If you were to tell us that there’s a purer luxury in this world than jumping into cold water on a sweltering day, we’re not sure we’d believe you. And trust us, your dog would agree. The gratification that comes from rinsing dusty trail, dripping sweat, and long miles off of you in one fell swoop as your breath gets caught in your chest and goosebumps reflexively rise...well, that's one that we live for. So, as the summer days continue to blaze by and the temperature somehow keeps on rising, we’ve put together a list of our favorite coast-to-coast dog-friendly adventures.
Oceans, lakes, rivers…heck, even small streams are a go on this list, because we’re willing to wager that your panting pup won’t be discerning about a lazy little stream in the middle of a hot hike through Nevada’s Pine Creek Canyon. There’s a remarkable number of bits of life advice to be learned from our furry adventure companions, one of which is clearly, “See water, jump in water.” Frankly, we’re on board.
Before you embark, though, there are several considerations to take into account. First, not all dogs are natural-born swimmers. Ask the internet, and (in proper internet form) you’ll get myriad responses to the query, “How to teach my dog to like water.” The short answer: Start slow. Even a pup that is familiar with swimming around a lake won’t have an inherent knowledge of the dynamics of the ocean or of a quick river current. Make sure you remain highly attentive as she approaches new types of water, and if you’re feeling nervous, doggie life jackets can be a huge help, especially for breeds that have not evolved to be great swimmers.
Finally, as always, it’s important to keep the principles of Leave No Trace top of mind. Applying them to dogs demands attention to nuance, but having an absolute blast in beautiful outdoor spaces while lessening our impact on the environment at the same time is the gold standard—one we think everyone should hold themselves to.