Most people enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities as they get a chance to get away from their daily routines of hard work and exhaustion. The summer is also here; a perfect time for that get together with your family and friends. Picnics are exciting as they give one a chance to roll in the grass, nap under a tree, and forget every nagging problem in your life.
Nevertheless, the only thing that could make it more epic is the presence of your dog! After all, you cannot leave him behind, lonely, and hungry. That is why you need to plan that picnic with your dog as part of the company.
Before picking an exact date or location for the picnic, certain things much be put into perspective.
You should consider the theme of your picnic. For example, it could be in terms of costume, kids, western, retro, etc. The point is to have everyone in the spirit of enjoyment.
2. Guest List
If you are inviting your friends, who might also tag their dogs along, ensure that they are familiar with each other. For example, they could be from the same neighborhood or buddies in training, friends from the Dog Park, etc. however, do not go overboard by inviting more than six dogs as it could turn out to be chaotic.
The other thing to consider is the aggressiveness of a pet. Do not invite one that is temperamental as it would ruin the party for everyone.
3. Let Them Bond
Some people hold impromptu picnics immediately they get some free time. While random parties can be interesting for humans, dogs may not have the same response in such matters. They are slow and prefer getting comfortable with everything before being friendly.
To make them comfortable, ensure that you invite all your guest list to the park for a few times before meeting for the final picnic. By the time you get to the D-day, he will be nice and running around with all the playmates.
Getting an ideal picnic site with your four-legged friend is not as easy as it sounds. Most parks rarely allow dogs without leashes. This can be a problem if your dog is yet to learn about staying in a leash. The leash will ensure that he is under full control throughout the picnic.
If you hold it in a fenced area, you can consider having an off-leash picnic. However, if the small picnic is being held in your compound, you should be extra careful since the little one tends to showcase his dominance in his territory. He can, therefore, be taught how to be accommodative by bringing in other dogs one by one.
The best way to invite your friends is through handmade invitation cards. In the cards, ensure that you have indicated the duration of the picnic as you do not want to have guests overstaying. This is not selfish, as your dog will be entirely worn out after a few hours.
If you intend to have their dogs around, you can have milk bone biscuits in each invitation card. This will also help the other parties in packing their snacks as they have to consider their four-legged friends as well.
6. Dog-Friendly Snacks
A picnic is never complete until the food is served and leftovers collected! It is not just about any meal; it has to be fantastic food. Make this day special for everyone, and ensure that they only eat something special. As for your dog, you can have plain grilled chicken or turkey.
If you have enough, let the guests know beforehand. However, if they are required to carry some snacks, report the same in good time. If your dog is allergic to certain snacks, ensure that you purchase the best dog food for dogs with allergies from the food store. The other issue is to make the guests carry their dog bowls unless you can provide enough for all of them.
We cannot ignore the fact that lots of canines tend to get aggressive over food. The problem is real when one of them gets served before the rest. For this reason, serve them at the same time as they sit in their locations.
7. No-Zone Foods
Certain foods are strictly off-limits, especially if you have your furry friend. They are dangerous and may result in safety issues. These are; chicken with bones, chocolate, onions, avocados, alcohol, drapes, and raisins.
In picnics, we expect the dogs to run until they are entirely worn out. This means that water has to be provided in plenty. You have to carry excess water as the thirst may exceed the expectation. The other issue is the provision of enough shade. If you do not have trees around, ensure that you have either beach umbrellas or tents to ensure that the dog gets away from the sun when it is sweltering.
9. Party Favors
A party is never complete with sturdy toys for your dogs. Ensure that you get plenty of toys and let them pick what they would love to take home. As a parting shot for each dog, give them a bag of treats as a way of gratitude for their excellent behavior and company. This will psyche him up for the next picnic.
10. Carry His Blanket Or Bed
If you are going away from home, you cannot ignore the fact that your friend will get tired at some point. That is the reason why you need to carry his favorite blanket or dog bed. You can place this bed under a shade for a quick nap or just a chill-out.
11. Walk The Dog Before The Picnic
Once you walk your dog before the picnic day, you will help him in getting rid of excess energy, thus improving the odds that he would be on his best behavior during that day. This will make the picnic enjoyable for all, as they will be more focused on chilling rather than running around.
12. Check The Picnic Area Before Bringing In Your Pet
As much as this is the day to be free from all the worries, you have to be extra cautious with where you take your dog. If you are nature conscious, ensure that you clean up the area of the picnic space. You might be surprised to get hazardous items such as knives, plastic bags, trash, chicken bones, and many others.
Remember that once you get to the place, your dog will sniff the items and chew them immediately. You might discover this later when things are already worse. Caution is, therefore, vital.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Hurt
In the picnic, especially if it is in a park, there are certain things you can do to prevent your dog from getting hurt.
Some of them are as follows;
If you are there to have fun, ensure that you do not zone out as it may be a chance for your furry friend to wander away. You are allowed to socialize with other dogs, however, keep an eye on him to ensure that he is playing all nice
Read body language
Even without dogs communicating in a formal language, we all know that they are good non-verbal communicators. Watch their behaviors and body language as it tells a lot.
If your picnic is in a park, avoid bringing smaller dogs as they will encounter large ones there. The smaller dogs always result in severe injuries and, therefore, essential to separate the big dogs from the small ones.
Break it up
Despite how calm your dog is, you need to know that he might become aggressive in case he encounters another dog. You, therefore, have to learn how to break up such fights in case such a need arises.
Diseases That Your Dog Can Catch In The Picnic
Despite how careful we are, some things are beyond control. If you are holding your picnic in a park, there is a risk of getting infected. Although some are relatively mild, others are not. The risk of getting infected is determined by their vaccination status, your vaccination, and whether parasite preventatives have been used over the years. Other factors are the cleanliness of the dog park, the population, and the time of the year.
Some of the most common transmittable diseases are;
This is a nasty bacterial infection that mostly attacks the dog’s kidney and liver. It is easily transmitted through water, urine, and feces. Being a zoonotic condition, it means that people can also get infected.
A dog is mostly infected once he ingests infected larval stage of the hookworm. Hookworms are also zoonotic, and deworming is necessary for both animals and people.
From this, we can conclude that dogs provide good company when on family picnics. However, one has to make prior preparations to ensure that the picnic is fun. However, also ensure that both you and the dog are vaccinated before the D-day.