Tips for summer fun with dogs
We all love summer, including the dogs, but summer also means different schedules and new places to explore. We love taking ‘the boys’ with us as much as we can, so I’ve pulled together my list for making sure your pets are as happy and safe on your summer vacation as you are!
1. It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your pets have up to date vaccinations and tags. This is especially true is you are going to be crossing the border.
2. Do your research. You’ll want to know what places you plan on visiting that aren’t pet-friendly. If it’s a day trip requiring your pet to be alone in a strange cottage or rental, you might want to see if there is a local pet resort or doggie day care. They will have a great time, burn up energy playing, and you won’t need to worry about them.
3. Make sure to pack enough of their food, their favourite toys, bed, leash, collar, and lots of poop-bags. We also find it’s handy to have a collapsible water bowl for use on long car trips and on hikes. Dogs need lots of water in hot weather, just like we do!
4. If your family vacation includes Fido, make sure to actually include them! Don’t leave them all day in a strange place, day after day, this will put unnecessary stress on your dog. Try to maintain your usual walking/exercising and feeding schedule as much as possible. Dogs love routine.
5. Safety first! If you are planning on boating you might want to see about a pet life-vest, especially for big open water trips. I would also recommend having a small pet-emergency kit in the car and with you on hikes. Having essentials like bandages, tweezers, and antiseptic ointment is very helpful. (and my motto is, if you have it you won’t need it!). And I would hope this for sure goes without saying, but NEVER leave your dog in a hot car. Ever.
6. Check swimming areas. Lots of areas that are great for summer swims are also great for fishing, meaning fishing wire and lours could be present. You’ll want to ensure your pets are swimming in safe areas.
7. Do tick checks. This summer has been especially bad for ticks. I recommend doing tick checks after every walk, but especially after a walk in a new area, around a campsite or cottage. Lime disease is nothing to mess with.
8. If you’re in a place with other dogs and kids, be sure to introduce your dog(s) and get everyone familiar with each other. If your pets are like ours, little people (children) kinda freak them out a bit, so it’s important for us to tell the kids they meet to approach slowly. Once the boys realize the little people drop food and usually have it on their person somewhere they are fast friends:)
9. Plan for the worst. Just like knowing where the closest human hospital is to your campsite, trailer, or cottage, you’ll want to know where the closest vet clinic with emergency service is. Have your regular vet’s contact information on hand, so you’re not scrambling in an emergency to get any files or information.
and finally #10. Have fun! Dogs love summer adventures too, so enjoy them and have fun! It’s a dog’s life after all!