Rubber Duckey and a Jack Russell Terrier wearing big red sunglasses on an inflatable blue float, drifting down a lake on a hot summer day.

How to Have a Kick Butt Summer with Your Dog

Make Summer Memories with Your Pup

You, your dog, your summer—find out how to make the most of it!

Every year when summer comes around, dog parents and their pups rejoice. There is just something about warm air and a little extra sunshine that makes so many of us light up—and our pups feel the same way. This time of year is a special time where can really make the most of every moment. So, how can you make the best summer memories with your favorite furry friend? We’ve got you covered!

Happy Beagle running through the grass with a large blue ball in his mouth.
Wohoo, school is out for summer!

Why You Should Buy into the Summer Hype?

A beautiful golden retriever sitting on the beach with his tongue out.
...because summer is awesome!

It’s well-known that summer comes with a different vibe. For a lot of us, the world seems to wake up, dusting off the chill of fall and winter. It can be a really special time, which is why so many of us have all kinds of fun memories from this season. As we get older and leave behind summer vacation (unless you’re a teacher, of course), we often lose our reminder that this season is amazing.

This year, why not remind yourself just how great summer can be and drag your dog along for the ride?

Summer is the season everyone celebrates for a long list of reasons. It’s easier and more comfortable to go outside. It is the time of year for festivals and vacations. Even better, it is the time for amusement parks, barbecues, and time spent lounging by the pool. The best part? There are a ton of ways to spend summer with your dog!

Why is Summer a Great Season for Dogs?

Two beautiful purebred labrador retrievers, chocolate and brown, frolicking in the ocean water having a blast on a summer day.
Non-stop pool parties 🥳

There are a lot of specific reasons that summer is a great season for humans, but what about the dogs in your life? Do dogs really care about what the seasons bring? You might be surprised.

The average canine companion is always looking for new and interesting things in the world. In summer, everything wakes right up. New animals, new plants—the works. There is a very good chance that your dog loves this. During those summer months, there is more to see, more to smell, and more to track down. It can be an exciting time of year for dogs.

The general human hype also makes summer a great season for dogs. Dogs often love it when their humans are in a good mood and excited to try new things. It’s a time of year when warm evening walks and time spent exploring become more common. Chances are, whether your dog knows it or not, they love summer too.

14 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer with Your Canine Companion

Three adorable shih tzus playing at the beach in St. Simons Island, Brunswick, Georgia.
Guys check it out, summer is here!

Taking your summer and making it more dog-centric is a surprisingly easy thing to do. Those warm summer months can come with plenty of opportunities—and a good number of them are dog-friendly too. The real key is to ask yourself what your options are and how your dog fits into it. Let’s explore a few options.

1. Go to a Dog-Friendly Concert

Cute corgi wearing a bow tie and celebrating his big birthday bash.
Ready, how do I look?

For the more social and hype city dogs around, dog-friendly concerts can be a lot of fun. Look around for local performances at parks and other open spaces. A lot of summer shows are completely dog-friendly—and certain festivals are too. As you look at the lineup for your hometown’s local music scene, check to see if any of the shows have room for your pup.

Dog parent tip: avoid loud shows or spaces with too much activity that might stress your dog out.

2. Spend Evenings at a Dog-Friendly Outdoor Brewery

Young woman drinking a beer with her dog in her lap, sitting outside on the ground.
Found my napping spot.

Getting drinks with friends is fun but getting drinks with your dog can be that much better. Outdoor breweries with pet-friendly spaces are a great spot to lounge with your dog. It might even be a good place to let your dog play. Don’t forget to consider your local dog park bars either!

3. Head Out on a Trail with Your Pup

Family hiking in the forest with the family dog.
Exploring together is the best way.

Summer is the number one season for hiking for a lot of us, and it can be a great way to spend time with your dog. For the absolute best experience, be sure to head out with your pup first thing in the morning or even later in the evening. A lot of dogs will not appreciate hiking in the middle of the day when the day is at its hottest, but for those other times of day, hiking can be wonderful. Just make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for your dog—and doggy bags, of course!

4. Go Backpacking with Your Dog

Woman backpacking with her two Australian Shepherd dogs on a vibrant summer day near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Finding our way in the world.

Backpacking with your dog is a wonderful bonding experience that some dog parents and pups look forward to every year. There is just something special about being alone in nature with your favorite canine companion. When the evening sets in and you and your pup are lounging by the fire or snuggling up in the tent, you’ll understand why so many dog parents love to take their dogs on these trips.

It is important to remember that backpacking can come with some additional risks that you will want to consider. Walking several miles can be taxing on your dog. Remember to take regular breaks, provide them with water, and keep an eye on their paws. All responsible dog parents should invest in a doggy first-aid kit before heading out into the woods as well.

5. Take Your Dog to the Water with a Paddleboard

Young woman enjoys a peaceful moment on the water, paddleboarding with her large dog on a hot summer day.
Uh...are you sure this is board is going to hold?

Water is something that dogs either love or hate—and some dogs change their minds depending on the situation. Your dog might hate taking a bath but absolutely love taking a swim down at your local dog park. For those dogs that love getting out for a swim on the water, heading out on a paddleboard can be a really great opportunity.

Paddleboarding is a fun sport that can offer plenty of space for dogs of all sizes depending on the size of your board. Be sure to consider weight limits so you can comfortably coast along the top of the water, and when in doubt, opt for inflatable or plastic options that offer a little extra buoyancy. Paddle out with your pup and have a ton of fun doing it!

