Go Full-Send for Summer's End
The summer might be winding down, but any true dog-parent knows all that means is it’s the perfect time to get out and let the fur fly.
To squeeze as much stoke as canine-ly possible out of the season, we’ve put together our favorite end of summer activities to enjoy with your dog. Don’t see your favorite listed here? Tag us in your adventure pictures on Facebook and Instagram so we can get inspired!
Without further ado, here are Rex Spec’s Top Activities to Go Full-Send for Summer’s End.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
(a.k.a. SUP with your pup)
Want a sneaky workout that feels more like play than actual exercise? Stand up paddle boarding, otherwise known as SUP, is low-impact and just the right amount of effort to get the blood pumping without making you feel like you’ve just spent your day off at the gym.
As with anything in life, the way to make it even better is by adding your canine companion to the mix. BUT – make sure you introduce your dog to their new activity in the right way to help them have a great experience and want to jump on board.
SUP WITH YOUR PUP
Here are our top tips for how to stand up paddle board with your dog:
Before you venture out onto the water, make sure your dog is well-behaved on land. Fidgeting, running away, and in general not being the goodest boy is one thing on land. It’s a whole ‘nother thing when you’re attempting to balance on a floating platform in the middle of a lake.
Ensure your dog(s) have a firm grasp on the basics like sit and stay before you head out onto the water.
LET’S GET ACQUAINTED
Water can be an intimidating thing for a dog. A stand up paddle board can be an intimidating thing for a dog. Put those two things together while you’re swinging a deadly object (better known as a paddle, but your dog doesn’t know that) and trying to balance, and you’ve got a recipe for a very wet day.
Make sure your dog has had plenty of time around water so that they’re accustomed to it and know that it means fun times ahead. The same goes for your stand up paddle board. Try laying your board in the grass and letting your dog sit, stand, nap, etc. on it while you do things like hit a tennis ball for them with the paddle. That way, you’re showing them that all elements of the board represent safety and fun.
Of course you’ll want a versatile and sturdy stand up paddle board and your own must-haves like sunglasses and sunscreen . . . but what does your dog need for a day on the SUP?
These are the essential items to bring stand up paddle boarding with your dog:
- Dog life jacket
- Poop bags
- Extra treats
- Rex Specs Goggles
Even if your dog is a world-class swimmer, if a dog does decide to bail off the board and make a break for the distant shore, they can severely underestimate just how far of a swim that is and get themselves into trouble. Life jackets also tend to have a convenient handle, which makes getting fido back on the board much easier. Check out the Ruffwear Float Coat for an option with a comfortable design and sleek, easy-to-grab handle.
Rex Specs Goggles are particularly important for a SUP adventure because there tends to be zero shade or sun protection while you’re out on the water. Plus, you’re dealing with the intense reflection of the sun off the water, all of which can result in anything from a sunburn to irreversible damage to your dog’s eyes. A good rule of thumb? If you’re in an environment where you want to wear sunglasses, your dog should also be wearing their own shades.
Above all, make sure you and your dog have a good time. Relax. Don’t expect everything to go according to plan. Go with the flow - literally and figuratively. And embrace a new pastime with your pup.
SWIM IN STYLE
SUP not something that floats your boat? Skip the board and go straight for the water.
As you gather up your beach chair, towel, cooler, and sunblock, don’t forget to consider the necessities for your dog.
Let’s check out the must-have items for a day at the water with your dog:
We get asked all the time if Rex Specs can be used in the water. After all, if you’re out for a day of fun in the sun, you want your shades, so fido should have some, too. We’re happy to report that Rex Specs Goggles for dogs are indeed water-friendly.
We use a waterproof glue to attach the foam to the goggle frame, so it stays perfectly in place dock dive after dock dive. And thanks to the buoyancy of the foam, Rex Specs Goggles also float if dropped into the water.
