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10 Things to Do With Your Dog in the Summer: Vet Approved Ideas

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on June 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

Going hiking with a dog

10 Things to Do With Your Dog in the Summer: Vet Approved Ideas


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Summer is the perfect season for finding new hobbies and creating special memories with your dog. Many seasonal places start to reopen as the weather warms up, and there are so many more options for you to explore together.

Having a game plan and bucket list can help make this summer more fun and eventful. Here are some of our favorite activities and places to visit with dogs when it’s summertime.

dogster paw dividerThe 10 Things To Do With Your Dog In The Summer

1. Go to the Dog Beach

Most dog beaches start to get crowded in late spring, and attendance is in full force during the summer. Dogs can enjoy swimming in the water or socializing and playing with other dogs. If your dog is on the more introverted side, you can take your dog during off-hours, such as early mornings, when there are fewer dogs at the beach.

When planning a beach trip, make sure to bring several beach towels, an umbrella, dog-safe sunscreen, and plenty of water, as well as a life vest for your dog if they’re going to be swimming. It’s important to keep your dog cool, hydrated, and safe in the midst of all the fun they’re having at the beach.

2. Take Swimming Lessons

Some dogs are natural-born swimmers, while others need a little extra coaching. If your puppy is intimidated by swimming, they may benefit from some lessons. A dog swimming facility can be a great place to introduce your pup to swimming and enable them to learn in a safe and contained environment. They’re also good places for elderly dogs with joint pain to exercise, as swimming is a good, low-impact form of movement. Just be sure to bring the lifejacket!

young woman swimming with her dog in the pool
Image Credit: Corina Daniela Obertas, Shutterstock

3. Go Hiking

Many hiking trails are often safer to tread in the summer when the paths are dry and free of slippery mud. Most hiking trails require dogs to be leashed at all times to protect the wildlife and prevent any accidents with bikers and others using the trail. However, some nature preserves have dedicated land for dogs to roam freely. Again, just make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen for your dog, as well as a first aid kit to help keep them safe.

4. Participate in Dog Sports

Summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Many dog training facilities will host dog sporting events for both experts and amateurs. If you have a smart dog that’s up for a challenge, they might enjoy training for dog agility courses, dock diving, or frisbee events.

Dog sports are a great form of exercise and are excellent boredom busters for dogs. They’re also good bonding experiences for dogs and their owners and are sure to create some fun memories for you both.

Border collie dog doing agility training in the backyard
Image Credit: Kamil Macniak, Shutterstock

5. Host a Doggy Barbeque Party

Barbeques are a summer staple, but regular barbeques may not be the safest for dogs. Many condiments and burger toppings can be harmful to dogs or at least cause them to get an upset stomach. So, many dogs will appreciate having a barbeque party just for them. They’ll enjoy having meaty dog treats with smoky flavors. If you want to fire up your grill, you can cook cuts of lean meat. Just be sure to keep them dog-safe by refraining from putting any seasoning on them, especially garlic and onion, and serve the meat fully cooked and in moderation.

6. Make Dog-Friendly Ice Cream

Regular ice cream often makes dogs sick because of the dairy and high sugar and fat content. Fortunately, you can make your own dog-friendly ice cream, and most recipes are super easy to make.

Dog-friendly ice cream isn’t just a tasty summer treat. It can help your dog stay cool and hydrated. It’s often a good idea to have some dog-friendly ice cream in your freezer during the summer so that you can quickly whip one out when your dog is panting and trying to cool down.

senior dog licking a peanut butter popsicle
Image Credit: Merrimon Crawford, Shutterstock

7. Get a Summer Haircut

Give your dog a fresh summer look by taking them to the groomer. Trimming down your dog’s hair can help some dogs stay cool and make brushing your dog much easier for you. So, you can spend more time having fun in the sun instead of untangling and removing mats from your dog’s coat.

Just keep in mind that not all dogs will benefit from getting a haircut, and trimming some types of hair coats can lead to issues with regrowing the hair. A dog’s coat also protects their skin from sunburn and insect bites. Therefore, it’s important to keep your dog’s coat at an appropriate length and never shave it down to a very short length. Talk to your veterinarian or groomer to find out if your dog is a good candidate for a summer trim.

8. Go on a Road Trip

Many dogs enjoy car rides without caring about the destination. They can enjoy the breeze from an open window and explore the new sights and smells throughout your journey. Most of all, they’ll love being able to just spend time with you.

When planning a road trip with a dog, make sure to invest in some high-quality travel equipment. A dog seat belt or car seat will help keep them safe, and it’s important to map out your route with plenty of rest stops so that your dog can stretch their legs and take potty breaks.

happy cute dog in the car
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

9. Plant a Dog-Friendly Vegetable Garden

We’ll be honest—you’ll probably do most of the work here, but some dogs might be active participants if they enjoy digging. Dogs can enjoy a wide variety of vegetables, and vegetables are both nutritious and low-calorie snacks that they can munch on at any time of day.

Some common garden vegetables that dogs enjoy eating include green beans, pumpkin, carrots, and zucchini. Onions and all other plants in the Allium family are toxic to dogs, so make sure to avoid planting them in your garden.

10. Have a Picnic

A picnic is an excellent low-key and low-effort activity that you and your dog can enjoy. All you need is a cozy blanket and some of your favorite snacks, and you’re ready to go. You can visit your favorite parks or just relax on your lawn.

If you’re feeling really fancy, you can prepare a dog-friendly charcuterie board. Your dog will also appreciate it if you pack some toys, tennis balls, and frisbees for them to chase while they’re outside.

couple having a picnic with their dog
Image Credit: Zadorozhna Natalia, Shutterstock

dogster face divider


We hope our list has inspired you to explore new places with your dog during the summer. Since many activities are outdoors, make sure you always bring water to keep both you and your dog hydrated. It’s also important to be mindful of the temperature and refrain from doing anything too strenuous when it’s exceptionally hot outside. Staying safe will ensure you and your dog can enjoy many happy days together and make this summer a memorable one.

Featured Image Credit: Kasefoto, Shutterstock

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