Paris Permenter, along with her husband, John Bigley, is the co-author of Texas with Dogs and the founder of PawZaar.com.
Nothing says spring better than a lazy afternoon picnic—with your dog! Our dogs Irie and Tiki love nothing better than a picnic, whether it’s at a state park, at the beach, or even in our backyard. Hey, let’s face it, picnics check all the boxes when it comes to doggie fun: friends, fresh air, and food! Here are some fun tips to make your dog picnic an event to be remembered!
1. Turn it into a special occasion. Consider it a date with your dog! Bring out the bandanas, turn off the phone, and enjoy the moment.
2. Get ready to party. Nothing says party to a pooch like a picnic.
3. Walk before your picnic. Enjoy a long walk with your dog before settling down to rest and enjoy the meal. Your dog will be better behaved and you’ll both be ready for that meal!
4. Bring a picnic blanket. It’s a picnic blanket, it’s a dog bed—and on the way home it’s a car seat cover to protect against muddy paws!
5. Picnic with a friend. No one understands the fun of a dog picnic like another dog lover!
6. Check under the picnic table for discarded bones and trash. You might not see them, but your dog sure will!
7. Keep Bowser out of the booze! No one likes a booze hound! Make sure the only cold one your dog has is a nice cool bowl of water.
8. Keep an eye on your food. Because your dog will!
9. Bring along a dog toy.
10. Tether your dog. We circle a leash coupler around the picnic table leg then run it through the leash loop to keep our dogs secure while we get down to the business of the picnic — eating!
11. Bring a treat for your dog. A special dog treat (or, even better, a long-lasting chew) gives you the chance to enjoy your own picnic chow in peace.
12. Watch out for picnic no-nos. From chicken bones to oniony potato salad, some traditional fare is off limits for your dog. Stick with treats, your dog’s usual diet, or your dog’s favorite veggies to stay safe.
13. Pack plenty of water. Some picnic grounds have potable water, some don’t. We pack a gallon jug of water for our picnics; our dog Irie is a thirsty girl!
14. Take plenty of photos.