There are a lot of summer activities you can do together with your dog without the risk of overheating. Summer is a nice opportunity to share new experiences and strengthen the bond between the two of you. We have put together a list of what our athletes do with their dogs during summer.
1. Go for a swim!
In addition to being a lot of fun, swimming is a great way to exercise and strengthen your dog’s body in a gentle way.
Some dogs are born like fish in the water and dives right into it with the greatest confidence. Others need a bit more time to enjoy swimming.
- When you introduce your dog to water, take your time and make it a positive experience. I always use a dog life jacket for safety reasons. Accidents can happen to even the best swimmers! A life vest will also give your dog some extra support in the water, which is great for dogs that are learning how to swim, says dog physiotherapist and multiple World champion in bikejoring, Linn Beate Sinding-Larsen.
You find more dog swimming tips in this video:
2. Try paddle boarding
Stand up paddle boarding is an other fun water activity to try with your dog. Your dog can swim next to the board as well as standing, sitting or lying down on the paddle board. Keep in mind that your dog’s muscles are working hard in all positions due to the unstable surface, so keep the sessions short at the beginning.
Kari Schibevaag is a former World champion in both snowkiting and kitesurfing. She spends a lot of time on the SUP with her dog, Truls. They now teach others how to SUP in Lofoten, Norway.
- If you take your dog with you on the SUP, get a paddle board that is stable and has room for both of you. The stand up paddle board should also provide your dog’s paws with good grip.
Truls is always wearing a life jacket.
- In addition to help keeping him afloat if something happens, a life vest makes your dog more visible in the water. The Safe life jacket that we use has a sturdy handle which makes it easy to lift the dog up to the board if necessary. Without a handle it can be difficult to get a wet dog out of the water, even if it is a small one!
We have collected more tips on how to get started with stand up paddle boarding with your dog in this article.
- I highly recommend to bring your dog on the SUP, Truls loves paddle boarding together! He prefers to stand on the front and enjoy the view. Sometimes we come very close to whales and other animals. Then he becomes completely ecstatic. It also enriches my experiences to see how happy he is on our trips.
3. Take a long hike together
Long summer days with nice weather allows us to go on even longer hikes than our daily walks,to and explore new places. Hiking keeps you and your dog fit, and visiting new trails will also stimulate your dog mentally. We encourage you to go trekking with your dog at least once during this summer!
Remember to pay attention to the temperature, and how your dog cope with it to prevent them from overheating. On warm days, we recommend you to walk early in the morning or late evening and rest in the middle of the day.
If you need inspiration for nice trails to explore with your dog, there are apps and resources online that will help you. You can also contact the tourism office in the area you plan to visit to get some local tips.
Hiking checklist for dog owners:
- A belt, allowing you to walk your dog hands free.
- A belt bag to store your food, dog treats, bottle and other essentials.
- A dog leash. For hiking, we recommend a longer line that is partly or fully elastic, allowing your dog to explore its surroundings.
- A light and ergonomic dog harness. Check out this guide if you need help choosing the perfect harness for your dog.
- If your dog is running free, we recommend the Safe collar. This collar has a unique design with a bungee component, making it easier for your dog to get free if he or she get snagged in vegetation. In this event, you might lose the collar, but not your dog! The collar is also highly visible and has a dedicated tag for your phone number.
- You should always carry a set of dog booties. These can be used to prevent paw cuts or sore paws on rough terrain or if an injury occurs.
- A first aid kit.
- Water for yourself and your dog. Staying hydrated is very important on warm days!
4. Go camping with your dog!
If you haven`t already tried camping with your dog, we highly recommend you to do it this summer. The connection you get with your dog when sharing a night or two in the wilderness is amazing! You have more time to focus on eachother instead of being disturbed by screens or daily chores. Let your dog inspire you to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest!
When you go camping, there is a lot of gear to carry for both yourself and your dog. Why not share the load with your four-legged companion? Most dogs are happy to carry a dog backpack. it also strengthens their bodies and stimulate them mentally. However, you must make sure your dog is old enough to carry a backpack and fit for the challenge. Learn more about how to get started with backpacking with dogs in this guide.
Nothing beats the feeling of curling up in a sleeping bag after a long day on the go! That is why we developed Ly sleeping bag, as dogs deserve to get the same quality rest to charge their batteries for new adventures as we do. This dog sleeping bag can also be used as a regular dog bed.
For camping trips we usually look for lightweight and multifunctional gear. The Touring bungee adjustable is a versatile dog leash ideal for camping trips, as you can easily adjust the leash to fit around your waist, around a tree or in your hand. This innovative leash also have several other useful features.
Remember that you don’t have to walk very far to have an awesome camping experience with your dog – the most important thing is that you get out there together!
If you plan to go on a long trip over several days, you can check out the packing list and get some tips from ur ambassador Stine Cecilie Mikalsen. She deciced to walk across Norway, a 2.800 kilometer hike, with her dog Nanook.
5. Let your dog use it’s nose!
Did you know your dog can get more tired after using it’s head for 10 minutes, than an hour long walk? One of the most effective ways is to let the dog use its sense of smell. You can very easily make exciting home made games, that are keeping your dog both busy and satisfied!
You can also try tracking with your dog. To do that, you need a dog harness with an attachment point for a tracking line, a long line and some treats.
Helene Nilsen tells you how to get started:
- Make a mini-field of 2x2 meters. Walk a track within this field. Put many small treats on the track (12-16 pieces). Let your dog follow the trail of treats for one minute. When they work well, you release them with a toy or another treat.
Another way to teach your dog tracking is to start with a 20-50 meter straight line. Put a small treat on each step (1 step = 1 foot length). As your dog progresses, gradually increase the distance between treats.
6. Do an early morning run!
Early in the morning temperatures can be cool enough to enjoy running or biking with your dog. Our athletes get up as early as 4 AM in the morning to train their dogs during summer. They are, however, very careful with running during the warm summer months, as dogs are prone to overheating. They usually avoid training in temperatures higher than 15 degrees Celsius/59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read this article to learn more about how to recognize and treat a heat stroke, and get tips for your summer training.
7. Teach your dog some new tricks
Eli Beate Sæther was introduced to trick training when one of her dogs got injured. She has trained tricks with her world-class agility dogs ever since.
- I believe that is an essential reason why we have succeeded in the sport. Trick training is great fun for both me and my dogs, she says.
Eli Beate started with easy tricks like sit and lie down, then gradually advanced to handstand on the wall and other exercises that also help improve balance, strength and coordination.
If you need inspiration for tricks to teach your dog, check out this video by Silvia Trkman, that got Eli Beate started with trick training!
Our ambassador Steve Walsh also have step-by-step guides to teaching your dog tricks like weaving between your legs in this video: