The Dog Days of Summer! by Dad Dog Zack Manko
Ah, summer is here. Time to fire up the grill, dig out the pool blankets, and crank the AC. Summer is an exciting time for pets and pet owners, including me and Sorsha. So get your coolers and picnic baskets ready for some summer tips and highlights.
Recreation is Essential
The best way to enjoy summer is, of course, by going outside. While heading to the beach or the fair are common summer pastimes, nothing beats going to the local park for some outdoor activities.
Luckily, July is National Parks and Recreation Month. Time spent out in nature is vital to the proper development and functioning of children, adults, and our furry friends. With that in mind, take some time to check out what parks are available near you. Better yet, consider visiting one of our country’s beautiful National Parks. It’s a great time for a road trip to visit and explore somewhere you’ve never been before!
Going outside is a blast, but be sure to take the proper precautions with your pet. This includes a strategy and contingency plan to follow if Fido goes missing. July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month, and with good reason - more pets go missing during this month than any other. This is in part due to owners not being responsible or careful when they go outside.
Using a leash is one of the most basic precautions you can take, and is often required in many public spaces. Consider getting your animal micro-chipped as well, so that you can track them if they go missing. Good obedience training is another step you can take to ensure that your pet has a blast with you AND comes home happy too.
National Pet Hydration Awareness Month
Enjoying the hot weather? Sorsha and I have been, in small doses. With her double coat and my general disdain for environments that don’t have air conditioning, we’ve been taking short excursions into the yard to play, then heading back inside to pant and cool off.
While staying cool is important during July’s high temperatures, so too is staying hydrated. In fact, July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. Created by PetSafe, the organization encourages pet owners to be aware of their companions’ water intake during the hot summer months. You can help your pet by keeping their water bowl full, tracking how often you fill it (and consequently how much they have been drinking), and keeping fresh water outside for your pets.
One of my favorite tricks is to give my pet an ice cube to chew on. They are often playfully confused by it at first, and the results tend to be adorable. Oh, and don’t forget to drink a bottle of water yourself too!
Remember, summer is for fun and recreation. The word literally means that we are “re-creating” ourselves. All the stress from work and the events of the world put wear and tear on your mind, body, and soul. Spending some time with your loved ones and pets outside is a great way to recharge your batteries, to reforge yourself into a happy and wise person.
You and your dog will be all the better for it. Enjoy your summer!