Spending Your Summer with a Service Dog in Denver

Posted on Jul 12th 2023


Spending Your Summer with a Service Dog in Denver

Your service dog is a critical and loved part of your life. As their owner, you want to keep them safe, healthy, and happy throughout all your adventures, especially in summer.

Dog Training Elite Denver offers service animal training to teach your dog basic behavioral training and the necessary skills to support you and your needs. We offer training for PTSD/ psychiatric service dogs, mobility support dogs, medical response service dogs, autism support service dogs, and diabetic alert service dogs.

A trained service dog benefits your life and keeps your dog safe, whatever environment they're in. Whether this is your first summer with a service dog or you and your dog have lots of experience, follow these tips to make this summer safe and fun!

Preparing to Travel with Your Service Dog

First, know your rights wherever you are. ADA law gives you the right to take your service animal to most places of business, hotels, flights, etc. No one can refuse service or access due to a service dog accompanying you.

Have a leash that is comfortable for both you and your canine ready. Hands-free leashes are an excellent option for spaces like airports, where you may have your hands full with luggage and supplies.

When venturing to beaches or parks, ensure your service dog is voice trained and be aware that the surrounding environment may be extra distracting and cause behavioral differences. Understanding sit and stay commands when off leash is vital for your dog, especially near an ocean or other large body of water. While dogs can swim, they aren't always the strongest in the water. Keep them safe through training to ensure they'll return from the sea when you call.

Be Aware of the Temperature

If you feel hot, your dog also feels the heat. While dogs have natural means of keeping themselves cool, knowing the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion is critical.

Dogs drink more than their body weight in water, so always pack a portable bowl or water bottle whenever you leave the house

A dog's fur is a natural sun protectant, so shaving it can lead to sunburns and other skin issues. Trims can be a great option to remove excess fur and cool them during the warmer months. Keep fur around their paws a regular length to support their sweat glands and reduce the risk of bacterial infection.

Dogs cool off by rubbing against cool surfaces. Invest in a mesh or light vest that can be wetted or carry cooling gel packets to bring a cold surface to them.

If you love spending hours in your backyard, filling a plastic, shallow pool for your dog to cool off in is a great option. You'll love seeing your dog happy, and they will enjoy being close to you even in the heat!

Air Travel

Airports and airplanes can lead to exciting new places but also carry immense stress for humans and animals.

Service animals can accompany you onto a plane in a carrier under the seat in front of you or on your lap. If your dog is larger, consider purchasing an extra seat for them to increase comfortability for you both.

Prepare for the plane ride by ensuring your dog is up to date on vaccinations and research what documentation the airline will require for their boarding. Check where pet relief areas are in advance at the airports you'll be visiting so you’ll know where to take your dog.

Consult with your veterinarian on options for natural or prescription sedatives or relaxants. These can help your dog adjust to the new environment and ensure they have a comfortable time flying with you.

Bring a carry-on bag full of their favorite treats, toys, and a few sanitary items for emergencies. Having some puppy pads handy if your dog has to go on a long flight will help you immensely in a pinch.

When and Where to Walk

Black asphalt, concrete, and other hard outdoor surfaces can become extremely hot throughout the day in direct sunlight. Your dog's paws are sensitive, and you want to ensure they can walk comfortably without fear of burns, blisters, or injuries.

Test outdoor surface temperatures by touching them with the back of your hand. If they feel too hot for you, they are too hot for your service dog to walk on. Consider sunrise or evening walks to avoid exercising your dog during the hottest part of the day.

Allow your dog to walk in the grass whenever possible. If you are traveling to a new city, research local parks that can offer your dog more shade, grass, or dirt trails to exercise on.

Walking on asphalt or concrete might be your only option if you plan to visit places like theme parks during the summer. In that case, boots can protect your dog's paws and create a fun accessory to keep them stylish in the summer!

Be aware that skin bacterias tend to multiply during the hot months, and those sweat glands can be especially prone to infection. Keep their boots sanitary and stylish by selecting breathable pairs and regularly washing your dog's paws.

Find indoor attractions or activities during the hottest parts of the day to keep you both cool. A late lunch or early dinner might be the best way to keep your dog's paws off the hot pavement when the sun is at its peak.

Enjoy Your Summer with Your Best Friend

While the summer months get hot, careful planning and attention to health can create beautiful experiences for you and your dog. With proper training, you can be confident your dog will be safe and comfortable accompanying you everywhere.

At Dog Training Elite in Denver, we are here to support you and help you communicate best with your dog so that you can focus solely on making exceptional memories together. Contact us today for a free training demo!