Although summer may be drawing to a close for most, I’ve just come back from a week in Crete so I’m still clinging on to the last few weeks of summer. That means I’ll be making the most of the long days by spending the weekends adventuring with my other half and the dogs. Although we love getting out and exploring the depths of the wilderness, it isn’t exactly possible with the dogs, especially since Roley’s ACL injury. As a result, our summer adventures have wound up being slightly closer to home which inspired us to write this post all about how you can enjoy adventures in your hometown with your dogs… and how you can do it safely!
Disclaimer: this post has been written in collaboration with Petplan as part of a part advertisement. However, all thoughts and words remain that of my own (as always!)
Our Ideal Day Out With The Dogs
The perfect day out with the dogs looks something like this: countryside and green rolling hills for as far as the eye can see, the soothing sound of a nearby lake and two overly-excited dogs in tow.
Without a doubt, getting outdoors with the dogs is my perfect way to spend a summers day with my dogs. I love the outdoors and my dogs loving nothing more than being able to run wild in the countryside. We’re lucky to live an hours-drive away from the Lake District which is filled with lots of hills, lakes and forested spots, perfect for two hyper dogs.
Take Your Dog to the Lake District For a Hike
The Lake District is overflowing with beautiful fells, rolling hills and lakes, as it’s name suggests! It’s one of our favourite places to visit all-year round and when possible, we love taking the dogs over to the Lake District for a day-trip. Windermere is always a great choice for a dog friendly day out. Whilst hiking in the Lake District, you’ll come across plenty of fell walkers who have taken to the hills with their dogs. Coniston, Cat Bells and Haystacks are just a select few hikes that are thoroughly enjoyed by dog walkers and hikers.
If you plan to take your dog on a long hike, it’s important to take make sure you know how to take good care of your dog and keep them safe whilst out and about. Roley’s ACL flare up means he hasn’t been able to go on many long walks this summer period. Roley’s ACL injury is one of the reasons why I’m grateful we have insurance. Whilst I hope it never gets so bad that he needs surgery, I’m thankful knowing that if he does need an operation later down the line it’s something his insurance will help cover.
I fully recommend getting your dog insured, if you haven’t dont so already, especially if you plan to go out on hikes and big adventures where there could be risk of injury. Petplan work solely with pets, and have done so far over 40 years, so they’re a great starting point for getting a quote for dog insurance.
When we do manage to go on a long walk, we always pack some kibble and water for the dogs (with a bowl, of course) so they can stay hydrated and well-fed.
Top Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool
The heat is one of, if not the most important thing to consider when taking your dogs out in the summer. The first thing to note is that if it seems like it’s too hot for you then it’s definitely too hot for your dogs. You should always test the pavement with your hand before heading out for your walk. If the pavement is too hot on your hand then it’ll be way too hot for your dogs paws.
If it’s a hot day but still cool enough to walk your dog, make sure you keep an eye on them throughout the walk to make sure they aren’t getting a little hot under the collar (or so to speak!). Ideally, walk them early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler outside. A great way to keep your dog cool on a walk is to take a spray bottle filled with water so you can spritz them with some water to help them retain a low body temperature and stay cool along the walk.
Before the walk, you could pop their collar in the freezer for 30 minutes. When you fasten it around their neck again, the cooler temperature should help keep them nice and cool outside. You can also try this with their favourite tennis ball or buy special cooling dog toys which will have a similar effect, letting your pup stay cool whilst playing catch or fetch on-the-go.
For more tips on keeping your dog safe in the summer, Petplan have put together a hub of pet summer safety tips to offer lots of important advice.
Visit The Beach With Your Pups
The beach is something that I always take for granted. Living in a seaside town, I definitey don’t venture out to the seafront as much as I should do. But whenever I do t take a stroll along the seafront, it always reminds me that it’s something I should do more often. I love the promenade in the summer time. It’s bustling with tourists, families and the more-than-usual drunken group enjoying their holidays which makes for perfect people-watching and fills the town with a happy vibe.
Roley, my Dalmatian, adores the beach. Mainly because it gives him the chance to sprint up and down the beach (or so it did before he injured his ACL…) and if we aren’t fast enough to grab him, it also means he can try his luck at snaffling sausages from nearby barbecuers!
Before heading to the beach with your pooch, it’s a good idea to first check that dogs are welcome there. Sometimes, especially during high-season, beaches may implement a no-dogs allowed rule. If your dog is allowed on the beach then happy days, you can spend the day watching your dog frolick in the sea and roll in the sandy shore….until it’s time to endure a drive home with a wet, sand-coated, and likely panting, dog as your passenger.
When deciding to take your dog to the beach, be sure to pack a towel so you can try to dry them off before jumping back in the car. If your dog is a keen swimmer, make sure you keep an eye on them whilst they’re in the water. Make sure they don’t swim out too far and once they’ve had enough fun swimming, be sure to let them rest and provide them with plenty of fresh water to rehydrate them.
Occasionally, there are reports of a toxic blue-green algae in the waters or potential oil leaks on the beach. Because of this, we always read up on the local news and updates for our nearby beach so we can be certain that it’s safe for our dogs before we go.
Enjoy a Stroll in The Park With Your Dog
Sometimes a stroll in your local park is just what you need to clear you mind after a busy week. One of our favourite places to go with the dogs for a longer walk is our local park or nature reserve. The park offers a variety of new smells, scents and atmospheres to get the dogs senses going wild, meaning they’ll be suitably calm by the time we get back home.
During the summer, the park is alive with the sound of laughter as families come together to play games in the park and enjoy the sunshine. As we walk around the park, we’ll take in all of the sights, stopping every now and again to soak in our surroundings and let the dogs have a break. The trees offer a great amount of shade too which is great for keeping the dogs cool and refreshed whilst walking.
Although the walk through the park is relaxing, we have to watch out for the geese! Our neighbourhood geese aren’t the friendliest (are any?!) and as a result, they get quite territorial when my curious puppers come sniffing around the lake wondering who their feather friends are. We always keep our dogs on their leads in the park to make sure we don’t have any nasty run-ins with other dogs or any of the wildlife. If, like my dogs, your pooch is stubborn when it comes to recall, I highly recommend keeping them on a lead to help prevent any stressful situations occuring!
Find a Dog Friendly Pub or Cafe
Something that we don’t do that often, but that I wish we did, is visit more dog-friendly eateries. The only reason we don’t go is that my dogs are fiends for food and no matter how nicely I try to get them to sit at the table, they’ll most definitely drag me half-way across the establishment whilst trying to get someone’s leftovers…. trust me, it’s happened before.
However, there’s a huge variety of dog-friendly pubs and cafes out there so if your dog is far better behaved than my two horrors, I highly recommend it. In fact, I insist you take your dog to all of the dog cafes so I can live vicariously through you! Some cafes will even have specific dog menus featuring pupcake and pupuchinos so if you’re nearby to an actual dog cafe, you have to make sure it’s on your list!
Wherever you decide to take your dog for the last few weeks of summer, be sure to keep them safe in the sunshine and be prepared with food and water. Before you go anywhere, make sure your pet insurance is all up to date and covers them again any potential injuries or illness. At risk of putting a dampener on things, it’s always best to have pet insurance because it’s far better to pay a small amount of pounds per month and nothing happen than, god forbid, have something happen to an uninsured pet that will cost thousands of pounds.
Enjoy a fun summer-autumn transition and make the most of it by getting outdoors and exploring your local area with your dogs. If you have any top recommendations for dog-friendly days out, i’d love to hear them!