It’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors before the hot weather is upon us. Why not bring your pet with you? Here are some cool ideas and tips.

Spend time together at a local venue.
Bring your pet with you to a pet-friendly coffee shop or restaurant that has an outdoor patio. You would be surprised at how many local shops will also let you bring in your pet. Well, that is if your pet is well-behaved.

Start with something nearby. If your pet is not used to going places, it may take several outings to develop their social skills. In a public setting, you want to limit any barking and jumping up on people. Good places to start are dog parks and many state parks allow pets. If you like to do community walks or runs, those typically will not turn down participants joining with pets. Some examples are arthritis and cancer walks.

Make sure you have proper pet gear.
A must is a sturdy leash, a comfortable harness, a clean collar and a current pet tag. A bad fitting harness can rub under your pet’s chest to cause discomfort and skin irritation, not to mention the pet may be able to get out of the harness. For pets that like to pull, use a no-pull harness. I like the ones that tighten the shoulder blades together when the pet pulls. For a leash, steer clear of flexi® Leash. While convenient when there is only one pet, in a crowd these can get tangled easily. If your pet sees a squirrel, the dog may surprise you, fling out of your hand or worse, break your hand. Try a Bun-Gee Pup-EE leash, which not only will stop the constant yanking on your shoulder when your dog pulls, but also dogs often pull less because of the resistance from the bungee.

Protect against fleas, ticks and mosquitos.
Ticks are nasty and often lurk in wooded areas and mosquitos breed heart worms. It really is important to protect your pets. Many people use topical solutions like FRONTLINE®. In off seasons, a tip to extend the time between usage is to use a flea/tick spray before you head outside. Some good, natural repellents are Natural Chemistry® Flea and Tick spray, Wondercide™ spray and Flea Flicker! Tick Kicker! By Ark Naturals™. You can also rub food-grade diatomaceous earth into your pet’s coat. (I use that in my yard year-round.) This year, Natural Pawz is launching a new natural flea/tick/mosquito solution that has been used in France for years, called ALZOO. It’s a great natural alternative to FRONTLINE.

Some other things to consider are:

  • Always have water for your pet to keep hydrated.
  • For sun protection, you can use Callie’s Naturals nose butter with carrot oil with a natural SPF. It can also be used on the pet’s coat and is an alternative to sun screen with chemicals.
  • Keep paw pads protected with booties like PAWk dog socks or by applying Callie’s Paw Balm.
  • Lastly, if you are going in brush, please be careful that something does not poke your pet in the eyes.

Life is short. Enjoy spending time with your pet. We would love for you to share your favorite pet hangout and activity by posting your photos to www.Facebook.com/NaturalPawz. We will be posting pet-friendly locations to our blog as well so check it out for more ideas.