6. Visit Your Local State Park with Your Pup

Beautiful couple taking their shih tzu on a stroll at the local dog park.
Nurture your mind, body and soul.

State parks are little treasures that are tucked away all around the United States, and they can offer us so much. Visiting a state park can be a great opportunity to support these parks, but it also gives you a chance to bond with your pet in a bunch of different ways.

State parks can all come with their own perks. Most of them have incredible hiking trails, places to camp, picnic spots, and general nature to explore. These areas are the perfect backdrop for heading out on a little one-on-one adventure with your pup. Just be sure to check the park’s website to ensure that they allow dogs as visitors.

7. Make Pals at the Dog Park

Two adorable dogs playing around in the grass, giving each other kisses.
Buddies until the end.

The dog park is a place that most dog parents can’t even mention without fear of their pups going wild, and we can’t blame them. The reason that dogs love these areas so much is right in the name—these parks were literally made for them. This is pretty great since it means that you can count on there being plenty of dogs there.

Summer is a great time to make new friendships, and the dog park can be a good spot for that. If you see that your dog is really interested in playing with one or two specific dogs, it might not be a bad idea to talk to the other dog parents to see if they like to drop by at a specific. Doggy playdates make summer better.

8. Host a Barbecue

Family and friends with Golden Retriever enjoying a summer barbecue.
Enjoying a meal together heals the soul.

Barbecues are one activity that dogs never seem to get enough of. There are always new and interesting people, plenty of food, and a general feeling of joy and excitement. Dogs really can’t get enough of this, which is why most of them really enjoy a good barbecue with friends and family. For added doggy fun, consider allowing some canine visitors for your dog to hang out with. If you really want to spread some joy, why not make the pups their very own barbecue meal too? Always remember to consult your vet first, of course.

9. Have Fun at the Beach

Curly-haired spanish water dog running at the beach with a toy in his mouth.
Come jump in the water, it's great!

Like people, some dogs really enjoy the beach. They don’t mind the sand between their toe beans, or the crumbs and snacks spilled in the sand. The beach can really feel like the best place in the world for quite a few dogs—as long as there is some shade for them to snooze in, of course! When you pack up for your next beach trip, be sure to pack some water and a doggy life jacket for your furry BFF!

10. Grab Some Frozen Treats for Your Pup

French Bulldog eating and licking a frozen treat from inside a homemade treat bag.
So gooooooood 😋

Hot summer days can be wonderful, but sometimes you need a break. During summer, we often reach for ice cream, frozen yogurt, or custard to chase away the heat. The good news is that we still can. The better news is that we can also offer our dogs the same luxury.

The amount of frozen pet treats available in today’s world is almost overwhelming, and that’s if you don’t even include the long list of DIY recipes available online. So, next time you decide to enjoy a frozen treat, take the time to get your pup one too. There are few things better than sitting back and enjoying ice cream on the porch with your dog.

11. Build Healthier Habits

Beautiful white pomeranian german spitz klein running with a toy in its mouth.
Get active and get your energy out.

By April, a lot of us are looking to change our lives for the better. By May, it can seem like your only focus in the world. If you’re the kind of person who is always pumped up in summer, why not bring your dog around for your personal journey?

Whether you’re looking to spend more time cooking at home, hoping to be more active, or you just want to remember to leave work at the office and unwind, your dog can join you. Make mealtimes into a fun ritual with music, dancing, and your pup. Go on a long walk or try out a new outdoor activity. Spend time just playing with your dog. Choose activities that support your goals and keep your pup by your side.

12. Find Somewhere to Watch the Stars with Your Dog

Young couple holding their husky puppy on a summer night ready to view the stars.
Your love warms my heart.

Stargazing is a time-honored tradition on summer nights. A dark night sky full of twinkling stars is the kind of sight that calms you right down to the center of your being. Given how nice, peaceful, and ideal for spending time in nature this is, it only gets better when you add your pup to the equation.

13. Make Social Media Videos

Beagle playing tug-of-war with owner, looking right at the camera.
Tug-of-war anyone?

When we are kids, summer is the time of year when everything breaks loose. Energy goes up. We laugh more. Sleepovers happen with more frequency. It is a time for fun and silliness—and more people are exploring their silly side online. This summer, why not take on the creative project of making social media videos with your dog? It can be a lot of fun and help you to make memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

14. Throw a Themed Party

Adorable dogs wearing party hats, celebrating their buddies' birthday.
A few party animals over here 🥳🎉🎂

Themed parties have been a fun way for friends to laugh and connect for quite a while. Sure, these parties can be great with people, but the truth is that they get about 10,000 times better when you add dogs to the equation. For your next social gathering, make sure to put a clear theme on the invites and encourage everyone to bring their dogs.

The Takeaway

Rubber Duckey and a Jack Russell Terrier wearing big red sunglasses on an inflatable blue float, drifting down a lake on a hot summer day.
Come chill with me and Mr. Duckey!

Your dog might not be fully aware of what season it is, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy it. Even if your dog can’t read a calendar, they’ll be able to tell that something is different when they feel all of the good vibes coming off of you. Make this the summer of fun for you and your pup. Together, you can totally have a kick-butt summer!

Until next time, thank you for reading!

About the author: Gabrielle is the loving pawrent to adorable pups Willow and Dilla. Growing up surrounded by dogs, she always dreamt of having her own. Willow and Dilla came into her life and changed everything. Now, she's crazy about pampered pooches, and her perfect day involves dancing with her husband, dressing up her furbabies, and cuddling them to sleep. For Gabrielle, life is all about spreading love and joy with her adorable canine companions by her side.