7 Ways For Kids To Bond With The Family Dog This Summer

Photo of little smiling boy, his dad and dog having fun outdoors. Dad is driving them in a wheelbarrow.

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Summer is a perfect time for kids to do some bonding with their pups. The nice weather brings plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities that will allow kids to form deeper relationships with the dogs they love.

Dogs can teach children a lot about compassion, empathy, and responsibility, too. Just remember to always supervise playtime between kids and dogs, even with calm kids and well-trained dogs.

Here are a few ways kids can strengthen that bond with their dogs over the summer.

1. Teach The Dog A New Trick

Teaching a dog a new trick isn’t always as difficult as it seems, and you can find plenty of tricks that even kids can teach dogs here.

This can become a fun game and a huge self-esteem booster for children. Kids and dogs can learn and build confidence together while gaining trust and companionship.

Now that it’s summer, there’s lots of room outside to learn, and some tricks are better practiced while on a walk.

2. Family Road Trip

Family in Car with Dog

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A great way for kids to bond with their pups is to go on a family road trip.

Make sure you plan a vacation that is dog-friendly. Some National Parks allow dogs, and there are plenty of campgrounds and hiking trails that dogs can visit.

Traveling allows your kids and your dogs to experience something new and learn together. Building memories is an important part of bonding.

Just make sure to check local rules and regulations where you’re going. Different areas have different schedules for shutting down or re-opening during the pandemic. Keep that in mind as you plan.

3. A Nature Hike

Image of a 10 years old bor and his german shepherd dog admiring a beautiful landscape in Rodnei mountains, Carpathian mountain range, Transylvania, Romania

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Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature, and a hike is a good excuse for your kid and dog to get used to maintaining control on a leash.

It’s also fun if you allow your child to take a camera so that they can stop and take pictures with their dog or snap photos of wildlife that they spot on the trail.

Getting closer to nature will only make your kid’s love for animals grow, as well as their love for their pup. Remember to social distance on the trail, and both kids and adults should wear face masks in public when social distancing isn’t possible.

4. Swimming & Sprinklers

Boy playing in a water sprinkler and two dogs chasing him

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There’s nothing like running through a sprinkler or jumping into water on a hot summer day.

If your dog loves the water, try setting up a kiddie pool and let your kid splash around with the pup. You can also put the sprinkler on in the backyard.

Playing together is a great way to build friendship, and it’s fun for kids and dogs.

5. Summer Camp

You may be surprised to know that several summer camps offer classes for kids and their dogs to learn new tricks, how to understand each other, and even how to do agility training.

If your dog is friendly and well-behaved, these classes might be perfect for bonding.

With the pandemic in mind, several of these camps have moved to online courses this summer. So look up a few and check them out!

6. Blow Bubbles

Girl blowing bubbles with dog in field

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This is one even young children can do. Most kids of kindergarten age and younger love blowing bubbles, and most pups love chasing and popping them.

Make sure you get a kid-safe bottle of bubbles and watch the fun. Chances are good that your kid will be laughing while your pup has a blast.

It’s a great way to build fun memories together.

7. Practice Fetch

A little boy and his father playing with their dog near the ocean. The boy is ready to throw the ball for the dog to fetch.

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Now that the weather is nice, it’s a perfect time to play some active, outdoor games. Fetch is a great way for both kids and dogs to burn off some excess energy while bonding.

Tired kids are like tired dogs in that they’re less destructive and rambunctious. Once they come inside, they can rest and relax together while you get some peace and quiet.

Do your children love to play with their dogs outside when the weather is nice? What are some other fun bonding activities that kids can do with their dogs in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!