves this activity. And it doesn't make a mess like paints!
3. Do crafts. Get your dog involved in summer crafts. Decorate a collar with felt flowers or buttons (make sure they are secure). Press your pooch's paw into a clay piece that your child can paint. Decorate a dog bowl with food-safe paints. If you're feeling really brave, roll out a long sheet of paper or poster board, let your kid and dog walk in paint, then make footprints across the paper. You may end up with a framable masterpiece!
4. Make frozen treats. Make popsicles AND pupsicles. Juice and fruit chunks work great for the kids. For your pooch, you can use a regular popsicle mold, a bowl, or even a kong. As for flavors? Chicken broth with kibble chips, plain yogurt with peanut butter, or even water with chicken bits frozen inside make great pupsicles! Your child will have fun making them and reaping the rewards with your pooch.
5. Go hiking or geocaching. In most parts of the country, summer is a great time to enjoy nature. Explore local hiking trails or take up geocaching, GPS-guided "treasure hunts." Your kids and your dog will love the adventure!
6. Go swimming or wading. Kids love swimming, and many dogs do, too! Make sure dogs and kids are both comfortable in the water before allowing them to swim together and aways keep safety first. No pool? Get yourself an inexpensive wading pool and let your kids and fur kids splash around to cool off.
7. Run through the sprinklers. As long as you aren't in a drought zone, running through the sprinklers is an awesome way for kids and pets to cool off together and can provide great exercise, too. Here in Arizona, most of us don't have sprinklers, so we use the garden hose as an alternative. There are even hose attachments specifically designed for this purpose to make things more fun.
8. Find a dog-friendly beach or park. Pet-friendly beaches can be hard to find, but they're out there. Play time by the lake is also a good option. No water nearby? Hit a dog-friendly park. Bring your frisbee and a picnic lunch, and don't forget your doo-doo bags!
9. Go camping. Kids and pets love the adventure of camping, and many campsites are pet friendly. Enjoy day hikes or just hanging out together enjoying the outdoors. Be sure to remember bowls and food for your pet, as well as a place for him to lay both during the day and for sleeping at night.
10. Vacation at a pet-friendly hotel. More and more hotels are now accommodating pets, some even making special provisions for them such as pet beds and doggie room service menus. Your kids will love being able to vacation with Fido. You'll need to research policies, because some accommodations do not allow a pet to be left unattended in the room, and some have size restrictions. You may incur an additional fee, but living the high life with your pooch is worth it, right?
Here in Phoenix, we have to be careful with ourselves and our pets during the summer months. Temps can rise up to 120° during the hottest part of the day, so we tend to limit outdoor activities to the early mornings or evenings. In other parts of the country, there may be other conditions to think about. Consider your climate when making activity choices, and consider safety.
Always make sure your kids and dogs are well hydrated. Even when swimming, your dog can become dehydrated, so be sure to provide a fresh bowl of water before, during, and after any activity.
Avoid the hottest part of the day, and keep in mind that your dog's paws are sensitive to the hot ground. If it's too hot for you to walk barefoot, then your pet shouldn't, either.
Wear sunscreen! Kids AND dogs should wear sunscreen when outdoors for a prolonged period. Light-colored and short-haired breeds especially need protection. Special attention should be paid to areas of the skin not covered in fur. Use a pet-safe sunscreen in case your pooch decides to lick the area where it is applied.
Dogs with sort muzzles such as pugs and bulldogs are more prone to heatstroke due to the fact that it is harder for them to breathe. This can be made worse by hot temperatures, so take special caution not to overexert these dogs.
Always supervise children and pets around water.
Please pick up after your pooch. Aside from just being gross, poo left behind is unhealthy. Plus, when people leave their dog's "presents" behind, places are less-likely remain be pet-friendly.
Above all, have a blast summering it up!! How to you plan to keep your kid and dog occupied this summer?
This article, written by me, originally appeared on Brie Brie Blooms and is reposted here with minor changes with permission.