With summer comes vacation and – if you’ve got one – more time to spend with your pup pal(s). Like people, most dogs love being active and embarking on new adventures. Here are a few dog friendly ideas to give your pup the best summer ever.

TAKE A TRIP TO GUELPH’S CRANE PARK

If your dog loves the water, Crane Park is a great, clean and safe spot to let your dog have a swim. Located along the Speed River in Guelph, there is also a geocache location within the park and a nice trail you can walk on that features various tree and bush species.

Pro tip: Crane Park is an off leash area so let Fido roam if you’re comfortable. Bring bug spray if you’re planning on going through the trails, and watch for sunning snakes.

TAKE YOUR PUP CAMPING

Grab your gear and your pup and go back to basics. Some local Grand River Conservation Areas welcome dogs but they must be on a leash and are not welcome on public beaches. Provincial and national parks usually have dog designated beach areas. In either case, it’s a good idea to do some research before choosing a park.

Consider picking up a dog friendly insect repellant to use alongside flea and tick prevention methods. If you’re going backcountry camping, it may be worth investing in a dog pack so that your pup can carry some of the load. Be sure to do daily tick checks (on you and your dog), focusing on the areas around the ears, nose, mouth and armpits.

Pro tip: To get your dog used to sleeping with you in a tent, do a trial run in your living room or backyard. Nothing is more frustrating than a dog that won’t settle at night. Well, maybe a buzzing mosquito.

BRING YOUR PUP TO AN OUTDOOR EVENT

City of Kitchener and Waterloo events are dog friendly, so long as your pet is leashed and you clean up after them. Events can be a great place to socialize your dog and get them used to being in crowds of people. When you’re on the go, be sure to take your pup’s health into consideration.

Pro tip: If you’re feeling the heat, your dog is feeling it many times over. If you decide to bring your dog, stay out of the sun during peak hours, bring lots of water for them, and consider purchasing summer booties to avoid burnt paw pads. Here’s a quick way to tell if the pavement is too hot for your pup: place the back of your hand, or a bare foot on a spot of asphalt in the sun for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot or uncomfortable for you it’s too hot for them.

HIT UP THE DRIVE-IN

It’s not often that you can take your dog to the movies but going to the drive-in solves that problem. Guelph’s Mustang Drive-In is a quick drive from Kitchener-Waterloo and plays movies Friday to Sunday and on Tuesdays. Admission for dogs is free!

Pro tip: Keep an eye out for Mustang’s next all-nighter and watch movies with your pup from dusk till dawn.