Our pals over at Best in Show have put together the ultimutt list of things to do with your pooch this summer. Read on for some super summer inspiration!
The summer months are the perfect time to experiment with your dog dates. From ‘pupsicles’ to pooch pub menus, pop-up cinemas and ‘doga’ – we’ve put together our favourite dog-friendly summer activities for you to try in the sunny weather.
1. Outdoor cinema night
Who said movie night had to mean sitting in a dark room for two hours? From the big Blockbusters to dusty DVD classics, pop-up cinemas and rooftop movies are now a popular addition to the summer calendar. Sure, al fresco films are a fairweather sport and come with the very real, very British danger of leaving you drenched. But, it's well worth the risk.
Life's short, and so is the Great British summer. So, invest in a mini home projector, spruce up your backyard with cushions and your dog’s favourite blanket and prepare a feast that you can both enjoy. We recommend our very popular Popcorn and Crisps for dogs, both of which are 100% natural and lovingly made without any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
2. Dog-friendly beach day out
Stretches of sand and dunes to run on, shallow water to swim in and grasslands to explore are your pup’s idea of heaven, and although some may have restrictions in place during the summer months, many beaches across the U.K. are dog-friendly all year round. If you and your pooch are up for a road-trip, Cornwall offers miles of golden sands and coastal walks that welcome dogs whenever you choose to visit. Take a stroll and let them paddle their paws along pristine coastlines while taking in the sights and salty scents of the seaside.
3. Dog glamping
Camping is so over. Glamping is what it’s all about and these days, you can discover sumptuous yurts, luxury bell tents and blissful boltholes (with hot tubs to boot) that are as dog-friendly as they are family-friendly. Boutique camping in a private woodland setting with acres of pasture and stunning nearby beaches will make for a summer to remember for you and your pup. Before your trip, make sure to check that your dog’s flea and tick medication is up to date and have a pre-packed pet first aid kit to hand – just in case of any emergencies.
4. Dog meetup mooches
It won’t be hard to find others in your local area who are as passionate about their pets as you are! Meetup is a great place to find fun dog walking groups around the country, for many different breeds. These are fab for meeting like-minded pooch people, as well as encouraging your dog to socialise and make new furry friends.
Once or twice a month, dog owners can meet up for a walk with their pooch on a lovely nearby beach or countryside spot, before heading for some dog-friendly dining afterwards. It also gives pet parents the opportunity to share their tales of living with those with tails!
5. BBQs and pupsicles
BBQs are the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends in the summertime, without breaking the bank. If you’re hosting a dog-friendly barbie, freeze some all natural ‘pupsicles’ in advance to keep them (and their tongues) occupied while you tuck into your burgers. Peanut butter, banana, chicken stock, yoghurt, apple and pumpkin are just some of the ingredients that you could use in your delightful frozen treat. Use bone-shaped ice cube trays to make your pupsicle even more tempting – and even more Instagrammable!
6. Pooch-friendly pub lunch
Dog-friendly pubs are extremely popular these days, which gets two paws up from us pet parents. Gone are the days of struggling to find a dog-sitter when those beer garden days come calling. In some of today’s top dog-friendly pubs, you’ll even find a ‘Pooch Menu’, which your furry punter can wash down with their very own dog beer. Many dog-friendly cafes and tea rooms on walking trails even offer homemade dog treats, as well as fresh water bowls ready and waiting for thirsty dogs – and an array of cakes and cuppas for their owners!
7. Discover your National Parks
Across Britain, we are blessed with wonderful woodland, colourful coastlines and charismatic countryside just begging to be explored. So, you will quite possibly find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to picking your perfect walking trail. National Parks are packed with scents and smells that are sure to delight dogs’ curious noses. Some trails will be more perfumed than others. For a real scent feast, head to a botanical garden for the finest fragrances and beautiful surroundings that you and your dog will adore.
In the woodland, let your pup stop and sniff out the pungent plants, but don’t let them be turned into a snack! Some are dangerous. Instead – for something to keep their teeth busy, try our naturally-shed Wild Deer Antlers make superb nutrient-filled chew toys for dogs. They are packed with vitamin D from all the extra hours of sunshine they absorb and are long-lasting, low in fat and 100% natural – so you can rest assured they won’t splinter or chip.
8. Have a pet picnic
Nothing says summer quite like a sunny afternoon picnic, that gets us just as much in the mood for tasty treats and ball games as our dogs! Enjoy a long walk around some beautiful parkland before settling down in a shady spot, to work up an appetite for the dog-friendly delights in your picnic basket. Our natural dog treats are ideal if you’re not sure on what your dog can and can’t eat, or if you don’t have time to recreate a dog-friendly recipe. With ingredients that have been lovingly handpicked by nutritionists, you can rest assured that your doggy hamper will be the tastiest of them all! Our Biscuit Bites are small in size but big in pet health benefits and for younger dogs, these bite-sized treats will be perfect for some training time in between meals.
9. Downward dog with Doga
Yes, it’s a thing. All over the world, in fact. And so is Goat Yoga – but we’ll not go into that. The idea behind dog yoga (a.k.a. ‘Doga’) is to remove any stress, anxiety and tension in you – which will, in turn, encourage your dog to feel more accepting and secure to socialise with new dogs. Doga instructors suggest that their sessions will encourage doggy health benefits including decreased blood pressure, lowered heart rate, trust building, decreased depression and aided sleep and digestion – whether your dog can master the poses or not! The key is actually not to force your dog to get involved, but to let the magic happen naturally. If you’re unsure of this curious concept, head to a Doga taster evening – some even offer a doggy disco and after party!
10. Teach your dog new tricks
Whether it’s at the beach, at the park or even at a doggy summer training camp, make the most of the great outdoors to teach your dog some new tricks. Basic obedience skills, good socialisation and good pup manners help everyone relax! For the more adventurous and competitive canines, try a timed obstacle course, flyball or dock diving.
Whether they’re an adrenaline-junkie alsatian, splash-happy spaniel, or timely terrier – outdoor adventures will go down a treat and are guaranteed to work up an appetite for those summer pupsicles and pooch pub lunches.
Let us know what you and your dog get up to together this summer and be sure to share your pics with us @bestinshowuk and @caninecottages.