Pups & Picnics
There's nothing like having a picnic with friends in a picturesque park. Enjoying a meal surrounded by nature and loved ones sounds like the BEST spring/summer activity. And if you're like us, your list of loved ones includes your pups. If you want to bring your dogs along on your picnics, check out some of our tips so everyone has an enjoyable (and safe) afternoon.
Pick a spot that both you and your pup can enjoy. Always look for any posted signs to ensure that you can actually bring your dog to an area. Avoid toxic plants and keep an eye on your pup to ensure they don’t try to eat them. Look for plenty of shade to keep your dog cool on warm days. Direct sunlight can also cause them to overheat or have a heatstroke. Some dogs can even sunburn. Ask your vet about dog sunscreens you can use! You may want to avoid noisy or crowded areas if they make your pup anxious. You should also avoid eating in an off-leash area (dogs may smell your food and come over), but feel free to head there afterward.
Always make sure your pup’s ID tags and microchips are up-to-date. Some dogs see an open grassy area and get so excited that they wander off and get lost. You may want to keep your dog leashed during all the excitement. Have a recent photo just in case you need help finding them (and we bet you probably have tons of photos on your phone like we do).
To help them get their energy out and increase the chances that they’ll be on their best behavior during the picnic, take them for a walk before. Don’t forget your Poopcase or Poopy Packs (and have these on hand during the picnic too).
Bring the items your pup will need, like plenty of water (maybe ice), some food, and treats. You can also bring a blanket or pillow for them to lay on if they want to take an afternoon nap. If you think they’ll run through water you’ll want a towel. A special treat like a dog chew will add to the fun. Your pup will really enjoy the day if you bring along a few of their favorite things, like a toy or Metro Ball. This will also give them time to use up any extra energy they have so you can sit and eat in peace.
In terms of food, there are foods you should NEVER feed your dog, including but not limited to: grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, avocado, food with bones (choking and gastrointestinal hazard), and food with xylitol. Foods you can serve your pup include: watermelon slices, apple slices, cooked chicken (bland is best), cucumbers, broccoli. If there are foods you want to give your pup, always speak with your vet first. Make sure you have their number and poison control’s number saved in your phone. Have a secure way to toss your food, so your dog doesn’t ingest anything potentially poisonous or dangerous.
If you’re unsure of how your pup will act during a picnic, do not feel ashamed to leave them home. We’ve seen irresponsible people leave dogs in cars because they still wanted to enjoy their meal but the pup couldn’t handle the stimulating location. This goes without saying, but you shouldn’t leave your dog in a car, especially in too warm weather. Their familiar home would have been best for the pup.
We hope these tips are helpful for you and your pup. What are some things you would add to this list? Share with us in the comments!