10 Activities to Do With Your Furry Friends This Summer
With sandy beaches, a blue ocean, lush parks, dog-friendly cafes, dog parks, and more, your fur child will think the sunshine state is paradise! Your furry friend deserves the best, and a tired dog is a happy one!
With that in mind, Sky Cove South of Westlake put together this list of 10 activities to do with your four-legged best friend this summer in Palm Beach County.
1. Go for a Hike
Find a hiking trail for you and your dog to enjoy and explore new landscapes. New sights, sounds, and smells are physically and mentally stimulating for dogs, and hiking is great exercise for humans, too.
Be sure your dog’s fitness level is appropriate for the trail length and difficulty before venturing out, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water for you and your furry friend.
Some of the excellent hiking trails near Westlake include:
- Apoxee Trail in West Palm Beach
- Hog Hammock Trail in West Palm Beach
- SWA Greenway System in West Palm Beach
- Palm Beach Lake Trail in Palm Beach
Always check the rules ahead of time to make sure dogs are welcome and if they must be leashed.
Search for dog-friendly recreational areas, including beaches and lakes. Many dogs enjoy a nice swim, and the water will keep them cool during the summer months.
If your dog is afraid of deep water, consider buying a small backyard pool.
A few of our favorite dog-friendly beaches near Westlake are:
- Friends of Jupiter Beach in Jupiter
- Stuart Beach in Stuart
- Juno Beach Park in Juno Beach
Note that dogs must be leashed at some of these beaches and you’re always responsible for picking up after them. Check the rules before you go.
3. Spend the Day Driving Around
Take your dog on a day trip to visit relatives, friends, or shopping areas. Many dogs enjoy riding in the car and will be happy to join the experience. Stop in at pet-friendly places, such as outdoor markets and pet stores, to buy a few new toys.
Don’t forget to pick up a Puppuccino while you’re out and about! Many coffee shops offer a free small whipped cream treat for your pup when you purchase a drink for yourself – just make sure to hit up the drive-through if you can’t take your furry friend inside.
Remember never to leave your dog alone in the car. Even if you think you won’t be away from your car for too long, it’s simply too hot to leave your pup unattended in a parked vehicle in Florida.
Sky Cove South is located near plenty of shopping centers, pet-friendly parks, and more.
4. Take a Night Walk
Both you and your dog will enjoy the peace and cooler air when walking at night. Hot asphalt can burn your pup’s feet during the day, making night walks the perfect solution. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear high-visibility clothing. Consider outfitting your pooch with a reflective or LED light-up collar to make sure you are both visible on your night walk.
Sky Cove South offers spacious sidewalks and parks for you to walk with your dog day and night.
5. Enroll in Obedience Classes
Spend time together this summer teaching and learning new training techniques with your dog. These classes increase the communication and bond you share with your dog. Sky Cove and Sky Cove South of Westlake residents can practice all those new tricks at Paw Park near Westlake Adventure Park.
6. Take a Vacation with Your Dog
There are many hotels, resorts, rental homes like Airbnb and VRBO – and pet-friendly places where you and your dog are welcome to take a vacation together. However, you should always call ahead to find out a location’s pet policy before booking. Accommodations may have size or breed restrictions, and they often charge additional pet fees.
7. Go to a Dog Park
Grab some water and treats and head over to one of these Palm Beach County dog parks for some off-leash fun:
- Canine Cove, 12551 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33498, west of Boca Raton. Open sunrise to sunset, except Wednesdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m.
- Dog Park at Lake Ida, 1455 Lake Ida Road, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Open sunrise to sunset, except Thursdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m..
- Lake Woof, 1996 Center Dr, Lake Worth, FL 33461. Open sunrise to sunset, except Thursdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m.
- Pooch Pines, Eshleman Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33413. Open sunrise to sunset, except Wednesdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m.
Owners must be inside the enclosure with their dogs and pick up after their pets. For more rules, click here.
Be sure to check the size and breed (if any) restrictions at your local dog park before you make the trip. Most dog parks are fenced-in, which allows dogs to run around without a leash. This provides ample opportunity for socialization and fun.
Sky Cove or Sky Cove South residents can bring a ball or frisbee and play with their furry friend at Paw Park—a park dedicated to fun and exercise for your dog. Westlake even sponsors events for Westlake human and dog residents like regular “Yappy Hours”!
8. Go on a Boat Ride
Getting your dog out on a boat for the first time can be an exciting adventure. Your dog’s reaction to the excitement out on the water is a memorable experience.
Larger boats are likely the safest bet to avoid your furry friend from taking an unplanned dip in the water. It’s also a good idea to buy a lifejacket for your pup, even if they’re a good swimmer.
If it’s your first time on a boat, you’ll also want to put all your belongings in a waterproof container.
9. Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Grab treats and watch some YouTube videos to learn new tricks to teach your dog. Most dogs enjoy pleasing their owners and are happy to learn a new trick.
Trainers encourage owners to keep training sessions short. Multiple 5-minute sessions are more effective than one long session.
10. Throw a Dog Party
National Dog Day is on August 26th, and what better way to celebrate than to throw a pooch-themed party? Invite all your friends and their dogs. They can enjoy an afternoon filled with food, play, and barking.
If you don’t want to stay home, visit Paw Park or check out BRK Republic in West Palm Beach. It’s an off-leash, indoor dog park combined with a restaurant and bar (21+).
Important Reminders for Summertime Dog Safety
When taking your dog outside in the summer, there are a few important things you must remember to keep your dog safe.
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Take breaks, pack water and a dog bowl, and pay attention to your dog’s comfort level.
- Check the temperature of the ground. Hot asphalt can burn your dog’s feet. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it is too hot for your dog.
- You should research the basics of dog first aid, because accidents can happen to any pup. Lastly, carry a first aid kit for your dog.
- Don’t forget waste bags!
Bonus: Activities for Cats
While most out-and-about activities are better suited for dogs than cats, we didn’t forget your feline friends!
Plant a Kitty-Friendly Garden
Did you know cat grass is a thing? Cats have an instinctive urge to eat grass from time to time, but grass outdoors can be treated with pesticides and isn’t safe for gnawing on. Many pet food retailers offer cat grass kits that allow you to grow feline-safe greens indoors.
While you’re at it, why don’t you plant some catnip in your indoor or outdoor garden so you always have a fresh supply for your fur child?
While it isn’t very ethical to have your cat fish for live animals, you can simulate the hunting experience by filling a sink or bucket with water and tossing in ping pong balls or cheap mouse toys to let your cat scoop them out.
Make a Rooting Box
Cats already love boxes – why not fill a small box with catnip, grass clippings, and a few of your kitty’s favorite toys? Then, close up the box most of the way and let your cat figure out how to get to the good stuff.
Dog Activities in South FL FAQs
1. Which Beaches Are Dog-Friendly in South Florida?
While some beaches are only welcoming to 2-legged visitors, there are several dog-friendly beaches in South Florida, including:
- Jupiter Dog Beach covers a 2.5-mile stretch of sand from beach marker #26 at Marcinski Road going north to beach marker #57 (at the Carlin Park property line) in Jupiter.
- Stuart Beach allows leashed dogs on the parts of the beach unguarded by lifeguards.
- Juno Beach Park allows dogs on leashes no longer than 6 feet.
Remember to bring along plenty of water, a bowl, and waste bags to keep your pup hydrated and the beach clean.
2. What Are Some Good Dog Parks in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale?
The best dog parks in the Palm Beach area include:
- Pooch Pines Dog Park at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach
- Lilac Park Dog Park in Palm Beach Gardens
- Wellington Dog Park in Wellington
- Canine Cove at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, west of Boca Raton
- Dog Park at Lake Ida West Park in Delray Beach
- Lake Woof at John Prince Park in Lake Worth
- Pooch Pines at Okeeheelee Park, west of West Palm Beach
Some of the best dog parks in Fort Lauderdale are:
- Dog Swim and Bark Park at Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale
- Bark Yard N’ Brews in Fort Lauderdale
- Happy Tails Dog Park at Seminole Park in Plantation
- Holiday Park Dog Park in Fort Lauderdale
- Oakland Bark in Oakland Park
Keeping Your Dog Happy This Summer
The truth is dogs are happiest when spending quality time with you. It makes no difference to your furry friend whether your time together is at Paw Park or a day at the beach. Doing activities together builds your relationship and improves the physical and emotional health of both you and your dog.
Sky Cove South of Westlake is the perfect place to own a pet. With big backyards, ample space and many dog-friendly activities nearby, you will always find something to do with your furry friend.
Are you thinking about calling Sky Cove South home? Plan a visit today and discover the home of your dreams! For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (561) 792-3004 or fill out our contact form online.