Tips for Making Outdoor Play Fun & Safe for Dogs

Posted on Jul 8 2016 - 12:35am by Susan Bewley

Want to know how to make playing outdoors safer for your dog this summer? Check out our safety tips & suggestions for summer dog toys here!

How many of you are spending more time outdoors with your dogs walking or playing with summer dog toys? I will freely admit, we bounce between high activity in our household, and lounging around due to it being a bit too hot outside. With Ivi and Rylie’s double coats, the heat can sometimes be a bit much for them, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t make outdoor time count as much as possible. The trick, from our experience, is making sure you aren’t just prepared, but make every minute of playtime count, with interactive toys and a safe play environment. Of course, to our dogs, playtime is more than just exercise, it is an awesome time where they get to get out of the house, stretch their legs, and have awesome bonding time with their humans. Luckily, it is fairly easy to make summer play as interactive as possible with fun summer dog toys and prep.

1.  Make Exercise Rewarding & Fun

To dogs, nothing is more fun than going out and exercising with their humans. Not only is it a lot of fun for your dog, it can be rewarding for you as well! Outdoor playtime strengthens the bond between an owner and their pet, while also allowing you to stimulate your dog with new toys and training exercises. In our household, we have been spending a lot of time recently playing fetch. While Ivi is pretty good at this game, Rylie is just starting to ‘get it’. In other words, she takes the ball, runs, and the humans encourage her to bring it back with some success. To make it more interesting for our dogs, we have turned fetch into an interactive, family game with the Chuckit! Sport LX Launcher System. This system allows humans to throw the balls back and forth (slobber free), while launching the ball fairly far for a great game of catch!

2. Play in the Morning or Evening

Just like us, it is recommended that dogs play in the morning or evening when it is cooler and there is less direct sunlight. For many of us who work during the day, this means we can really enjoy some extra light after work. More than likely, however, we are probably going to be playing as it starts to get dark, especially if we want it to be as cool as possible for our dogs. Just like during the winter months, consider playing with glow in the dark toys or even using a PetMate Glow in the Dark collar and leash to help your dog be more visible for yourself and people on the road in the event they should dart (especially with fireworks still going off in many areas, this can be important long after the Fourth of July!). In the yard, I personally use the ChuckIt! Lightplay line since they are great summer dog toys that glow in the dark.


3.  Avoid Hot Outdoor Surfaces

Do you know what is considered one of the most dangerous things for dogs outdoors every summer? Asphalt. Yup, your driveway, the road, and the sidewalk can actually lead to hundreds of dollars in vet bills. While the sidewalk is safe most of the year, it is actually a major problem during the summer months. For example, on an 87 degree day, the pavement can be as hot as 143 degrees! Since an egg can cook in 5 minutes at 131 degrees, just think of what this can do to your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Without going into too much graphic detail, it can easily cause severe burns.

To keep your dogs paws safe, avoid concrete as much as possible. Encourage your dogs to play in grassy areas and away from any surface that could be hot. If you are uncertain, feel the ground yourself. If it feels uncomfortable for you to touch, paws should stay off at all times. If this is impossible, consider purchasing boots for your dog. I personally use the Ruffwear Summit Trex if we will be somewhere that isn’t paw-safe, since they are designed for extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Ivi Boots

4. Always Have Water Available

While outdoor play can be a lot of fun, the heat can also be extremely dangerous to humans and dogs alike. Just like you, make sure there is plenty of water available for all the dogs playing outdoors. Even if it feels comfortable for you, remember your dog also has a built-in fur coat that is retaining heat (even if it’s not quite as thick as Ivi’s or Rylie’s). Keep a water fountain close by the play area and have it always filled with clean water. If you have more than one dog, have two or more water bowls available and filled (or one that is designed for multiple dogs).

Along with giving our dogs access to water, we also love having water toys available for the dogs to play with together or with the assistance of humans. Our dogs have recently started loving the ChuckIt! Hydro summer dog toys collects. All you have to do is fill these toys with water to give them a bit more access to extra water to cool or drink.

Rylie with Ball Toy

Want to check out the summer dog toys featured in this article? Check out ChuckIt on social media!

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DisclosureBudget Earth did not receive monetary compensation but did receive products for review purposes. This post may also contain affiliate links.  All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer & blogger who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not freelance or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth or on her own novel. Feel free to contact Susan for more information on how she can help your business.

25 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kaycee July 8, 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Great tips! I love the glow in the dark toys but mine never want to glow. Grr. LOL

  2. Nyx Nyx July 8, 2016 at 2:56 am - Reply

    i love dogs! I spend more time outdoors with my dogs walking and playing. This is a helpful post.

  3. Kim O July 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    i love the boots, so adorable

  4. Jerry Marquardt July 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I thank you so much for these really grand tips and pointers making life easier on both us and the pets. I wish everyone treated the pets like family

  5. katie July 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Love the idea of a glow in the dark toys or collar since we basically wait till it does cool down to play with our corgi outside.

  6. justin tan July 8, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    these are all fun tips!! thanks for sharing!!

  7. Barrie July 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    I need a glow in the dark ball and frisbee for my dog!

  8. Julie Davis July 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the great tips

  9. Calshondra Williams July 9, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    My furbaby loves playing outdoors and the tips were really useful. Thanks for the sharing.

  10. Terry Poage July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It is so important to have water for them and never leave them in the car.

  11. Agnes Dela Cruz July 12, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    This is a good list to go to this weekend and bring the dog for a weekend fun. Keeping our dogs hydrated and keeping an eye on them always.

  12. Judy Thomas July 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the great tips.We are looking at getting a dog when we move to a safer home next year.

  13. Whitney Fegett July 15, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Thank you for the awesome tips. I’m still trying to get my dog not to bark at everyone he sees. It’s hard to take him on a walk.

  14. KATE SARSFIELD July 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    It’s worth pointing out that some foods are lethal for dogs. My sister brings her crowd of rescue dogs that she re-homes up to our field every day but always phones ahead in case I’ve thrown leftovers, mushy fruit etc. out for the birds so I can quickly pick up the bits.

  15. Syn July 17, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    This is incredibly helpful, especially for new dog owners, so thank you!

  16. Rosie July 17, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

    In our area, dogs (even being walked by their owner) have been getting attacked by wolves, coyotes, large predator birds and bears. The bears have attacked when the dog was in the back yard, and was gone forever. Some have lost their pets, the towns recommend you do not walk them near woods and keep them on a leash (and wear you sneakers in case you have to run).

  17. Deb E July 17, 2016 at 11:59 am - Reply

    It’s been so hot out and smoggy from all the fires we’ve been having, that getting out early is the best way to get in a safe dog walk. It’s nice to get it out of the way and you have your exercise in for the day too.

  18. Ronald Gagnon July 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this list of tips..we have a big backyard and two crazy young Goldens

  19. Mia July 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. I always have to remind myself about how hot concrete surfaces can be for sensitive paws.

  20. Linda Manns Linneman July 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these great suggestions. Our dog is getting older and she doesn’t play as much as she used to. We continue to try though

  21. Sarah Osborne July 18, 2016 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Thanks for the great tips!

  22. Jo-Ann Brightman July 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    These are great tips for how to safely exercise dogs , especially when it is so hot.

  23. donna porter July 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    These are very useful tips. Our Fur Baby is just like our child and need to keep her safe!

  24. michele soyer July 24, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

    thank you for all your tips.. I love my dogs and let them play but have not thought of some of these things….

  25. Cindy S. September 27, 2016 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Great tips. Thank you. It’s so important for our dogs to get outside where they can run and play. We make a point of doing that every day.

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