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7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Happy This Summer

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The kids are on vacation from school, and you’re taking time off work. That’s what summer is all about.

But doesn’t the dog also deserve a little warm-weather R&R?

Of course! Summer is a great time to let your puppy have a little extra fun in the sun.

Just remember to do it safely. As the American Kennel Club (AKC) reminds you:

Hot weather can make anyone feel uncomfortable, and your dog is no exception.

The AKC offers tips for keeping your dog safe this summer, including keeping them hydrated, getting them microchipped, updating their vaccinations, and talking to your vet about flea, tick and heart-worm prevention. (And if you plan to travel with your dog this summer, you may want to read about how much it costs to fly your pet on every major U.S. airline.)

The following are seven ideas for keeping your pooch happy — and healthy — during the “dog days of summer.”

1. Take Your Dog to the Beach

Just like people, most dogs love to splash around on a hot summer day. So, let your pup dip their paws in the sand. PetFriendlyTravel.com has a list of puppy-friendly beaches throughout the U.S. you may consider visiting. (If you decide to travel to one of these beaches, you may want to consider using one of the best travel credit cards in America to help pay for your trip. Just remember, high credit card balances can hurt your credit.)

If you don’t live near the ocean or a lake, consider turning on the sprinklers for your own at-home water fun.

2. Build a Dog Obstacle Course

In many parts of the country, people and pooches spend the colder months cooped up indoors, so it’s no wonder you’d want to spend every possible moment outside in summer. Build a dog obstacle course, and you and your pup can get a little exercise in the fresh air. You can find tips for building a course on a budget on sites like Cesar’s Way, and the DIY Network has more detailed instructions for a three-part agility course featuring a climbing wall, teeter-totter and weave sticks.

3. Whip Up Some ‘Pupsicles’

After all that running around, your pup is probably ready for a “pop.” There are many different types of frozen dog treats you can make that can help keep your best friend cool after a hot summer day of fun.

Modern Dog magazine has recipes for everything from frozen fruit to chicken-broth pops.

4. Dine Out With Your Dog

A frozen treat is fine, but doesn’t your furry family member deserve to be with you as you hit the town?

You can find dog-friendly restaurants on sites like BringFido.com. DogFriendly.com also has a guide to pooch-perfect eateries in the U.S. and Canada. Bone appétit!

5. Head Off to Summer Camp

Many states have summer camps especially geared toward having fun with your best furry friend. Examples include:

  • Camp Dogwood: Illinois, Wisconsin
  • Camp Unleashed: Massachusetts, Georgia
  • Happy Tails Daycamp for Dogs: Michigan
  • Maian Meadows Dog Camp: Washington

Can’t find a dog camp in your state? Then perhaps you can take your pup camping. You can check out sites like BringFido.com to help you locate a dog-friendly campground.

6. Hit a Hiking Trail

Hiking can be one of the best and most enjoyable forms of summer exercise. That’s as true for dogs as it is for people. Just about everybody is close enough to a hiking trail where you can spend hours of free and healthful fun with your four-legged best pal.

Just make sure to keep your dog hydrated and to clean up after them. And, after your hike, be sure to check your pet for pests like ticks that might have hitched a ride.

7. Jog with Your Dog

You look forward to your daily run, and your canine companion will too. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to burn extra energy and calories. If your pooch seems disinterested or a little unwieldy at first, don’t give up. According to Health.com:

Even if you think your dog is too hyper or too poorly behaved to jog alongside you, he may just need some training and some time to get used to it.

What is your favorite way to have summer fun with your dog? Let us know in the comments.

[Editor’s Note: Whatever you do with your pup this summer, remember that careful budgeting can help you avoid letting your dog’s activities harm your finances or put you in credit card debt. You can see how what you spend on your pet is impacting your credit by taking a look at two of your free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com.]

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