When the weather warms up, everyone wants to be outside, especially your pets. Even the most timid of house cats could benefit from a little fresh air from time to time. So whether you have a cat, dog, rabbit, turtle, or parrot, here are a few tips to help them have a little fun in the great outdoors.
Starting out right: Before heading outdoors with your pet, make sure that both you and Fido, or Fluffy, are prepared. Even in your own backyard, pets can encounter many dangers and wild animals, like mice and birds, not to mention semi-urban wildlife, like raccoons and foxes. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccines and let them out to play during daytime hours when fewer predators are out. If you're headed outside of a fenced yard, make sure you have proper tags and leashes before you leave.
Sticking to your backyard: There's a lot of fun to be had right in your own backyard, especially for pets who are used to spending most of their time indoors. Take your cat, dog, bunny, or whatever furry or scaly friend you have outdoors for the afternoon in the safety of a fenced yard. The new sights and sounds will stimulate them as they explore the yard. Make sure to keep a watchful eye, however, because it only takes a second for them to crawl under a fence or behind a shed.
Playing in the park: A day at the park is fun for everyone, especially your pet. If you have a doggy park in your area, that's a great place for your dog to meet other dogs and get some off-leash time. Find out what other parks in your area allow pets, either on- or off-leash, where you can take them for some fresh air and exercise. If your furry friend is timid, look for a quiet area of the park first, and then slowly introduce him to people and other pets.
Camping and adventure: Just because you're planning a weekend camping or hiking trip doesn't mean that the furriest member of your family has to stay home. With the right planning and gear, you can bring him along. There are a lot of dangers your pets face out in the wild, however, so check out these tips on how to take your dog camping. They can apply to any pets you're planning on taking along, not just dogs.
Cooling down: Water is always important when you take your pet anywhere. It not only keeps animals safe from dehydration, but it also helps them regulate their temperature. Always make sure that you have plenty of water with you. Your cat may not be interested in splashing around in a wading pool or pond, but your dog will probably love it. It's a good way for him to get exercise and stay cool in the summer heat.
Coming home: There's a whole world of dangers your pets can encounter when they're outside. Always check them thoroughly for ticks and insect bites when you get home, especially if you've been out in wooded or brushy areas. You'll also want to check for cuts and scrapes and treat them immediately to prevent infection. And let's face it, sometimes your pet just needs a good bath after a romp in the great outdoors.