Sure, you probably have the basic things you do with your pup when the weather finally starts to warm up—go to the park, hike, attend a festival. But we are going to try to shake things up a bit, to give you some fresh, out of the box inspiration this summer.
1. Build Your Own Backyard Dog Park
Socially, it’s great to take your dog to a public park, but every now and then it’s nice to just hang at home. Build your own dog park in your yard so you can have those chill days when you don’t have to load up and go anywhere at all. While permanent fixtures are one way to go, using a variation of portable jumps and tubes gives plenty of versatility for your space. Simple items go a long way for notoriously easy to please canines.
Tip: Consider purchasing items that are easy to fold, disassemble and store.
2. Throw a Party
The weather is warm and it’s time to mingle! Invite not only your friends, but their pets to an outside get together. Get the grill going, have plenty of toys strewn about for the pups, turn up the music and have a ball. Theme the party it if you want—maybe throw a luau and have hula skirts, tiki torches and rum punch. Everyone, including four-legged guests can get in on a game of limbo!
Tip: When you gotta go, you gotta go! Supply an outdoor cleanup station for any smelly surprises—compostable poo bags, baby wipes and a larger receptacle are key things to have on hand.
3. Make a Box Maze on Rainy Days
It’s inevitable those spring showers will come rolling in at some point, so bring in tactics your parents may have used for you as a kid, to not only help your dog burn energy indoors, but to make for a pretty darn fun day. You might even have a little too much fun as well. With all the Amazon shipments that make their way to our doors every week, there’s bound to be plenty of supplies. The only other thing you’ll need is some strong tape. Open all the ends of the boxes and start taping away in whatever crazy direction—loop through the kitchen, interconnect different tunnels! Seriously, it’s a blast.
Tip: Get your pup into the groove by placing treats throughout the maze, and don’t forget to recycle when you’re done!
Editor’s Note: For those rainy days spent indoors, try these brain games for dogs.
4. Splurge on a New Look
Spring is a time of renewal—everything is fresh and blooming! This is the perfect time to freshen up with a new do, and other little things like a nail trimming or a fancy collar. Take your furry friend to a pet boutique to sniff out something cute to wear, then stop by your trusted neighborhood groomer for a trim. If you’re a DIY kind of person and your dog hates the groomer, spend a day getting creative with the cut yourself!
Tip: Always practice caution when using scissors or anything else when grooming your pup. Restraints or slings can keep your puppy safe and comfy during a styling session.
5. Go Out for Ice Cream
Spring officially kicks off ice cream season. But should we really isolate the tasty treat to warm weather months? Anyway, many shops, including places like Starbucks, give out free treats to four-legged friends. Make sure you know for certain the options particular joints provide are 100% pup safe.
Tip: Bruster’s is one of the more common ice cream shops to give out doggy treats.
We hope we were able to inspire some different ideas to enjoy the lovely weather of spring with your best friend. Stay creative and constantly stimulate yourself and your pets with new experiences and memories. And if all else fails, just get outside and soak up the sun. You can’t go wrong with that.
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.