Summer tips for pet parents post-COVID-19

Looking to enjoy some “normal” summer activities now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted? Follow these tips to make sure your dog has as much fun as you do!

As COVID-19 rules loosen up in many places, lots of us are looking forward to getting out and enjoying ourselves. Since indoor venues might have cumbersome restrictions, it looks like the great outdoors will be our playground this season. The good news is, this means more opportunities to have fun with your dog. The bad news? Your pup might not adjust very well to your busy summer schedule. Here are some tips to help ensure both you and your pooch have a doggone good summer.

Don’t suddenly abandon her

Okay – this might seem overly dramatic. We know you’re not about to drop your dog off in an unfamiliar place and leave her there forever. What we mean is that your four-legged pal has been spending tons of time by your side for the past few months, and you suddenly leaving more often for long periods of time could have unintended consequences including separation anxiety.

So don’t feel bad about having fun without Fido. But keep those first few trips very short, and gradually extend your time away. When you are home, play with your dog, offer her some of her favorite treats, and try to be fully present whenever you’re with her.

Give her fun things to do

Going back to work? Headed to the gym (finally!)? Give your dog puzzle toys or a big frozen dish of water with treats inside to keep her busy while you’re away. She’ll miss you, but not quite so intensely if her mind is preoccupied.

Take her on doggy dates

Some outdoor cafes welcome guests with canine companions, and there are always fun road trips to consider. If you can bring your dog along for the fun, do it! She’ll appreciate the time you spend hiking, playing ball on the beach, or camping. Remember to pack everything your pup needs for your adventure and enjoy it to the fullest!

Walk while it’s cool

Hot sidewalks aren’t safe – they can burn your dog’s feet. Hot weather in general can leave both of you feeling tired even after a short walk, which means it’ll be tricky to fulfil her exercise requirements – and yours! Head out early in the morning or after the heat of the day dissipates. Both of you will be happy you did.

Keep your distance

Consider staying away from dog parks and busy areas for a little while longer, unless you’re able to go at off-peak times. Your dog will certainly appreciate the opportunity to run off leash where it’s allowed – especially if it’s been a while since she’s had a good romp!

Keep resisting the urge to pet other dogs you encounter while you’re out as well, and continue practicing social distancing with others you encounter.

Have fun this summer, but stay safe! The virus is still out there and it’s as dangerous as ever. Keep on top of the news and the latest CDC recommendations to keep everyone – including your canine companion – as safe as possible!


Emma Williams is a professional writer and pet parent who has written for big publishers including Canadian Dogs Annual, The Telegraph, Home Beautiful and She enjoys sharing her knowledge on pet health, lifestyle topics and pet behavior.