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September 4, 2020

How to Give Your Dog The Best Summer Ever

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Like many summer seasons before, this one is flying by faster than I’d like it to. Our summers are fairly short here in the Midwest which is why I think it’s extra important to soak it up as much as possible before it’s gone. My absolute favorite thing about the summertime is getting to enjoy the outdoors more thanks to the warmer weather and extended daylight. As you can imagine, my dog Leo also loves the extra time spent outside enjoying fun activities from long walks around the neighborhood to going swimming at a lake. It’s important to me that my dog is enjoying the season just as much as I am which is why I am excited to share seven ways to make sure you are giving your dog the best possible summer this year.

#1 Keep them protected

The most important step in giving your dog their very best summer is making sure you are doing your part to keep them safe. Giving your dog flea and tick medicine is pretty common knowledge these days and definitely not something to overlook.

Worms and other intestinal parasites are also every day health risks to be aware of to keep your dog safe in outdoor environments like the dog park. The DogPARCS Study conducted by Oklahoma State University in collaboration with Elanco Animal Health and IDEXX showed that 85% of the 30 dog parks studied in the U.S. had at least one case of a worm and/or intestinal parasite. This means that approximately one in five dogs were sadly infected with a type of worms or giardia. Did you know that whipworm and hookworm are two of the most prevalent worms in young dogs, ages 1-3 years? There are approximately 76 million pet dogs in the U.S. and more than 15 million of them could be at risk of spreading worms or other intestinal parasites each day. Check out the infographic below from Elanco Animal Health to learn how you can help prevent the spread of worms.

#2 Get outside every day

Now that you have made sure your dog is protected, it’s time to get outside! I don’t know about your dog but mine wouldn’t trade time outside for anything (ok, maybe chicken) and some of his favorite outdoor activities include playing fetch, going on walks around the block, checking out new nature trails, and safely visiting a dog park.

#3 Keep them cool

The summer months can get very hot and humid all over the U.S. so it’s important to make sure your dog does not overheat. Even short periods left unattended in direct sunlight can be life-threatening to your dog so I recommend keeping an eye on them at all times when they are outside or giving them access to a doggy door they can independently use to come inside when needed. If you do choose to take your dog outside, bringing along a water bottle for them is a must! Providing them with a cold, hard floor or cooling mat when they return back inside is also a great idea to help them cool down. When the heat conditions become too intense, try to keep your dog in the air conditioning and find indoor alternatives to keep them busy and stimulated.

#4 Play in water

If your dog loves water like mine does, creating opportunities for them to play in the water is so much fun! Dog-friendly beaches, lakes, and rivers are all great options for your dog to get experience in deeper waters. I suggest having your dog wear a life jacket even if they are a great swimmer just to be safe with strong waves, rapids, and undertows. Small kid-sized pools and sprinklers are great backyard options that your dog is sure to enjoy.

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#5 Give them some new summer toys

The longevity of Leo’s toys gets longer the older he gets (thank goodness) but it’s still fun to add some seasonal toys to his collection a few times a year. There are SO many cute summer-themed plush toys that I’m obsessed with as well as some great outdoor toys and some puzzle toys that help keep your dog busy indoors. I have linked a few of my favorites below.

#6 Make pupsicles for a cold treat

Making Leo special treats is such fun for me and I know he loves it too! 😉 Pupsicles, aka dog-friendly popsicles, are incredibly easy to make and are an easy way to surprise your dog with a sweet treat. You can purchase some in-expensive popsicle molds here or find a freezer-friendly container around your house. The easiest recipe I have tried is to just pour chicken broth into the mold and freeze them for at least 24 hours. So easy and so fun!


#7 Capture your memories

A recent Elanco pet study also found that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the long-term relationship between dogs and their owners. The study shows that we are not only spending more time with our dogs, but a strong majority are becoming more emotionally bonded with their dog during this time. This has also led to dog owners pampering their dogs more with toys and treats as well as increasing their spending on OTC medication and supplements.

Spending all this extra time with my dog Leo is so special to me. I do not miss the sad look on his face when I used to leave him home alone as I left for work and I want to take full advantage of this time with him. That is why I think it’s so important to capture the memories being made with your pets this summer. If you love social media as much as I do you can even plan a mini photoshoot for you and your dog. Take a look at my photos below for inspiration and tag me if you decide to have your own dog mom or dad photoshoot.

We are living in a crazy time but there are still many ways to make it special and I can’t think of a better way to soak up the summer season than making memories with our pets. Who knows what next summer will hold so keep your dog protected, go make some memories, and don’t forget to pull out your camera to document this season!

Thank you to Elanco for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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