The days are longer and the weather is warmer—the dog days of summer are fast approaching! While the summer months are an excellent time to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities with your pet, rising temperatures call for a little extra caution. But just because it’s hot, hot, hot, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it cool with your best furry friends. Here are our top five, fun (and safe) activities to keep your pet happy all summer long.
Lots of large coffee chains now have drive-through windows and offer pup-friendly treats for their furry clientele. So this summer, take your dog on a car ride to find and order a “puppuccino,” a small cup of whipped cream suitable for your furry friend, at a participating shop. Participation varies by location, so check with your local store first.
Summer nights are made for cool indulgences, and there’s no reason to leave your pet out. Try making these quick and easy “pupsicles” for your canine companion.
Blend equal parts of all three ingredients. Then, pour the mixture into 3 oz. plastic paper cups, filling them ¾ full. Instead of using traditional wooden popsicle sticks, use nylon bones to reduce the chances of choking or obstruction, and put one bone in each cup. Freeze for 3 hours and voila!
Pro-tip: Your pup might appreciate it if you let the pupsicle melt slightly before serving.
Some community pools host pet-friendly nights so our four-legged counterparts can casually take a dip. If you don’t have a community pool near you, another option to give your pet some swim time is to purchase an inexpensive plastic or inflatable children’s pool. You’ll want to fill it about halfway with cool water.
For added fun for fido, submerge dog toys or treats—encouraging your pets to dive under and retrieve them! Don’t forget to always supervise your pet’s playtime, and ensure adequate breaks for him or her to rest and relax when playing outdoors.
When it’s too hot to head outside, fun indoor activities are clearly in order. For an easy brain-teaser, flip over a muffin pan and hide dry food or your pet’s favorite treats in 2 or 3 of the inserts. Your dog or cat will love the challenge of working to uncover those sneaky treats. No muffin tin on hand? Alternatively, you can collect 3 empty plastic containers and hide a toy or treat under one. Shuffle the containers and wait for your pet to pick out the treat inside—you might have a regular Einstein on your hands!
For cats, you can also trying hiding treats in different locations around the house, allowing them to go on their own scavenger hunt! Another fun DIY activity for cats is birdwatching. Try putting a birdfeeder outside of a window and provide a safe and comfortable space for your cat to leisurely watch the birds outside.
Does your pup love to chew? Try freezing a plastic water bottle, then stuff it inside an old tube sock; tying off the end in a secure knot. Your dog will have refreshing entertainment for hours!
For our feline friends, you can freeze water in a balloon or a plastic egg and let your cat bat the frozen toy around until it melts.
Pro-tip: Be careful that as these items start to melt, no humans accidentally slip on any wet spots. Also keep an eye out while your pet is playing to ensure that if any kind of toy breaks, the pieces are removed from of paws’ reach immediately to avoid ingestion and possible obstruction.
While we encourage you to take advantage of the long summer days with your pet, don’t let heat stroke stop the fun—ensure that your pet is properly supervised during all hot weather activities and contact your vet if you notice excessive panting, loss of balance, weakness or collapse.
Photo source: ASPCA
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