Wrap-Up Summer with One Last Romp

It’s hard to believe but the dog days of summer are almost over. Don’t worry, though! Even with the first day of fall just around the corner, there’s still time to pack in some fun in the sun with your best four-legged pal. Here are five fun ideas to consider:

1. Attend a dog-friendly event

Capture the last of summer’s rays by taking your furry friend along to a dog-friendly event or festival. Some, like the Seminole Heights Pup Crawl in Tampa Bay, Florida, even cater to the canine contingent. This can be a terrific chance to leash up your furry friend and spend some time strolling along, having fun and meeting other animal lovers.

Before you head out, however, make sure that pets are permitted. Also, only take your dog if he or she enjoys being in a crowd. For some, the sights, sounds and smells can be a little overwhelming.

2. Pitch a tent

Camping is a terrific way to spend some uninterrupted quality time with your four-legged buddy. And once school is back in session, along with after-school activities, many campgrounds and other recreational areas become quieter and less crowded.

If you really like to rough it, you can camp for free on undeveloped land in many national forests. The district forest service office can suggest suitable spots. If you like a little more luxury, RV parks may be the way to go. Just investigate their pet policies beforehand to ensure your pup is welcome.

3. Run for a Cause

Many organizations host their 5K’s and fun runs during the waning days of the sunny season. So if you and your pup enjoy a joint jog, look into opportunities in your area that also welcome doggie participants.

If your dog isn’t used to running (or walking) that far, be sure to start taking longer walks/runs in the days or weeks leading up to the event. Also, always take his stamina, age and health into consideration when deciding on which run to participate in.

4. Grab a bite

Take advantage of the still-warm days and evenings by dining al fresco with Fido. More and more restaurants are welcoming, and even encouraging, four-legged patrons on their patios. At a minimum, many provide bowls of water while some go the extra mile by offering dedicated doggy menus.

Before pulling up a chair, however, get approval from restaurant management and then, if possible, choose a spot tucked away from other diners. Keep an eye on your dog and if he becomes agitated or unruly, ask for the check.

5. Join a canine meet-up

Now’s the perfect time to make some new friends (both human and canine) before the shorter, colder days of fall and winter kick in. While the dog park is usually the first thing to come to mind, there are other options for socialization.

Check out MeetUp.com to see if there are any organized dog walks or play groups in your area. If not, it’s fairly simple to put one together based on your dog’s size, breed or temperament. And who knows? You might just make some human friends of your own!