Unleashing our inner farm dog
Tap into rural pleasures (just-picked pears, clucking chickens, muddy boots) during a pet-friendly farm stay. Well-behaved dogs are welcome at the aptly named Dog Mountain Farm in Carnation, Wash., where organic orchards, vineyards and gardens supply scrumptious scenery and farm dinners. And in the East Coast, there’s the 200-acre Champlain Valley Alpacas farm in bucolic Bridport, Vt. — milk goats, learn to spin — good dogs and horses too are welcomed.
Get a few of your dog park friends together, or for a family reunion, rent dogfriendly houseboats on many of America’s loveliest lakes. From western-state lakes like Mead, Oroville and Trinity to Texas’ Lake Armistad or Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, check out the rates and locations on foreverresorts.com or houseboating.org .
Trailer Life Lite
Renting a camper trailer — a vintage Airstream or a family-sized model with all the homey comforts — is easy and affordable. Plus you can have your “accommodations” delivered to a choice campground. Many trailer rental companies do all the work — towing, hook ups and taking it away. Best way to find one is to search online for a company in your vacation spot area.
Al fresco film
Drive-in movie lots, such as the historic Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre on US Route 1 in North Carolina, are a crackerjack option for movie buffs who don’t want to leave their canine cineastes at home. But we really love skipping the car and lolling under the stars on picnic blankets. A couple faves include Sunday night walk-in movies (with live pre-show music) at the Eureka Springs Lucky 13 Starlight Cinema in the Ozarks, and the Fremont Outdoor Cinema in Seattle, where beanbag chairs are de rigueur.
Deer and elk antlers have become our dogs’ favorite chew — and lots of folks these days are training their dogs to find these naturally shed “organic treats.” Once your dog retrieves one from your countryside walk, you can saw it into smaller pieces (removing the sharper ends). Any dog who likes to fetch can be taught how. Check out antler scouting and training tips: Minnesota.publicradio.org
TIP: Do not wash the antlers, just dry-scrub off any dirt or plant material. Water might cause mold.
Community dog wash
Get the neighorhood kids together and hold a dog wash for your favorite shelter. Ask your local pet store to donate tearless shampoo, too.
Most national parks aren’t all that dog friendly. So skip Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Yosemite — where canines are limited to pavement and campsites — and discover welcoming trails through jaw-dropping wilderness in most national forests and National Recreation Areas, such as, Delaware Water Gap, Hells Canyon, Chattahochee River, and Santa Monica Mountains.
TIP: Tick season is here, so check your dog thoroughly for signs of ticks — and remove them properly and immediately. If a tick is attached for more than 48 hours, it might infect your dog with Lyme disease. Bring along a tick removing device on hikes.
Whether in the pool or on the lake, this is a float made just for pooches who want to cool off this summer. It is tear-resistant, can be used both in the water or as an outdoor bed, and comes in three sizes. Ultrafloats.com