Is your pup like our first dog, Bo Obama, and has webbed paws ideal for swimming? Personally, my basset hound Lucy can’t stand water, but I know she’d enjoy a stroll on the beach. In fact, I know a lot of pooches and owners alike who dream of spending fun-filled days by the shore. If you would like to bask in the ocean breeze with your pup, check out some of these great dog-friendly water activities. They are diverse enough that even my densely-boned basset will want to join in on the fun! Just be sure to always practice canine (and human) water safety. And as always, if we missed any of your pup’s favorite water activity, post it in the comments below.
Take your pooch on a Potomac River Cruise!
What could be more fun than taking in the East Coast city’s sites with your pooch in tow? Offered from May through August, the Potomac Riverboat Company’s “Canine Cruises” invite two-legged passengers aboard for only $15 round-trip ($9 for children). One pup is allowed per person, and they must be leashed and able to enjoy the 40-minute cruise of the Alexandria Seaport. And did we mention that your dog’s admission is free?
Run and swim at the Doggy Du Dash!
We hadn’t heard of this until today, either, but we are already considering participating next year! In Austin, Texas this event has both four and two-legged pets running side by side. The swimming portion, held at Lady Bird Lake, is 375 meters and the run is one whole mile. The event is meant to prepare runners for the city’s marathon, which is scheduled soon after the Dash. If you think your pup would enjoy running and swimming next to you and other eager pooches, go to their website for more information, and check your area for other doggy dashes (there are ones in Sacramento, Portland, and New York City–just to name a few)!
Cruise for cute pups at a nearby Dog Beach!
This trusty stand-by is a surefire way to integrate water into your pooch’s life. No swimming abilities necessary here! Dog beaches are simply a fun place to socialize with other furry friends. With both you and the ocean by your pup’s side, the excursion will feel like a mini-vacation, just for her. Find your local dog beach here.
Go boating with your pups in tow!
Believe it or not, people are cruising, sailing, and even living on their boats with their dogs these days. Plenty of online resources help cruisers make the proper canine friendly accommodations and preparations for a safe and fun trip out to sea. Whether you are sailing for a day or for months, research and of course speak to your vet about the ways you can prepare to take your companion aboard. And don’t forget your doggy’s life jacket!
Get your pooch some H2O-specific training!
Not sure exactly how your dog fits into the “water activities” described above? Canine Water Sports offers training for your dog in the water. With classes and workshops based in the water, this training is ideal for task-oriented breeds, as well as pups with lots of energy and curiosity about the water. So even if you don’t own a Portuguese Water Dog or a Newfoundland, if your dog loves the feel of the water on his coat, you should check out the Canine Water Sports website.
As always, the etiquette for these events and activities is the same as if you were taking your pooch to the dog park. Always consider your pup’s temperament before you plan a social outing, abide by any leash regulations, clean up after your dog, and most of all: have fun! These activities are fun ways to get your pooch outdoors this summer, and give your pup some variation in his exercise routine. So if you and your pooch don’t have any water-related plans this summer, it’s time to make some. Maybe you’ll spot a few Bo lookalikes while you’re out!
Have you been to any of these dog-centered water activities? Know of another one that we should include in this list? Tell us about it here so we can get another list going before the summer heat cools down.