Keep Your Cool: 12 Dog-Friendly Summer Date Ideas

By Nicole Moore

Photo: Jennifer John wearing a    Pang Wangle    scarf and pants with dogs Dicey and Jane

Photo: Jennifer John wearing a Pang Wangle scarf and pants with dogs Dicey and Jane

With temperatures on the rise it may be tempting to hole up in your house, crank the AC, and spend the summer watching Netflix. But hiding out in your air conditioned home until the fall is detrimental to your dating life. The warmer weather lends itself to so many fun, dog-friendly dates and it'd be a shame for you to miss out!

But before heading out in the sun with your honey bun, take safety precautions. Stay hydrated, wearing light clothing, and take rests in cool, shaded areas. 

You’ll also want to stay away from disease carrying ticks and mosquitoes. We Dig Pang Wangle’s outdoor, travel, and dog-friendly, apparel for hot, buggy climates. Their fashionable Optimist Pants are high-waist leggings in breathable organic cotton that comes with built-in Insect Shield® bug repellent. Insect Shield® treated apparel is appropriate for use on pets, infants, children, and pregnant or nursing women. 

During summer dates, pay close attention to your furry friend. As temperatures rise, dogs are susceptible to heat stroke. It’s important to recognize the first signs of overheating, which includes panting, weakness, dizziness, and vomiting. If your dog has any of these symptoms, reduce their temperature by getting them wet and immediately contact your vet. Take this seriously.

“As things progress, [your dog] will become incapable of moving or responding to you.  If nothing is done they can die quickly,” warns Dr. Daniel Vichot of Westside Veterinary Hospital in Gretna, LA.  

So your pup doesn’t get overheated on summer outings, add ice to her water dish, wipe her down with a cool cloth, and use a shade screen.

With these tips to beat the heat, you, your date, and your dog can enjoy these 12 summer date ideas.  

Camp 

Camping is the perfect summer adventure to go on with your sweetheart. Not only is it totally romantic, it’s cheap. 

During the evening, sit around a crackling fire, share stories, make S’mores, and split a bottle of something bubbly. Snuggle while gazing at the night sky, shining with stars and satellites. In the morning, wake up before your date and make a breakfast spread with fruit, pancakes, and coffee. 

Now that you’re ruffing it, remember to pack a bag for your pooch with a portable water bowl, a pet first aid kit, and biodegradable waste bags inside. If your pup is excessively panting while in the wilderness, find a shady place or a body of water as soon as possible. 

Also bring treats and toys to keep your furry friend occupied throughout the trip! Dogs find setting up tents and building campfires to be super boring.

Pro tip: Pang Wrangler’s Journey Scarf is the perfect accessory for a camping trip. Made from recycled materials, the Journey Scarf has a zipper pocket that is large enough for a smartphone, cash, cards, keys, and even dog treats.  

Enjoy Shakespeare in the Park 

“My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind; So flew'd, so sanded; their heads are hung with ears that sweep away the morning dew…” 

Shakespeare in the Park is a quintessential summer event for many cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine. Bring blankets and folding chairs. Together, become immersed in A Midsummer Night's Dream and watch professional actors perform soliloquies against the background of a stunning, summer sunset.

When finding a spot to sit with Spot, Dr. Daniel Vichot reminds you to choose an area with shade and grass, rather than sitting on or near hot asphalt. 

For this date, owners should only bring quiet, well-behaved pups. Personally, I would never bring my dog. She’d heckle the performers. 

Hike

Hiking is a perfect alternative to camping when you’re not quite ready to commit to days of being inside a tent. Before heading off to a trail, put on your Optimist Pants to look cute and remain bug free. 

Get in some exercise, breathe in the fresh air, and admire all the beautiful foliage. While taking in gorgeous views, you and your date can get lost in conversation. Most importantly, your furry friends can frolic together on the trail. 

For you and your pups safety, only go hiking during the evenings or early mornings. Dr. Daniel Vichot says avoid the hottest time of the day, which is around 3pm.

Plenty of water for you and your pooch is another absolute must!