Due to the nature of fur and the varied head shapes of different breeds, and the fact that the goggles also need to be breathable to help dogs keep cool, the goggles are not waterproof. BUT - they are splash-proof, which means if your dog takes a cannonball splash to the face, the majority of the water will stay out. If you have a stick-obsessed dog who wants to dive in head-first, any water that gets into the goggles will drain out quickly thanks to ventilation areas on the top and bottom.
PICK IT UP
Don’t forget the poop bags. Are you seeing a pattern here? Always have poop bags. Nothing spoils a day at the ocean, lake, river, or any other body of water more than seeing someone hasn’t cleaned up after their dog. Keep it clean for everyone and help ensure dog-friendly beaches stay dog-friendly by doing your part to pick up what your dog puts down.
HOT TO THE TOUCH
Anything that is hot for you to walk on is also hot for your dog to walk on. Keep this in mind when hitting the sand - if you’re struggling to walk without your sandals on, chances are your pup is finding the ground equally unpleasant. Try to pick the shortest distance to the shoreline so that you can get to the cooler areas more quickly, and be sure to pack a towel or other barrier for your dog to lay on if you want to park your beach lounger in the warmer sand.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Of course, if you’re heading to the ocean you know your dog can’t drink the water . . . But even if you’re at a lake or river, drinking from the wrong spot can result in infections such as giardia. Help protect your dog from parasites and lots of intestinal upset by packing water for your dog, even if you only intend to be around freshwater sources.
Looking for something more fast-paced? We’ll round this out with our favorite action-packed activity . . .
MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH YOUR DOG
If you and your dog are adrenaline junkies, there’s nothing quite like racing down some singletrack with your canine companion in tow (or in the lead).
Set yourself and your dog up for success by following these tips for mountain biking with your dog:
Just like with the SUP, before you hit the trails on your bike, you’ll want to know that your dog has basic obedience down pat. Recall is key – if your dog sees a rabbit on the trail, you want them to pay more attention to you than the furball dashing away through the scrub. Heel, sit, and other basic commands will also come in clutch when you’re out riding.
After you’re comfortable with the basics, move on to teaching them how to behave around on the trail. Start out by hiking with your dog so they get used to seeing passers-by and getting used to not needing to dash off to every other person and pup they see. Once you feel like your dog is a well-behaved gentlepup on the hiking trail, start to introduce the bike itself. Hit some nice, broad trails to start and try to go when it’s not too busy so your dog can get used to following behind you, not running in front of the bike, and keeping a safe distance.
PROTECT YOUR PUP
Ever notice how when you come back from a ride, you have a lovely trail of mud and other random bits of earth running up a line on your back? That’s because your tires are constantly kicking things up while you ride - dirt, rocks, sticks, and who-knows-what. All of that will be flinging directly at your dog’s face as they race behind you.
Do your dog (and your potential vet bills) a favor and keep them safe during the ride with Rex Specs Goggles. Whether it’s a rogue branch sticking out onto the trail at fido-eye-height or a rock that flings up at their face at 100 MPH, there are many dangers to your dog while out mountain biking, all of which can cut a fun day short at the very best, and result in lifelong damage at the worst.
YOUR DOG’S DOGS
Your proverbial “dogs” would be barking if you walked or ran barefoot for miles of trail . . . and the same goes for your actual dog. Once your dog becomes more accustomed to rides, their paws will be more conditioned - but especially early in the season, it’s crucial to hydrate and moisturize their pads. If your pup rips a pad on a ride, they’re not only in pain - they’re out of commission for weeks.
We recommend using something like Musher’s Secret to help keep our dogs’ paws moisturized and trail-ready.
Beyond these items, always make sure you have . . . you guessed it! Poop bags and water. LOTS of water. If you’re thirsty from pedaling, imagine how your dog feels wearing a fur coat and running that same distance. Make sure you factor in lots of water breaks to keep yourself and your dog hydrated.
We hope you enjoy going full-send for summer’s end with your dog! Want more ideas for fun stuff to do with fido? Hit up our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram.