The Best 5 Summer Activities for Your Dog (Based on Breed)

Are you looking to spend more time outside with your pup this summer?

When it comes to outdoor adventures, it’s important to consider your dog’s energy level, stamina, and heat tolerance. And if you know their breed make-up, that can help you identify activities they’ll adore.

Here are a few fun ways to keep your dog moving in the warmer weather.

Golden Retriever on a hike

1. Bring your dog along on hikes.

For high-energy, active breeds—such as those in the sporting, herding, and terrier groups—hiking is hard to top. There are so many new smells and experiences to explore, and the shade from trees offers a respite from the summer heat.

Because hiking trails vary in difficulty, it’s usually pretty easy to find one that suits both you and your dog. Be sure to keep your pup on a leash for their safety (and that of the nature around you). And pack plenty of water, treats, and poop bags for your outing.

Energy level required: Medium to high.

Dog breeds that love hiking: 

A Labrador Retriever swimming with a toy in their mouth

2. Make a splash.

Swimming is an entertaining way for your dog to beat the heat on a summer day. And if your dog isn’t the best swimmer, wading in shallow areas, relaxing in kiddie pools, and running through sprinklers are great alternatives.

Many breeds love to play fetch in the water. Try tossing a floating, water-safe toy into a calm lake for your dog to bring back. But remember, safety first! Avoid bodies of water with strong currents or other obvious hazards. And if you can, keep your pup from drinking the water.

Energy level required: Low to high.

Dog breeds that love swimming:

Woman about to throw toy for her dog to fetch

3. Play fetch in the (dog) park.

One of the oldest outdoor canine pastimes, fetch is a favorite game of many medium- to high-energy dogs. And if it takes place in a park where they have plenty of room to run around, all the better. (Bonus: Playing fetch in a dog park also allows your pup to interact with other dogs.)

Make sure to bring along lots of water and take frequent breaks in the shade to ensure your dog doesn’t overheat.

Energy level required: Medium to high.

Dog breeds that love playing fetch:

Woman walking her Chihuahua

4. Go for a stroll.

Weather permitting, a leisurely walk is a lovely, low-impact activity for all breeds. In the hottest parts of the year, opt for early morning or late evening strolls, as temperatures will be milder.

Pro tip: Before heading out, check the pavement by putting your bare hand on the surface for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws.

Energy level required: Low to medium.

Dog breeds that love going for walks:

Woman talking to her pup at a dog-friendly restaurant

5. Grab a snack at a dog-friendly restaurant.

Many restaurants, coffee shops, and cafés allow pets nowadays. If you’ve got a laid-back breed, consider letting them join when you go out to grab a bite.

Doing so will provide your dog with a refreshing change of scenery and the chance to socialize with other pets and people.

Energy level required: Low to medium.

Dog breeds that love socializing:

Small dog running outside in yard

Let the outdoor fun begin!

We hope these tips help you and your dog enjoy more time outside together this summer. For more ideas on how to engage and exercise your canine, check out these games you can play with your dog at home.

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The mission of WISDOM HEALTH™ veterinary science and research is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship between pets, pet owners, breeders, shelters and veterinarians through valuable insights into pets as individuals. Through the genetic testing of dogs and cats we aim to make advances in science towards a better world for all pets so their owners can love them longer.

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