As the dog days of summer roll to a close, now is the time to step outside and enjoy the last of our long, hot summer. Bounding off to the lake is a great way to spend a day or weekend with your dog. At LazyPaw Animal Hospitals in Frisco, Texas, we take our pups to the lake whenever we get the chance!
Go beyond a swim.
Boating and splashing around the lake are obvious choices for fun, but you can also take the excitement a step further by playing water games. These splashy activities are fun to play with your pup, and if they get good enough, they may even have the chance to compete.
Cruise the dog park
Many lakes have special off leash dog parks where dogs are welcome to wander and roam. If you visit a dog park, make sure your pet stays within the area for their appropriate size to keep themselves and other animals safe. Also make sure your pet is current on all pet vaccinations, including Bordetella. For more information about the “kennel cough” vaccine and whether your dog might be due.
Grab a bite.
Many restaurants are inviting dogs to dine these days, so take a break from the lake with a little lunch out. If restaurants have outdoor patios, they often welcome pups alongside patrons. Check online to see which restaurants may be open to seating your furry friend, or call ahead if rules are unclear. Our favorite local spot to take Sydney is One2One.
Check the calendar.
Lots of lakes are home to a variety of seasonal events, outdoor concerts and festivals that welcome pets. Some even cater specifically to dogs with booths from local and national food vendors, doggie wear designers, and other “paw-esome” gifts and pet friendly wares. Before you plan your day at the lake, check calendars online to see if anything special will be cooking that Fido might enjoy.
Go for a hike
Lakes don’t have to be all about the waterfront. Most lakes are surrounded with extensive hiking trails that range from easy peasy to sweat inducing. Take Fido for a long walk or trail run, then go for a splash afterward as a cool reward.
Even if you have the lake to yourself, keep your dog on a leash at all times unless they’re in the boundaries of a dog park. Lakes are usually remote enough to collect a menagerie of wildlife, including bears and other critters who may not take an instant liking to an off leash dog. Keeping Fido on the line will not only protect wild animals, it will protect your pet. Most wildlife will leave your dog alone , but leashes are still an important insurance policy for your pet.
Lake visits can be great for arthritis.
Swimming can help pups cope with arthritis pain. Always stick by your pet in the water if they’re not a strong swimmer, and consider investing in a special canine life vest to help them stay afloat.
For a beautiful story about how one man is helping his dog deal with arthritis through lake swimming, check out this article from the Huffington Post.