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Dog Days of Summer: Adventure Checklist

July 26, 2018

With summer upon us, it’s important to make the most of long days and clear skies. If your dog gets excited just to go for a walk around your block, here are some ideas to Blow. His. Mind. Your dog needs exercise anyway, why not turn it into an adventure?


Ground Rules

If it gets hot where you live, try to plan your adventures for early mornings before it heats up. Make sure you always bring water for both you and your pet. And remember to watch out for signs of overheating: excessive panting, confusion, pale gums, and fast noisy breathing. If you notice any of these signs take your dog to a cool spot to rest and give him fresh water.

Check paws frequently on hot or rugged terrain—boots offer excellent protection.

Unfortunately, summer can mean exposing your dog to fleas, ticks and heartworm. Before taking on the great outdoors, make sure your dog is protected against parasites and fully up to date on vaccinations.


By Land

Getting out for a hike in the mountains, or even a park, is the easiest way to enjoy summer weather. Your dog will love the sights and smells and the chance to run around like a wild animal. When planning your hike, try to pick a trail that has shade and water to keep your dog cool. Make sure it’s a dog friendly trail and that it’s not too long or dangerous for your pet. Of course, bring plenty of water, snacks, a leash and don’t forget the poop bags.


By Sea

Do you live near an ocean, lake or river? Great! Most dogs love getting to play in the water whether it’s swimming or just wading along the shore. A great way to get low impact exercise without concern of overheating is to play fetch in the water. Just make sure to choose a safe spot first– meaning no strong tide or swift current. Many outdoor pools open up their doors to 4-legged patrons at the end of the summer. Check your local city listing for information.


Private Pool Party

Looking to bring the fun closer to home? Look no further than your backyard! Create a waterpark for your dog using sprinklers and hard sided kiddie pools. You can even fill the pool with ice and let your dog’s inner polar bear come out. Fetch in the backyard = a good time. Fetch through the sprinklers in the backyard = an AMAZING time.

Photo Credit: @littleriverdog


Shopping, Anyone?

Farmers Markets are a great opportunity for you and your dog to support your local community while enjoying a summer’s day. For your dog, it means the chance to socialize with other people and dogs while exploring a novel setting. You might even be able to pick up some bones and homemade treats for your pup! Tip: be sure to check if your local Farmers Market allows dogs before you go.

Photo Credit: @hyperintelligentmolly



Geocaching, a modern-day treasure hunt using GPS, has gained popularity in recent years—all the kids are doing it. Adding your dog only makes it better, allowing you and your pup to get out and explore the world. You can even create a dog-friendly geocache by hiding some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats in a nearby park, and letting his nose take the lead.


Camping for the Win

Setting up camp, gathering around a fire, falling asleep under the stars – these things appeal to man and beast on a primal level. Chances are, your dog will love camping as much as you do. Many provincial and state parks have gone the extra mile to offer pet-friendly sites. Pack a cooler, grab your gear, and head for the wilderness. The mountains are calling and you must go.

Photo Credit: @hyperintelligentmolly


Nothing sounds better than ice cream on a hot summer day, and your dog thinks so too. While ice cream is a good treat for us, the fact that it’s dairy based and high in sugar makes it hard for pets to digest, but luckily, we have the technology—we can rebuild! Ever heard of frozen Kongs? They are the doggy equivalent of ice cream that won’t upset your dog’s stomach. We’re pretty sure your dog will love them, check out our step by step recipe here.

2 responses to “Dog Days of Summer: Adventure Checklist”

  1. Holly & Mike says:

    Great article! I particularly like the theme of get out and make it fun!

    BTW – First Mate has been a great food for our Welshie! He Is thriving on the puppy fish and potato for over a year and his coat and muscle tone are great!

    Thanks First Mate!

    • FirstMate says:

      Hi Holly and Mike! Thanks for the sweet message, we’re happy to hear your puppy enjoys FirstMate food 🙂

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