Fun Social-Distancing Activities to Enjoy with Your Dog this Summer

July 27, 2020

Summer is in full swing, but many of our favorite summer activities have been cancelled or are limited by COVID-19 restrictions. Dog owners can make the most of the situation by spending more quality time with their lovable, furry companions. Mix up your routine with these fun social-distancing summer activities that will strengthen your bond and keep you both active.

Hit the trails.
Get fit and bond with your pup with a brisk trek in the great outdoors! She’ll love the adventure of exploring new terrain and sniffing new scents along the way, and you’ll be exercising without even realizing it! Just remember to keep her on a leash, bring poop bags, and pack plenty of water with a bowl so she stays hydrated.

Some state and national parks in Ohio with dog-friendly trails include:

Go for a bike ride.
Including your dog in a bike ride is a great way to burn off her seemingly endless energy! Be mindful that while you’re biking, your dog is running, so this activity is only recommended for active, healthy dogs that are medium-large size. (Consult your veterinarian beforehand to make sure that your dog is at the right fitness level for biking.) Always wear your helmet! Equip your pup with a high-visibility harness and a reflective collar with up-to-date ID tags. Bring poop bags, plenty of water, and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated.

TIP: Never try to hold your dog’s leash in one hand or on your handlebars while biking! It’s best to attach it to the seat post or the frame for added stability in case your dog pulls to one side. Or you could opt for a special bicycle attachment specifically designed for biking with dogs, such as the Springer Dog Exerciser Leash or the WalkyDog Hands-Free Dog Bicycle Exerciser Leash.

Visit a dog-friendly beach.
Let your pup run, dig, and swim to her heart’s content! You can also bring Frisbees or balls for a game of fetch. Be sure to pack plenty of water, a towel, and an umbrella or some other form of instant shade if possible. Read our blog for some more helpful tips on how to make your doggie beach day both fun and safe.

These are a few dog-friendly beaches in Northeast Ohio:

  • Bow Wow Beach (Stow)
  • East Harbor State Park Dog Beach (Marblehead)
  • Edgewater Dog Beach (Cleveland)
  • Huntington Beach
  • Kelly Island State Park Beach
  • Lakeview Park Beach

Visit an off-leash dog park.
An off-leash dog park is a great place for your pooch to roam freely in wide open spaces and make new furry friends! Some dog parks have agility equipment, doggie water fountains, separate areas for large and small dogs, and swimming access to lakes, ponds, or creeks.

Here’s a list of several off-leash dog parks in Northeast Ohio:

Cool off in a pool or sprinkler.
What better way to beat the summer heat than by splashing in a pool or running through a sprinkler? Get a backyard kiddie pool or even a collapsible dog pool that doubles as a bathtub and fill ‘er up. An oscillating or rotating sprinkler can provide hours of entertainment for both you and your dog while watering your lawn or garden in the process. Pull up a poolside lounge chair with a cool drink, relax, and enjoy the show!

Treat your dog to homemade pupsicles.
Help your hot dog cool down with DIY frozen dog treats, or “pupsicles.” There are a ton of great recipes out there, but our two favorites here at UltiMutt Inn are low-calorie mint yogurt pupsicles and carrot watermelon pupsicles. Both use less than five whole food ingredients, are super easy and inexpensive to make, and are packed with nutrients. See the recipes here!

Plan an outdoor photoshoot.
Pick a gorgeous day to pose your pup in a familiar location, and don’t forget treats to keep her motivated! Take shots of her playing with toys and join in with some cute selfies. Use fun props like sunglasses, hats, and signs for extra whimsy. You could even put together a beautiful photobook showcasing your dog’s personality and good looks.

Teach her a new trick.
Does your dog know how to fetch, kiss, shake hands, hug, roll over, play dead, spin, or sit pretty? If not, teach her a new trick! It’s a great bonding experience that can also help with obedience training. See DogTime’s video demos on how to teach your dog 10 fun, impressive tricks.

Young or old, all dogs can also use a refresher on basic manners from time to time, such as not jumping on guests and learning to wait. We recommend using a dog clicker or even just a regular clicking pen to provide positive reinforcement of good behavior. Treats are a good motivator as well, but the ultimate goal is to teach your dog to obey without her expecting a tasty reward every time.

Pamper your pup with a doggie spa day.
Treat your dog to a home spa treatment with a warm sudsy bath, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and brushing, ending in a relaxing doggie massage and ear rubs. Complete the makeover by washing her bedding and scrubbing the grime off of her dirty toys.

Play fun indoor games when it’s too hot outside.
If it’s too blazing hot for outdoor play, bring the games inside. Challenge your pooch to tug of war or play fetch with a soft, durable toy that won’t dent furniture or break windows, such as a Chuckit! indoor dog toy. Teach your dog instructive games that double as obedience training activities, such as hide and seek, treasure hunting for treats, and cleaning up her toys.

Transform your pup’s paw print into art.
Release your inner artist with your dog’s assistance! Check out these easy DIY dog print art projects for inspiration. Create framed wall artwork, holiday ornaments, necklace pendants, stepping stones, and more! Just be sure to use non-toxic, pet-safe paints, plaster, sand, or ink and thoroughly wash them off her paws as soon as you’re finished using her paw prints. We recommend designing your doggie masterpieces outside to avoid messy cleanup.

Find out which activities you and your pup enjoy together most and have fun with it!