Although summer isn’t officially over until September 22, Labor Day has always been the unofficial end to this spectacular season. But who says Labor Day can’t be spent with your top dog? From swimming to road trippin’, your dog deserves a last summer hurrah as much as you do. So with less than a month to go, here are our suggestions for some final fun in the doggone sun.

Labor Day Roadtrip with Your Dog

ROAD TRIP!

A three-day weekend trip is the perfect end to summer. And this time, you can skip the pet sitter! Nowadays, dogs aren’t just tolerated at certain hotels, but are welcomed as well. BringFido.com is an easy way to find the perfect spot for Spot. Treats, toys, beds, doggy meals, grooming services, and yes, even yappy hour are just some of the amenities you may encounter. Or for a home away from home—complete with a yard to run around in—book a dog-friendly rental from airbnb.com.

Pooch pointer: If you’re driving, be sure to plan some stops for a water break, potty break or just stretch-your-legs break. Also, some dogs get car sick, so bring a couple towels…just in case.

Bring your puppy to the beach

BEACH IT UP

A trip to the beach (or lake) is the ultimate summer symbol. But first things first: double check that your location is dog friendly. Once you know it’s a go, there are some extra precautions you can take. Bring some much-needed shade in the form of an umbrella or tent. Also on the list: a water bowl, cool water to drink (and to clean your dog’s sand-sensitive paws), a towel/blanket to protect from the hot sand, sunscreen for their ears and nose, and bags to scoop the poop. And of course, a frisbee and ball are a must.

Pooch pointer: Contrary to what most people think, swimming doesn’t come naturally to dogs. In fact, according to petmd.com, some breeds, like a bulldog, can’t swim at all. Bring a doggy life jacket and keep them away from strong currents.

Take a Hike With Your Dog

TAKE A HIKE

Have the urge to ruff it? Dogs may be the best hiking partner there are! They won’t complain, they won’t slow you down, and their bark *should* scare away a mountain lion. Besides the obvious “bring water” suggestion, pack a bandana that you can wet for an instant cool down, a collapsible water bowl, doggy bags, and a small first aid kit, then pack it all in this specially designed dog pack from Ruffwear. And even though an off-leash hike sounds tempting, keep your friend tethered to protect them from aggressive dogs, wild animals, poison oak, thorny bushes, or a steep fall.

Pooch pointer: Do a thorough check for foxtails and ticks before heading home.

Dine-Outside-SmartyPaws

DINE AL FRESCO

Dining is an activity best enjoyed with family, so why should your pet have to sit this social event out? Turns out, they don’t. Although rules allowing dogs in restaurants vary by state, BringFido.com makes it easy to find out exactly where they can chow down. Most restaurants will prepare some off-menu canine course, while others have an entire menu dedicated to dogs. (Hello, liver à la king!) Just keep an eye out for choking hazards, like bones, that may have been dropped under the table. And when it’s time for dessert, think cheesecake for you and SmartyPaws treats for them. These vet-designed supplements taste great and help support allergy, hip, joint, digestive, immunity, skin and coat health. Bon apetit!

Pooch pointer: More of a liquid-lunch kind of person? Corkhounds.com will let you know which wineries welcome designated doggies.

Pooch Party SmartyPaws

THROW A POOCH PARTY

Who says you need to head out of town to have some fun? There’s no need to worry about off-leash laws or a pet deposit when you have a staycation. Party with your fav friends with dogs and watch the good times roll (over). Turns out, a dog party isn’t that much different from a regular human party—a great guestlist, yummy food, and fun activities are all you need. Invite familiar doggy friends over and keep the guest list small to maintain a safe, controllable shindig. Bbqing? Make sure to keep the human food out of doggie reach, as bones and hotdogs can pose a choking hazard. And for your four-legged friends, serve up raw veggies, cut fruit (no grapes), healthy biscuits and tasty SmartyPaws. Disperse some water bowls, create some chill lounge areas, crank up “Who Let the Dogs Out”, and let’s get this party started!

Pooch pointer: Keep a few spray bottles handy to break up any aggression or unwanted “affection.”

DON’T FORGET ABOUT GOOD NUTRITION FOR YOUR PUP

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Posted on August 30, 2018