As summer hits in full force, many pet moms and dads will be preparing for summer picnics and cookouts. Memorial day, the 4th of July, and labor day are all American holidays usually celebrated by throwing a picnic with close friends and family. There will be tons of food, tons of beer, and lots of fun games. And for many of us, there will also be a handful of adorable pups in attendance.
If you are planning on bringing your four legged friend along to any of these summer picnics or cookouts, consider following my tips below for a safe and happy picnic for your pup.
1. Avoid giving your dog table scraps.
With those big, beautiful puppy eyes, it can be really tempting to feed your dog some of those delicious table scraps, but you should really avoid the temptation. Many of our favorite picnic foods (like salads and casseroles) are full of ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
Avoid giving your dog anything that contains:
- Food high in sugar or salt
Instead, find a healthy and pet friendly recipe for a yummy treat or Kong Stuffer and if your dog ingests something they should not have, call the pet position control hotline or your vet ASAP.
2. Take your dog inside (or home) when fireworks begin.
If fireworks are part of your party plans, make sure you secure your dog safely inside or take your dog home before these begin.
Fireworks can really spook a dog and if your pup isn’t safely secured you run the risk of them running off. If you secure your dog inside, make sure they are crated or that they cannot easily slip out of an open door or window. Consider micro chipping your pet if they aren’t already. Microchips are the best way to ensure your pet is returned to you if they slip out.
3. Bring toys, treats, Kongs, chews to keep your dog busy.
While there are plenty of party activities for you (lots of food and drinks, volleyball, corn hole, basketball, swimming, or other party games) there may not be as much entertainment for you dog.
Be sure to pack along lots of toys for your dog to play with. You can also bring along something for your dog to chew on or a Frozen Kong that will keep him busy for a while.
4. Keep the dog in a fenced in area or on a leash.
Many summer holiday parties are thrown at local parks or at a close friend or family member’s home. Some of these homes may have fenced in yards that are safe for dogs and others may not.
Because parties can get so chaotic, it’s not a good idea to let your dog run loose unless they are contained within a fenced in yard. If there is no fenced in area for your dog, be sure to keep them on a leash or tie out. The last thing you want on a day filled with fun and family is for your dog to go missing.
5. Bring your dog’s comfort items and set up a “decompression zone.”
Holiday parties can be loud and chaotic. The adults are drinking, eating, and chatting and the children are running around, screaming, or playing. This environment may be a lot for your dog to take in or there may just be moments where they are overwhelmed and would like to be able to step away.
If you are bringing your dog to a summer picnic, bring along his comfort items. This may be a bed, a mat, a crate, a blanket, or a certain toy. These items will help your dog to relax and feel more comfortable.
In addition, set up a zone away from all the activity and noise where your dog can take a nap, settle down, and escape from the chaos of the party when needed.