5 Ways to Ensure Your Dog is Ready for Spring and Summer Fun

The temperature is rising and with it the opportunities for our pets to join us for some spring and summer time fun. Below are 5 ways to ensure that your dog has a blast with you this spring and summer!

Setting your dog up for a successful outing makes everyone's enjoyment much greater!

Setting your dog up for a successful outing makes everyone's enjoyment much greater!

1. Help your dog get used to crowds and traffic

While flea markets and street cafes are great locations to socialize your dog, they can also be quite overwhelming. If your dog has been cooped up all winter, then a crowd of people or a busy down town might be a bit of a shock. To help your dog get used to all the noise and attention, feed your dog treats frequently for choosing to interact with their environment, being brave, and otherwise staying calm. If your dog becomes overwhelmed or frightened, walk them out of the area and let them take a break. You can let them try again when they have calmed down.

2. Expose your dog to water slowly

Going for a swim in your favorite lake, river, or pool is a great way to to cool off as the temperature rises. Before you jump in and expect your canine companion to join you, it is best to help them get used to the idea. Slowly expose them to the water in a shallow area and make sure that interacting with the water is their choice. Feed your dog treats for attempting to move deeper but always allow the dog to move out of and away from the water if they want to. Never throw a dog directly into the water or drag them in. It will be much harder to teach them to enjoy it if they become frightened.

3. Practice resting at sporting events and picnics 

Bringing your dog along to a baseball game or neighborhood picnic can be a fun time for all. The most important thing to ensure you and your dog have a great time is to practice calm relaxing with your dog. Bring a blanket or mat for your dog to rest on while you root for your team. Reward your dog for staying in place with a treat and help them stay in place for a longer duration with a favorite toy or chewie.

4. Practice polite behaviors for outdoor food establishments

Most ice cream stands have a pet size serving for dogs. While you and your pooch are waiting in line for both of your tasty treats, it is a good idea to practice polite manners. Reward your dog for sitting by your side while in line. To ensure others in line also have a great experience, make sure you only allow your dog to greet strangers who invite them to say hi.

5. Set your dog up for a successful long car rides

Vacations and day trips are the highlight of the spring and summer seasons. Bringing our dogs along is meant to make the experience even better. To help your dog enjoy their time getting to and from your destination, it is helpful to first tire your dog out before hopping into the care. A little training, a jog, or some fetch will do just nicely. You can also give them a favorite Kong or chew toy to work on during the trip. For longer trips remember to stop frequently to let your dog stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. If your dog gets car sick or anxious, talk to your vet about options that can make them more comfortable.

So... What plans do you have for you and your dog this spring and summer?