Summer is the perfect time to take time off work and head out for an adventure! While many dog owners don’t think to take their dogs exploring with them, there are plenty of dog-friendly opportunities out there, so plan something unique.
If you are thinking about taking your Fido with you, remember to choose a trip that won’t be too strenuous for them. If your dog is older or has mobility issues, a short walk on the beach would be an ideal adventure. If your dog is young and active, a hike or swimming adventure may be more her speed.
You don’t even need to take time off of work to go adventuring with your pup this summer if you can’t afford to. Below mentioned dog-friendly trips can be done on weekends or days off during the week. Just make sure you’ve prepared your dog to endure the summer’s hot and humid weather, because heatstroke is a real danger for dogs now.
35 Best Summer Adventures to Have with Dogs
1. Head to the Beach
There are dog-friendly beaches abound all around the globe, so pack up a beach umbrella, a beach blanket, the sunscreen, plenty of water and a Frisbee and head out with your pet. Just make sure it’s not too hot, and hot sand will burn your pup’s feet.
2. Try the Mountains for Cooler Air
If you’re not a fan of the beach, the cooler mountain air is a great way to cool down. Prepare for a hiking trip with your pooch and ascend those mountain trails, visit waterfalls and streams, or take a dip in the river with your pup by your side.
3. Try Camping
Haven’t been camping in a while? Pack up your tent, a sleeping bag for you and your dog, a first aid kit and some bug spray, and a few camping supplies and off you go. Camping with dogs can be very rewarding, but just be sure that the campground you select is dog-friendly!
4. Go to a “Dog Day” at Your Baseball Stadium
Most baseball teams offer a “dog day” where fans can bring their well-behaved leashed dogs in to enjoy the game! If your dog fits the bill and you enjoy a good ballgame, head out, make new friends, and let your dog make new friends too! For more information and dates check GoPetFriendly.com site.
5. Take Your Dog to that New Ice Cream Joint
Have you been meaning to try that new ice cream joint across town? If they’re a dog-friendly location or have an outdoor patio, take your pup with you and order them a small scoop of vanilla! It’s the perfect way to cool down while getting out and about.
While ice cream in itself should not be part of your pet’s diet, an occasional serving will not hurt and is likely to enhance the summer adventure experience for the both of you. If you want to stay on a really safe side, you can make your own dog ice cream and bring it with you whenever you travel to.
6. Catch an Outdoor Movie Screening
While there are plenty of movies and TV shows to watch with your pooch at home, nothing beats the outdoors experience. Outdoor movies often play at art museums or local gathering places and they’re the perfect destination for you and your dog. Grab a picnic blanket, a few snacks, some cold water, and keep your pup on a leash and you’re good to go!
7. Take Your Dog to a Street Fair
Street fairs are all over the place during the spring and summer months. From local artists selling their wares to food festivals to outdoor markets, get your dog on a leash and go explore!
8. Take a Staycation in a Dog-Friendly Hotel
Not thrilled with the idea of heading out of town, but need a vacation anyway? Make a reservation in a local dog-friendly hotel and enjoy room service and a movie with your pup! Staying in a fancy hotel with your dog(s) is an experience that every pet owner must try at least once in their lifetime.
9. Take a Road Trip Together, Anywhere!
Love to drive? Grab a crash-tested dog harness, seat belt, dog car seat or even a crate for your pup and load up. Roll down the windows, enjoy the breeze and hit the open road. Have a destination in mind or simply stop when you get somewhere you like, it’s just you and your dog.
10. Go to the Farmers Market
Check the rules of the local farmer’s market and if dogs are allowed, get up early and take a stroll before the heat of the day. Take advantage of a great opportunity to get fresh local foods and to let your dog meet and greet new friends!
11. Check out Dog-Friendly State Parks
Most state parks are dog-friendly and make a great daily outing; just make sure you follow all the laws for pet owners. Stay in the shade, pack a hiking pack with plenty of water, buy a cooling vest for your dog, and explore as many state parks as you can! Make it a goal to hit them all with your dog in tow.
12. Go Stargazing
Still finding it too hot outside? Wait until sundown and head out to go stargazing. Pack up a blanket, maybe a mini picnic, load your dog in the car and head to the highest point in town! Your dog will love the fresh air and you will enjoy the break from technology.
13. Try the Drive-In Movie Theater
If outdoor movies is not an option or your not sure about your dog’s manners yet, then try hitting the drive-in movie theater instead! Fresh popcorn, a good movie, windows down, and a new environment makes for a nice change for you both.
14. Go Boating
Have a boat or have a friend who does? Arrange a weekend on the lake with your dog, which he is sure to appreciate. Follow all the dog boating safety tips to avoid any issues. It’s one of the more unique summer adventures that pet owners often forget to try, while others ignore the safety requirements.
Pack up your dog’s life vest and head out on the water. If you have a boat, make sure to buy or rent a water ramp so your dog can enjoy the experience even more. Your dog will love the freedom to swim and the break from the rat race will give you a fresh outlook on life.
15. Eat on the Patio of That New Dog-Friendly Restaurant
Looking for a short adventure to take with your pup? Check out that new dog-friendly restaurant in town! Relax on the patio, enjoy good food, and maybe even make a few new friends while you’re there. With the rise of pet ownership in the U.S., there’s a new pet-friendly restaurant opening every month in most major cities.
16. Try a Dog-Owner Yoga Class
A new, but popular craze, dog and owner yoga classes – otherwise known as Doga – are starting up nationwide. This is the perfect opportunity to wind down from the stress of your work week and exercise while bonding with your dog, and reap the health benefits.
