Gear up for summer

by Kira Garrett | June 12, 2014

The temperature’s rising, which usually means you want to get your furry friends into the beautiful outdoors. This summer, make sure you’re prepared with gear to make the most of your warm-weather adventures.

For your camping trip

When you hit the woods for a camping trip, you wouldn’t leave without your gear pack, and neither should your pooch. Not only will he be able to carry his OWN essential items, it’s actually a great training piece, too. When you strap on a backpack, Fido will know he has a job to do—carry that bag! Look for a pack with plenty of ventilation, so your furry friend doesn’t overheat. Practice at home before you embark on your camping trip if your pup isn’t accustomed to wearing clothing or a harness and to make sure he can comfortably carry the weight. Most sporting goods stores carry a selection of dog packs, and often allow you to bring Fido in to find the perfect fit. Fill his pack with treats, poo bags, water and a travel-friendly dehydrated dog food mix.

For a day at the beach

Before you hit the beach, swap your dog’s collar for a durable, waterproof one. He’ll be in and out of the water, rolling around in the sand and should have a collar that stands up to the elements. Look for a coated webbing collar, which is both extremely strong, and water and stink-proof. Pack a life jacket if your pup is uncomfortable around water, or if you’re heading to a place that has fast moving water.  You’ll find fitting your pup with a lifejacket is similar to selecting a backpack. Head to your local sporting good (or pet) store and have an expert help you find the right size. While a lifejacket will help your pup stay afloat, it’s still essential to keep tabs on your swimming pooch at all times.

For an active adventure

You don’t need to leave your dog behind when you head off on a bike ride. With the proper gear, and some training, you can bring him along. First, find a harness for Fido. Never hook up a leash directly to his collar, as this can cause serious injury to his neck. You can use a ‘joring’ harness, designed for all kinds of activities like skijoring and dog sledding. Next, you’ll want to find a mount for your bike that provides some shock absorption and also works to hold the leash out away from bike tires, so you can avoid getting tangled! Practice with your pooch in a quiet, relatively barren area, so he can get a feel for the pace and movement of the bike.

Whatever the summer activity, make sure you bring plenty of fresh, cool water for you and your furry friend. Be mindful of other heat factors as well—like hot pavement and sunburn (yes, your dog can suffer sunburn). Feeding a moisture-intense all natural dog food like Sojos, will help keep your pup hydrated and functioning at his best. Whether you hit the trails, beach or bike path, gear up so you and your pup can enjoy the great outdoors.