The “lake-iest” of all holiday weekends, Memorial Day is a time to remember, honor, reunite and celebrate. And pets are sure to get in on all the action!
Does your pup prefer a refreshing swim, a boat ride or taking in the action from the shore? You can’t know everything about a dog just based on its breed, but these are historically some of the biggest water bugs.
“Have Ball, Will Play” by Gary Barton
Some exuberant dogs are happy to just get in the car (or golf cart!) and go, especially when they *know* they’re going to the lake! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some items that pup parents can prepare in advance to make their day at the lake more comfortable, enjoyable and safer for all.
If this is your first time in the water with your dog (not counting doggy bath time!) – don’t assume they can swim! You would think they could all do the doggy paddle, at least, but try tossing a stick or a ball in the water progressively further from shore to assess their comfort level and swimming skills.
“Summer Swim” by Daniel Mesey
If you’re heading out on a boat or hanging out on your dock, there are some things that could aid in your and your pup's enjoyment.
You may have seen pet stairs to help your smaller pooches get up on tall beds, or ramps to help older dogs get into cars. But have you seen the doggy boat pet stairs to help dogs back into your water cruisers?
Lifewithdogs.tv gives the following reminder on boating with dogs:
“Buying your dog a life jacket is important. Dogs can get cramps, just like we can, or they can get tired when they swim too far from shore. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, you can’t control the current, or temperature of the water, and you can’t always know your dog’s stamina. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
“Aging in Style” by Colleen Mitchell
I’m sure we can all agree! And keep in mind that if you do need to pull them back in, they can be much heavier than when they’re on land (hello, wet dog smell!).
Always have a source of fresh water close by for your dog, otherwise you’ll find yourself surrounded by water with nothing to drink! Innsbrook has some of the most pristine lakes in the Midwest, but just like filling up your water bottle with lake water might not seem appealing to you, dogs (and their health/digestive systems) would much rather lap up clean, fresh water on the shore. Look into a travel water dish or bring your pet’s favorite dish from home so they feel familiar and comfortable using it.
Bring a towel that dries Fido fast! Maybe your dog dries off in the open air as you drive home with the top down or maybe he needs a little help before he shakes and sprays all over your chalet. If your dog is that latter, bring along an absorbent towel – ideally made of microfiber – to scrub Spot down before he jumps into your Jeep.
“Family, Friends and Jeeping Fun” by Carolyn Mooney
Dogs aren’t allowed on Innsbrook’s beaches, but if you have a beach on your IBK property or visit a dog-friendly beach nearby: Keep in mind how hot the sand can feel on your feet and think of your furry friends!
Some other items to consider for your buddy’s beach bag include:
- Bug spray
- Cooler with ice
- Cooling mat
And of course you don’t want to forget the essentials that you’re probably already employing to keep your dog safe and healthy, like flea and tick preventative and a shady place to retreat from the sun!
If you discover your dog is not the water-loving type – or maybe you aren’t either! – there are still plenty of great outdoor activities to do with your dog when the weather is nice.
If you own property at Innsbrook, then you have access to our very own dog park! Located on the west side of the community near Lake Konstanz, Lachen Hund Dog Park allows Innsbrook pets to run free in an open-air environment under owner supervision.
The 10,000 sq. ft. fenced area is open sunrise to sunset and includes a pavilion, benches, a fire hydrant and fresh water for your pet.
Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of an overheated hound! When the summer heats up and you head to the lake or other al fresco activity, keep an eye on your dog on those especially humid Midwest days. Check out these signs of heat exhaustion in pets so you know what to be aware of and what action to take if your dog begins to exhibit any of them.
Are your dogs water lovers or stay inside/on the shore types? Answer in the comments!