Spring has sprung! It’s warming up outside, flowers are blooming, and we are getting more hours of daylight. There is no better time than spring to enjoy your furry friend’s company. Dogs love spring time because it affords them more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with their favorite person – you!
While you can always stick to your traditional walk schedule, here are some creative spring activities to do with your dog so you can make the most of this fun and beautiful season. Plus, read about some important safety considerations as we move into the warmer months.
Outdoor Bath Time Makes for the Perfect Spring Cleaning
If your dog is a water-loving breed like a golden retriever, one of the best spring activities to do with your dog is outdoor bath time. Bath time is a crucial part of your dog’s health and wellness, and if you can make it extra fun, all the better. The warmer spring weather offers the opportunity for you to move the bath experience from the bathroom into the yard, where you can incorporate some hose play and avoid the indoor mess.
Don’t get so distracted with the water play that you forget to practice good bathing techniques, and be sure all of the shampoo is fully rinsed off of your dog. If you want to let your dog air dry in the spring, be sure it’s plenty warm outside and that they are comfortable and not shivering or getting too cold. With an outdoor bath, you also run the risk that your dog is immediately going to roll in the grass, mud, or dirt after they get clean, so you may want to let them dry off inside.
Hiking Is a Great Activity for Dogs in Spring
Another wonderful way to enjoy springtime with your dog is by taking them for a hike. All dogs have different physical needs and abilities, so always consider your pet’s limitations before planning a spring hike. Some young, fit dogs will be able to climb mountains with you and hike all day long, but other pets – such as senior dogs or those with mobility issues – might need to enjoy a shorter, simpler hike with less elevation gain. There are ways for every dog to enjoy the outdoors with the proper planning and equipment!
Make sure you bring plenty of water when you go hiking with your dog in the spring – most people bring twice as much water for their dog as they carry for themselves. Keep a close eye on the weather so you know what to expect as far as temperature and potential storms. Always tell someone where you are going and that you’re bringing your pet, so if something happens they know to look for the animal, too.
Many folks bring a dog carrier for safety, in case their pet is injured or exhausted and needs to be carried for some portion of the hike. As with all outdoor activities, being prepared is the foundation of a safe and enjoyable experience.
Your Dog Might Enjoy Camping at This Time of Year
Camping with dogs doesn’t have to be overwhelming or involved. In fact, bringing your pooch along on a camping trip might turn out to be one of your favorite spring activities that you share.
Spring is a wonderful time for a camping trip because trails and campsites are often a little less crowded – this is especially useful if your dog is a little wary of other animals or people. An early springtime visit to a campground can offer the privacy and quiet your pet needs to really enjoy the warm weather and relax by the campfire with you.
A Swimming Adventure Is Great for Dogs in Spring
Like outdoor bath time, swimming can be a wonderful way to spend time with your dog in the spring months. As the weather gets warmer, bodies of water like lakes, oceans, and even swimming pools can be a wonderful way for your dog to burn off some energy and enjoy the season. Not all dogs like swimming, but for those that enjoy it, it tends to be their favorite activity.
Always practice water safety with your pet – they might need a life jacket if they aren’t very responsive to verbal commands. Remember that even when the air is warm outside, the water might be extremely cold – test the temperature before letting your dog loose to swim.
You’ll also need to consult the various rules and regulations wherever you’re choosing to take your spring swimming adventure. Many beaches and public pools don’t allow dogs, so do a search for dog-friendly water spaces in your area. If you let your dog swim in the ocean, be very conscious of rip tides and currents so they don’t get swept out to sea.
Plan a Spring Playdate for Dogs
One of the best spring activities to do with your dog is to set up a playdate with human and furry friends. This is an especially fun activity for both of you because you get to engage socially while your dog is entertained. If you don’t know a lot of fellow dog owners, visit the dog park and strike up a conversation. This allows you to see how your pets interact before you arrange for them to play alone, which can be valuable insight.
Not all dogs will get along, so be sure your canine has a way to communicate with you and feel safe when they meet a new friend. Always follow leash laws and pay close attention to your dog’s body language to ensure he’s comfortable and enjoying his playdate. Dogs tend to play harder when they are together, so allow for plenty of rest and hydration after your doggie spring playdate.
Keep Your Dog Safe This Spring
There are a few risks that all pet parents should consider when planning spring activities to do with your dog. More outdoor time means more exposure to fleas and ticks, which can cause an allergic reaction that can result in serious skin and coat issues. Keep your pet up-to-date on their flea and tick prevention to keep them safe.
Also, be on the lookout for symptoms of a seasonal allergy in your pet. Dogs can experience allergies that can cause various symptoms, and these can sometimes ramp up in the spring months.
If you’re spending time outside, spring storms can present a serious problem for pets that have noise aversion. Keep your dog firmly leashed and secured when you’re outside so they don’t bolt at the sound of thunder.
Finally, always practice heat safety with your pet. Dogs are very vulnerable to overheating and spring can be a tricky season, with some cooler days and some warmer ones. Don’t be caught off guard by a hot day and find yourself without enough water or a way to get your pet into the shade. Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion in your dog and always groom your pet properly for summer, according to their specific coat needs. Safety first for springtime fun with Fido!