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