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Fun Things to Do with Your Dog This Summer


The warmer, longer days of summer are ideal for spending quality time with your dog. Heading outside comes with the added bonus of exercise and fresh air. If you’re sick of the old fetch routine, why not mix it up with these fun things to do with your dog this summer?

The suggestions come from some of Australia’s leading pet experts. Beyond helping to protect your dog with your choice of pet insurance, you’ll also get their top tips on safety. It’s time to get outdoors with your dog!

A Trip to the Seaside: DogTech

One of Australia’s dog behaviour experts, DogTech provides expert training, instruction, and management techniques. Changing a pet’s behaviour is less about discipline and more about building a positive relationship, says Richard McDonald, master trainer of DogTech.

He suggests a trip to the beach as not only a great activity to enjoy with dogs, but also an opportunity to reinforce constructive traits.

‘At the beach always keep your dog on the lead until you reach the designated off lead area,’ says Richard. ‘Dogs get excited going to the beach just as we do.’ He adds that certain behavioural patterns, such as pulling on leads, jumping up at people, particularly at small children and elderly people, need to be curtailed for excitable pets.

Safe fun in the sun: At the beach, it is important to keep your dog calm, says Richard, and supply plenty of water. Keep an eye on your dog at the beach, they are likely to run into areas where there may be dangers. This includes deep water, currents, and unfamiliar bushland.

Jetset with Your Pet: Jetpets

‘Summer means holidays,’ says Jetpets. ‘As pets are part of the family, why not take your best friend on vacation with you?’ Jetpets specialises in the transport of pets of any shape and size, including dogs. Whether transporting interstate or overseas, the company focuses on the comfort, safety, and welfare of your pet.

Distance need not be a barrier when looking to have fun with your dog on holidays. Jetpets Holidays take care of everything, from booking flights for the whole family, to organising pet travel crates, accommodation, transfers/car hire and other pet services.

They can help you organise a luxury urban escape or relaxed country retreat. Jetpets advises to make sure you can enjoy all the perks of your holidays with your best friend by researching dog-friendly restaurants and cafés.

Safe fun in the sun: Whether you’re heading down the road or further afield, Jetpets advises to make sure that your pet is microchipped. It can also help keep them safe if all their details are up to date, so if anything goes amiss all the correct information is at hand.

Enjoy Sharing a Meal: The Commons Local Eating House

Summer gives you the opportunity to eat out accompanied by your dog at pet-friendly locations such as The Commons Local Eating House. This Sydney establishment says venues such as theirs enable dog-owners to enjoy cocktails, lunch, dinner or brunch while their pups relax and cool down with a refreshing drink of water.

If you are planning on dining with your pet, The Commons Local Eating House advises that there are a few things to remember to make your café visit enjoyable for all concerned – including other patrons. However, with a little training, your day can be a pleasant and memorable experience.

Safe fun in the sun: Your dog should see the visit as a quiet time, should not be fed direct from the table, and should not approach other dogs or customers, say the hospitality experts. Puppucino anyone?

Head out on a Hike: The National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF)

The NDTF suggests that spending time outdoors can be beneficial for both you and your dog. So why not find a dog-friendly hike you can enjoy together this summer? Established in 1993, NDTF now provides nationally-recognised qualifications for dog trainers. They also provide on-going education in many specialist fields of dog behaviour.

‘There are some great dog-friendly mountain ranges around,’ says NDTF. ‘Set off on a trail, see some great sights and be at one with nature.’ They do warn that if you’re enjoying a fun activity with your dog in a public area you should always be aware of your surroundings and be careful of wildlife.

Safe fun in the sun: Exercise and being at one with nature can be great for both you and your dog, but you will need to take precautions. ‘Make sure you bring plenty of water on your adventures,’ say NDTF, ‘stop for shade breaks, and have your dog fully vaccinated for complete assurance.’

Head out on a Hike: The National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF)

The NDTF suggests that spending time outdoors can be beneficial for both you and your dog. So why not find a dog-friendly hike you can enjoy together this summer? Established in 1993, NDTF now provides nationally-recognised qualifications for dog trainers. They also provide on-going education in many specialist fields of dog behaviour.

‘There are some great dog-friendly mountain ranges around,’ says NDTF. ‘Set off on a trail, see some great sights and be at one with nature.’ They do warn that if you’re enjoying a fun activity with your dog in a public area you should always be aware of your surroundings and be careful of wildlife.

Safe fun in the sun: Exercise and being at one with nature can be great for both you and your dog, but you will need to take precautions. ‘Make sure you bring plenty of water on your adventures,’ say NDTF, ‘stop for shade breaks, and have your dog fully vaccinated for complete assurance.’

Hydrotherapy and Fun in the Water: Clever Creatures

Perth-based Clever Creatures runs puppy and dog training courses with the aim to improve the relationship between pets and their family. The company also runs seminars and events for dog owners, with the emphasis on how to boost trust between owner and pet, as well as courses in Behaviour Adjustment Training (BAT) to improve fearful or reactive behaviour.

