Making Summer Memories: Including Your Pet in Family Activities

Kelly Mahaffy

Kelly Mahaffy
Content Director at Mom’s Choice Awards

Summer is the season of outdoor adventures, sun-soaked days, and quality family time. For many families, pets are more than just animals—they are beloved members of the family. Ensuring your pet is included in summer activities can enhance these experiences and create unforgettable memories. Here are some thoughtful and fun ways to include your pet in your summer plans, ensuring everyone has a fantastic and safe time.

1. Pet-Friendly Outings

Research and plan your activities around pet-friendly locations. Many parks, beaches, and hiking trails welcome pets, allowing them to join in the fun. Before you go, check the rules and regulations to ensure your destination is accommodating to pets.

Beach Days

For dogs who love water, a day at the beach can be exhilarating. Look for dog-friendly beaches where your pet can run freely, swim, and play fetch. Bring along an umbrella or tent for shade, plenty of fresh water, and a bowl to keep your pet hydrated. Remember, not all dogs are natural swimmers, so supervise them closely and consider a doggy life jacket for added safety.

Hiking Adventures

Nature trails offer a great way for both you and your pet to get some exercise and fresh air. Choose trails that match your pet’s fitness level, and be cautious of hot surfaces that can burn their paws. Bring enough water for both you and your pet, and take breaks often to keep them from overheating.

2. Backyard Fun

Your own backyard can be a paradise for your pet. Set up a mini water park with kiddie pools and sprinklers, which can be especially refreshing on hot days. Create a shaded area with a canopy or large umbrella where your pet can rest and cool off. Engaging in games like fetch or tug-of-war can keep your pet active and entertained without having to leave home.

3. Camping Trips

Camping is an excellent way to bond with your pet in the great outdoors. Choose a pet-friendly campsite and bring all necessary supplies, including food, water, bedding, and a first-aid kit. Ensure your pet is comfortable sleeping in a tent and always keep them on a leash or within a secure area to prevent them from wandering off. Enjoy activities like hiking, swimming in lakes (if allowed), and sitting by the campfire together.

4. Pet-Safe Barbecues

Summer barbecues are a staple of family gatherings. While pets can join in the fun, it’s important to keep them safe from common barbecue hazards. Ensure they don’t have access to harmful foods such as chocolate, onions, grapes, and anything seasoned with garlic or spices. Provide pet-friendly treats and keep them cool and hydrated. Having a designated area for your pet away from the grill and food preparation areas can prevent accidents.

5. Travel Considerations

If your summer plans involve travel, make sure your pet is comfortable and safe during the journey. Whether by car or plane, have a secure and well-ventilated carrier or crate for your pet. Take frequent breaks during car trips for bathroom breaks and stretching. For plane travel, check airline regulations and make arrangements well in advance.

6. Safety First

No matter the activity, always prioritize your pet’s safety. Avoid the hottest parts of the day, use pet-safe sunscreen on exposed skin, and watch for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy. Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag with current information and consider microchipping them for added security.

Including your pet in summer activities not only enriches their life but also strengthens the bond you share. With a little planning and consideration, you can ensure your pet is part of your family’s summer fun, creating cherished memories for years to come. So pack up the essentials, grab your furry friend, and embark on an unforgettable summer adventure together!

Exciting News! Mom’s Choice Awards is expanding their pet category to recognize and celebrate the best pet products on the market. Keep an eye out for award-winning pet products that can make your summer adventures even more enjoyable for your furry family members!

Kelly MahaffyAbout Kelly Mahaffy

Kelly Mahaffy is a seasoned professional passionate about empowering families through quality content. As the Content Director at Mom’s Choice Awards, Kelly oversees the strategic development and curation of educational and entertaining content aimed at parents and caregivers. With a background in marketing and a deep understanding of the needs of modern families, Kelly is dedicated to providing valuable resources and insights to support families in their journey of raising happy, healthy children.

View all posts by Kelly Mahaffy here.



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6 Comments on “Making Summer Memories: Including Your Pet in Family Activities”

  1. We have always brought our pets with us whenever we travel if possible. They are very important members of our family.

  2. I love when we take our dogs on vacation, they are part of the family and enjoy the get away as much as we do.

  3. I love and appreciate the idea of recognizing pets as family members. We just lost our beloved boxer of 13 years two months ago and it has left a hole in our hearts. She made us laugh every day and was recognized in our community as my husband’s daily walking companion and our table companion at outdoor breakfasts at our local farm market. Greetings of “How’s Bella” were most often heard and she was a connection to our community that is hard to establish and maintain for “empty nesters” like us.

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