(for those experiencing Summer in the world)
6 Summer Activities for You and Your Dog
By Ryan Joseph
Summer time is often a lonely one for pets. While we spend the day at the pool or doing other fun activities, pets are often left cooped up indoors.
Why not find ways to incorporate your dog into your summer fun? After all, dogs are wonderful outside companions not only for individuals, but for the entire family. Read below for some summer fun tips.
Hide and Seek. A good, old fashioned game of hide and seek is always fun. Whether you’re in your backyard or in a national park, hide and seek stimulates your dog, giving him a chance to exercise his mental and scenting abilities. Put your dog in a sit/stay position, run off and find a hiding space, then call him so he can find you. You can play inside as wellâ€”you know those rainy days when your dog is so happy you’re home with him. And if you want to keep it simple, you can always go with a good old game of tagâ€”dog tag, if you will.
Agility. Agility has become an American dog eventâ€”somewhat like soccer is to Europe and baseball is to America. Dog owners travel from agility event to agility event out of love for this sport that stimulates the body and the mind. A handler is given a set amount of time to direct a dog through an obstacle course that includes hoops, tunnels and jumps. Agility can be set up in your own home. Lay a broom handle on flower pots and let your dog jump over the handle. Hang an old tire from a thick tree limb and teach your dog how to run through it. To find out more about agility, call a local trainer, search on the web or buy a DVD. Train your dog to be an agility champion and don’t forget healthy rewards.
Swimming. Invite your dog on your next swimming trip. Dogs will swim in any body of waterâ€”ponds, oceans, puddles even! Another alternative is to put a child’s pool in your backyard. Regardless of what body of water you choose, dogs are lovers of water.
Enjoy the great outdoors. Let your dog accompany you hiking, horseback riding or bicycling. In the case with horseback riding and biking, a leash can be a disaster so we prefer you let your dog loose in those cases, providing he or she is well trained and will not stray. A simple walk on the beach is excellent for your pet’s tendons, ligaments and leg muscles. Just be sure your dog is wearing a current ID.
Go for a ride. Dogs just love being in the car. If you’re running a quick errand like putting letters in a post box, picking up the dry cleaning at a drive through window, or picking your child up from summer camp, let him come along for the ride. Never leave your dog in the car alone even for a few minutes.
Teach something new. Even well-trained dogs can learn something new. Why not involve the family in a summer learning project with your pet? For instance, there’s carting. It’s great exercise for your adult dog and children love it! Teach your dog how to pull a size-appropriate cart. The cart can be small, holding just a teddy bear inside. There are plenty of books and web sites on carting and other activities. There are also carting events. The first step is educating yourself before you attempt to educate your pet.
There’s a great book called “97 Ways to Make Your Dog Smile.” Jenny Langbehn, the veterinary nurse who wrote the book has some great ideas to get that back leg shaking. For instance, No. 1 is blowing bubbles for your dog to chase. No. 60 is playing treat hide and seek.
Ryan Joseph is a write and researcher. Info about Premium Dog Food from Life’s Abundance can be found at http://www.dog-food-nutrition.com
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