The beautiful days of summer allow us and our furry friends to spend more time outdoors. Picnics provide good times for all ages – good company, good food, fun and games.
When planning a picnic in your backyard or attending one in a park, following some simple suggestions can make it an enjoyable event for everyone.
- If you’re having the picnic at your place, decide whether you will include the guests’ dogs and let them know of your decision. If you’re invited to a picnic, ask beforehand if your dog is welcome too.
- If you plan a picnic at a park or beach, check to see if dogs are allowed.
- Bring doggie supplies if you’re going out – leash, a long tie-out line, food and water bowls, healthy treats, a doggie blanket, toys, cleanup bags.
- Make sure you settle in an area that provides shade for everyone and is close enough to where your dog will be tied. If the area is unfamiliar, your dog can become stressed and try to escape.
- Guests should be advised not to offer your dog any food.
- Feed your dog his treats when you are ready to sit down to eat. You can keep him busy with a toy you can stuff the treats into.
- Afterwards comes playtime. Unless the area is fenced and your dog can’t escape, leave the leash on so that if you need to, you have something to grab.
- If your dog becomes too excited, have some down time. Take him for a walk to get rid of some of that energy. NEVER leave your dog alone in a car.
- Quickly clean up after the meal and keep all trash out of the reach of dogs. Bones, corncobs, food wrappers, etc. all can pose the danger of choking or causing a blockage in dogs.
- Be a good neighbor and clean up after your dog too.
Know your dog’s personality. Does s/he follow commands well? Will s/he be comfortable with other dogs and other people? If the answers are no and you have any reservations about taking your dog along, please leave the dog in a safe place at home. Or if the picnic is at your place and you anticipate any problems, keep the dog in a room with treats, toys and a water bowl so s/he is comfortable and safe.