Q: We usually take our dog along on family trips. There aren’t going to be any this summer. How can I entertain my pup?


A: Going on vacation can be costly and stressful, even without a pandemic. But you can find plenty of dog-friendly fun without straying far from home.

Go to the beach. Research the dog-friendly beaches in your area and spend the day on the sand with your dog. Some dogs can be sensitive to the sun, so be sure to bring dog-friendly sunblock if necessary. Also, bring extra towels to dry your dog after a swim and to cover the seats in your car for the ride home. Always be sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand for your dog, as well.

Picnic in the park. Pack lunch for yourself and bring dog food and water for your four-legged friend. Don’t forget to bring toys to play with. Remember to check the park’s policy on pets before heading out.

Have a barbecue. Invite one or two friends and their dogs over for a socially distanced backyard barbecue. If it’s hot outside, set up a kiddie pool or sprinklers for the dogs. You can also plan canine events, such as trick shows or agility competitions. Always be sure to have drinking water accessible to the dogs and a shaded area where they can retreat to cool off.

Take a hike. Whether you have a forest, stretch of country road or a park near your home, a hike is a great way to get out of the house and get some exercise with your dog. If you live in a city, urban trails can be just as fun. Remember to take water, a collapsible dog dish and snacks for along the way.

American Kennel Club