How To Plan A Picnic With Your Dog

July is National Picnic Month, and there is no better time to include your beloved pooch in the day’s activities. A picnic is a refreshing break from the daily chaos for both you and your dog. Just as we do, our pets need that break from life’s stress. We could all use a little fun in the sun with some fresh air, good eats and a little playtime. If you have never had a picnic with your dog before, keep reading to learn how to go about planning one.

Planning a picnic with your dog can be fun and exciting. Whether your picnic is at the local park or swimming hole, campground or even in your own backyard; it’s your picnic and you can be as adventurous as you like. When you are choosing a destination you should take into consideration things like is your dog:

  • Water Lover – Swimming opens up possibilities for water toys requiring a need for towels or doggy life vests since not all dogs can swim.

  • Rabies Vaccinated – Some areas may require proof of rabies vaccinations like state parks.

  • Flea and Tick Treated – This is an excellent idea in general. But some rural locations with denser woods and vegetation may harbor increased flea and tick populations posing enhanced risks.

  • Socialized with People and Other Dogs – Having a socialized dog can make the difference between a relaxing day and a disaster waiting to happen depending on if you are in a populated public venue or a secluded one.

The Bed and Biscuit of Austin has hand picked some of the best dog-friendly areas to have a picnic with your dog that include access to waterways. But you are always welcome to find your own special spot!

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Auditorium Shores

Butler Hike and Bike Trail

McKinney Falls State Park

 Once you’ve chosen your perfect picnic spot, it’s time to think about items to bring –  because picnic items for your dog are not the same as they are for you. Consider this to be your ‘Golden Dog Picnic List’. So write it down!

 Top 10 Dog Picnic Items to Remember

  1. Plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated

  2. His or her regular food – no picnic food please!

  3. Food and water bowls that will not tip over easily

  4. Pack some their favorite toys including water toys

  5. Don’t forget dog treats to reward good behavior

  6. Collar and leash (non-extendable is preferred)

  7. Updated tags and proof of vaccination

  8. Plenty of towels if water is involved

  9. Blanket to lay on either the ground or in the car

  10. Bring a first aid kit equipped with doggy safe sunscreen

TIP:It is never a good idea to have your dog off leash in any park setting. If it is an off-leash park, please be aware of the risks associated with having your dog off leash around other dogs. 

Some further suggestions to help you plan a picnic with your dog is to walk your dog before the picnic to release that excess energy, and pick a spot with ample shade. This way they can retreat when the temperature gets too hot. Enjoy the quality time together, but have a ‘Plan B’ in mind and be ready to leave early if your dog seems uncomfortable.

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