Sarah McMullen of Clever Creatures explains that taking your dog for a swim at the dog pool is ideal for all types of dogs young and old. It’s a great physical exercise for all dogs and is non-weight-bearing. It’s also suitable for dogs that are not comfortable being around other dogs as you should be able to book the time you want.

Most dog pools are undercover so there’s no need to worry about sunburn and usually have a separate entry and exit door so that dogs don’t need to cross paths between bookings.

Safe fun in the sun: Sarah warns that when taking a dog to the pool it helps to train safe behaviour by getting the dog to step in, rather than just jumping in. Only throw the water toy for them once they are in the water to avoid falls or slips into the pool which may cause injury.

For additional safety Sarah recommends floaty vests for puppies or dogs that may be new to swimming, muscular or heavy breeds and any dog with an injury.

Stroll on the Beach: Naturopathic Animal Services

As the name suggests, Naturopathic Animal Services looks to naturopathic solutions to care for your dog. Dog Naturopath Sar Rooney practices science-based animal naturopathy and she also teaches animal nutrition and natural animal health for the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation.

Like some of our other experts, Sar agrees on the advantages of outdoor dog activities like a walk or swim at a dog-friendly beach. ‘My dogs and I love smelling the wonderful, fresh, salt air,’ says Sar, ‘and I enjoy watching the pelicans and seagulls glide in gracefully to land on the ocean.’

Safe fun in the sun: Sar advises to watch out for sunburn when you take your dog outside. Your dog’s nose and ears may be particularly susceptible, especially if they have pale skin. Sar recommends using specially adapted dog sunscreen to help prevent this occurring.

Water Play: Vet’s All Natural

Vet’s All Natural provides a range of diets and supplements that focus on the health of dogs. The company’s products support the holistic views of founder Dr Bruce Syme.

‘Like all pet owners, I enjoy spending time outside with my dogs,’ says Dr Syme. He suggests creating a bit of a splash with your pet. Incorporating water into playtime is not only a fun activity to enjoy with your dog, but could also help your dog regulate their temperature.

A simple blow-up children’s pool or clam shell can be a great way to play with your dog in the backyard while keeping them cool.

Safe fun in the sun: Dr Syme advises that dogs cannot perspire, so allowing them to enjoy outdoor activities early in the morning and late at night is safer. If they’re outside during the day, make sure to keep them well hydrated.

Let them Loose: Petology

Online pet store Petology specialises in quality pet accessories for a range of pets. You can find collars, leads and pet food, as well as medication and grooming products at the online store. The owners of Petology live on the Mornington Peninsula where there’s an abundance of parks and beautiful beaches to have fun at.

They recommend taking a leaf out of their book and taking your dog to a leash-free park to let them enjoy the open air and get some exercise. These parks are a great spot for meeting new friends, for both you and your pet. Pack a ball to make the trip even more enjoyable.

Safe fun in the sun: If you’re out and about in the great outdoors, don’t forget to groom your dog, warns Petology. Reduce the risk of troublesome matted hair, with a good comb and brush after a walk or swim.

Pooch Paddle Boarding: The Dog Effect

Taking time out with your dog is one of the best treats, says the team at The Dog Effect. The company specialises in making your dog as happy and healthy as possible through dog activities such as games or training. They say that as ‘dogs enrich our lives in so many ways, the least we can do is make their lives the best that we can.’

One of their favourite activities with their dog is paddle boarding! ‘Not only is it a lot of fun,’ says The Dog Effect, ‘it’s a great way to spend time together and for you to both get some exercise.’

Safe fun in the sun: They recommend a life-jacket for your dog, with a handle to help them get back on the board in case of an accident. Also, remember to carry water if you are paddle boarding with your dog for long distances.

Bush Walking: Full Stride Canine Myofunctional Therapy and Nutrition

Full Stride is a canine health practice offering therapeutic massage, physical therapy and nutritional advice. Their aim is to keep dogs fit and healthy to help reduce the risk of injury or disease. They advise dog owners of the benefit of outdoor activities for dogs, particularly during the warmer months.

Full Strides owners have two senior dogs who love nothing more than going for leisurely bushwalks at dawn. They opt for a harness rather than collars to reduce the risk of injuring their necks or impeding their shoulder movement. They also advise that using a long lead means your dog will be free to wander and enjoy all the smells the route has to offer.

Safe fun in the sun: Full Stride advises warming up your dog’s muscles for 5-10 minutes before a long walk to help reduce the risk of soreness or injury. A gentle warm down after the dog activity of your choice could also help. Regular exercise is important for your dog to keep them in the best physical condition, says Full Stride.

Regular outdoor exercise could be a key factor in improving and maintaining your dog’s fitness.