Go to a Renaissance Fair

Movie and dinner dates can be monotonous. Instead, head over to Ye Old Renaissance Fair. Ren Fairs are full of live music, festival food, entertainment, and shopping. Wear matching medieval costumes and spend the day holding hands while gnawing on a giant turkey leg. Be sure to double check if dogs are allowed in the venue, as rules vary from location to location. Some, like the Minnesota and Kansas Renaissance Festivals, are very dog-friendly! The Michigan Ren Fest even has a “pupular” weekend dedicated to activities for dogs! Others like the Georgia Ren Fest are dog-friendly on certain weekends only. 

Unfortunately, it may be too warm for Fifi to be in costume. It’s really a shame because she would have made an excellent pirate. Instead, put on some doggles to protect her eyes from dust and the sun. A collapsible bowl should also be on hand so your princess will stay hydrated. 

Host a Succulent Potting Party 

Invite other couples (and their pups) over for a succulent potting party. This is a great date to reserve for when it’s just too hot outside. Guests will bring their own plants and pots to make a fun, trendy arrangement. On your end, provide soil, tools, and a tarp. During the potting party, offer refreshments to both people and pooches. Prior to the party, send your friends a list of plants toxic to dogs so they won’t accidentally bring that is  dangerous for your canine guests. Plants poisonous to dogs include tulips, sago palm, mums, and peonies. 

Do Doga in the Park  

Show off your flexibility by doing some yoga with your date and dog. Check to see whether Doga classes, aka yoga sessions meant for human and canine participation, are offered in your area. If not, head over to your local park, rocking your Optimist Pants with a rolled up yoga mat under arm. While your pup may not be the best at yoga, she’ll enjoy doing some simple stretches in the summer sunshine. Regardless if you are yoga expert or beginner, this is an excellent bonding experience for you, your date, and your dog. 

Shop at a Yard Sale

Take a romantic stroll, hand-in-hand, amongst a stranger’s unwanted goods. At yard sales, you and your date can find one-of-a-kind pieces for cheap. Take along Fifi and use her cuteness as a bartering tool. 

“Yes you can pet my adorable dog, as long as you give me a dollar off of this lamp.” 

Make Ice Cream 

What’s more quaint than spending a lazy summer afternoon in the kitchen with your cutie? Clear the counters, tie up your apron, and make some delicious ice cream. Once you’re finished whisking, mixing, and churning, curl up on the couch and share spoonfuls of your homemade frozen treat with your date. Now don’t forget about your furry friend! He’ll love this refreshing dog-friendly recipe

Have a Backyard Movie Night  

On warm summer nights, set up a projector and a temporary screen in your backyard. Spread out a large blanket on your lawn and bring a couple pillows to be propped up on. Grab a bowl of popcorn and let the snuggling under the stars commence. 

To make sure Bella feels included on the date, let her choose the movie. Her top three picks are Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, and Must Love Dogs

Host an Outdoor Poker Night 

Hosting a poker night is a pawsome group date idea. Invite your human and dog friends over for a night full of food and fun. Set up a folding table and chairs on your deck, backyard, or patio. Put some meat on the grill. Just make sure the steaks are high enough so your furry friends won’t snag them. Show you’re all in for helping hounds and donate your winnings to a local dog rescue. Before the game begins, snap an iconic picture of all the pooches sitting at the poker table. 

Kayak

Kayaking is an active date, ideal for adventurous couples. On hot days, this is the perfect activity to keep cool. For safety, secure your pupper in a personal flotation device and go out in flat water. 

Keep an eye out for Pang Wangle’s products on sale later this summer, which are perfect for kayaking. They include a sun/bug travel wrap, sun hats, and a hand-dyed linen travel backpack. 

Throw a ‘60s Themed Pool Party (for you, your date, and your dogs)

Admittedly, this date idea is a little extra. But if you’re ready for a fabulous time with your date and your dogs, throw a ‘60s theme pool party in your backyard. Purchase a blow up pool big enough for your furry friends, don vintage inspired bathing suits, and serve drinks out of martini glasses. Equal parts silly and sexy, this mod inspired date is sure to be memorable. 

If you, your date, and your doggo go on any of these summer dates, let us know at Unleashed@DigDates.com 

Dig daters send us information about innovative pet products, favorite dog-friendly places, and amazing date ideas for dog-loving pet parents and future pet parents. In the “We Dig” column, we’ll showcase some of our favorites. Have a product or company you want Dig to review? Email Unleashed@DigDates.com.