17. Rent a Canoe and Hit the River
Do you and your dog both love being in the water? If you’re up for canoeing, head to a local river, put on your life vests, rent a canoe and explore the waters.
Most dogs enjoy the experience of being around the water, just make sure to secure them with a life jacket. Also remember to prepare well, and check in with the rental company before you go down to make sure they allow dogs in their rentals.
18. Check Out a Dog-Friendly Winery
Here’s something most wouldn’t consider: wine tasting experience with your dog. Many wineries are dog-friendly and some even welcome dogs with their own dog-friendly refreshments. If you’ve always wanted to see how wine is made or just feel like a change of pace, take your dog along to investigate local wineries.
19. Go Biking with Your Pup
When the summer weather cools down, try taking your dog for a biking adventure. There are many ways to do this, from loading up the bike stroller and bike around town showing your dog the city sights, to having your dog ride in a bike basket or simply on a hands-free leash.
Some pet owners do this around their neighborhood, but making this into a more special summer adventure day will keep things more fun for both of you. As an added bonus, you’ll get a good day of exercise in too!
20. Stay in a Dog-Friendly Bed and Breakfast
Just need to get away from it all? Pick a state that takes your fancy, book a weekend in a dog-friendly bed and breakfast and treat your dog to some one on one time. You can even research local dog-friendly activities and make it a trip for your dog to remember.
21. Check Out (Quieter) Concerts Outdoors
Are you a music fan? Look into local outdoor music concerts that will allow you to take your dog along! I’d advise avoiding heavy metal, but a quartet in the park or an easy listening live band makes for a nice afternoon of fresh air and socialization.
22. Take a Ghost Tour
There are many unique ways to travel with your dog and explore the local attractions. If you (and your dog) have a strong constitution, look into local ghost tours! Ask if it’s okay to bring your dog along and then walk the haunted streets of your town. Learn about ghostly history while giving your pup enough exercise to tire them out.
23. Try a Dog-Friendly Spa Day
Looking to be pampered and not to spend the day exercising? Check out local dog-friendly spas. Many spas offer treatment packages with dog boarding facilities in house, some even offer their own doggy spa treatments. So, if you and your dog crave relaxation, get those massages and mud packs booked.
24. Check Out Dog-Friendly Festivals
Many cities hold annual festivals that welcome four-legged friends. Take a look at local events websites and see what your city has to offer. You can walk through a flower festival, learn about agricultural culture in your town, judge prizewinning vegetables and more!
25. Visit Roadside Attractions
If you’re looking for something a little more eclectic, then load up the car and hit some popular roadside attractions! Map out your route to hit as many dog-friendly roadside attractions as you can and don’t forget to take a selfie with your pup at each one.
26. Check Out a Dog-Friendly Art Museum
Need a little more sophistication? Find out if your local art museum or art gallery is dog-friendly. This is the perfect atmosphere for a dog who prefers the quiet life and a chance for you to appreciate local artists.
Your Fido may not appreciate that famous painting or sculpture, but he’ll enjoy exploring the new location in a AC-cooled building, away from summer heat.
27. Go to the Pet Expo Together
Depending on your dog’s ability to get along with other animals, a pet expo can be a great adventure with your dog by your side, and most cities have them. For example, I’m in Austin and we have the Austin Pet Expo. The most well-known is the Global Pet Expo.
At these expos, check out new pet products at your local convention center expo and learn about new pets in educational expo booths, meet other dog owners and pets.
28. Foster a Dog for a Local Rescue
Have you and your dog always wanted another furry face in the picture but just can’t afford it? Offer to foster a dog for your local rescue and spend the summer enjoying family time while improving the life of a homeless dog. Teach them tricks, practice obedience, and know that you and your dog are making a difference!
29. Go Tubing
Want to try a more relaxing water-themed activity? Check out tubing activities at your local river. Not all tubing companies allow dogs in their rentals, so make sure to call ahead. As more pet owners want to try this with their canines, companies are becoming more accepting of allowing dogs.
30. Hit All the Local Dog Treat Bakeries
Something of a foodie at heart? Make a dog-foodie out of your dog! Load up the car and hit the local dog treat bakeries in town. Snap plenty of photos and give your dog the chance to try new treats from every one!
31. Become Your Dog’s Photographer
Throw some props in the trunk of your car, grab your camera and load up your dog – it’s time for a photoshoot! Spend the day tracking down scenic photo spots and make great memories to remember as you take photos of your dog.
There are many ways to ensure you take epic pics of your Fido, and several tools to do that well. Great photos of dogs take time and proper setup, and if that’s what you’re aiming to do, get some tips from the pros and see this dog photography guide on how to take amazing photos of your pooch.
32. Check Out Your Local Yappy Hour
Breweries and restaurants alike are starting to offer “yappy hour”. A time of day when patrons can come by with their dog, enjoy a refreshing drink, and socialize with other dog people. Look into your local establishments to see if they have any upcoming events for you and your pup!
33. Try a New Dog-Centered Activity
Whether your dog loves to swim or enjoys a good obstacle course, check out local dog-centered activities you can take part in together. You can choose dock dog fun, agility training, advanced obedience and more – the choices are endless.
34. Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary
If you have a well-behaved pup who loves to explore new things, find a dog-friendly wildlife sanctuary in town! You’ll both get plenty of exercise, you’ll support local wildlife rehabilitation efforts, and your dog will see things they’ve never seen before!
35. Check Out Local and Not-So-Local Flea Markets!
Local flea markets are a great place to scout out hidden gems and they’re almost always dog-friendly! Check out your local flea markets and if they are dog-friendly, head out for some antique treasure hunting. You never know what you’ll find and you’ll both get plenty of exercise