Five Fun Things to Do at The Lake This Summer with Your BBF (Best Bloodhound Friend)
The big July 4th summer celebration is almost here. And, if your best canine friend is a bloodhound, you already know; these guys have tons of energy and will want to join you, family and friends for the big weekend. (Be sure to check out the special fireworks anxiety tips for dogs at the end of this article.) Bloodhounds are fun-loving and energetic, as well as affectionate and friendly.
Bloodhounds like to play hard, like everyone else, especially when that activity is something that channels their energies into something positive. The fact is, you can be assured that a tired bloodhound is a happy bloodhound, and that usually translates into a happy bloodhound owner. On the other hand, nearly all bloodhound owners tell stories about a bored bloodhound who gets into things they shouldn’t, leaving behind broken things in the home or, worse, an emergency vet bill.
While others may not realize it, as the owner of a bloodhound, you know how much fun these guys can be. After all, their original purpose was to maintain stamina to hunt animals for food. These dogs were bred for the outdoors and for heavy activity. The reason bloodhounds are frequently chosen to find missing persons is not just because of their nose; they also have the energy, stamina and determination to do the job. Add to this that bloodhounds are very family-oriented and really love to “be included” in family activities. Taking your dog with you for fun activities can be very rewarding.
That’s why we’re here. Summer is here, which means more time at your lakehouse or on your favorite Texas lake is now! Whether your bloodhound has been a part of the family for years, or you just fell in love and brought him home for the first time, you may be torn as to whether you should include your Best Bloodhound Friend (BBF) in your lake-enjoying activities. I’m here to tell you there’s no reason to fret; it’s okay to take your BBF with you for your lakehouse weekend or day on the lake. In fact, here’s a list of possible lake-related activities you and your BBF can do together; all Texas summer long.
Play Water Sports
When some people think of water sports, the first thing they think about is water skiing, and the idea of bloodhounds waterskiing is admittedly silly. However, there are many other water sports, like canoeing and paddle boarding, where you could find your BBF surprisingly at home. Cruising along on the lake in a canoe, a kayak or a paddle board are wonderful ways to commune with nature and get a great workout. However, your bloodhound also likes to commune with nature and can always use the stimulation and exercise.
Admittedly, canoeing is likely the best choice for your dog, because he will be able to stand or lie down on the deck and enjoy the beautiful day. Be advised; you aren’t likely to be able to get your BBF to help you row, but he may help paddle a little. However, on some kayaks, it is possible to take your BBF with you quite safely. And many canines seem to love stand up paddle boarding.
There are paddle boarding companies who give lessons in paddle boarding with your bloodhound (or any other dog), and once they have learned, they will come to love the relaxing motion of the waves, just as they will take to canoeing.
Again, make sure you bring plenty of water for both of you to drink, and make sure your BBF can swim. If not, make sure you have them fitted for a canine life jacket. Once you are both sufficiently ready, you may be shocked at how quickly your bloodhound acclimated to water sports on the lake. They will be able to ride along with you on the paddle board, learn to relax and perhaps even learn to help you paddle. They still won’t row the canoe, though, so don’t expect too much. In rougher surf, many bloodhounds have been taught to ride surfboards; that may sound silly, but it’s true and it shows that learning to assist you on a stand up paddle board on a calm lake should be a piece of cake for you and your best buddy.
Enjoy Fishing with Your Buddy
There are so many reasons to ignore stereotypes. You may think bloodhounds are lazy and shiftless, but they’re actually the opposite. Likewise, the assumption that bloodhounds hate the water is equally preposterous. Like every stereotype, there is some truth to it, along with a large dollop of falsehood. Bloodhounds are like you; not everyone loves the water, but a great many of them do. Put it this way; when you learned to swim as a kid, you learned to “doggie-paddle.” Think about that a second. Letting your BBF paddle his way around the lake is healthy exercise and it is also very stimulating and fun for him, too.
Of course, just as much fun is to bring your bloodhound with you on your boat as you go fishing for that great catch, whether it’s for dinner tonight or for the freezer for later. Many boats are dog-friendly, so you and your canine companion can enjoy your time on the deck together, patiently waiting for the fish to bite or you can play together and enjoy each other’s company. There is little more satisfying than watching your bloodhound become excited as you bring your catch onboard. Just be sure to keep him a safe distance from your hook and pole!
Even if you don’t feel adventurous enough to take your BBF out on a boat, there are plenty of spots on the docks and fishing piers scattered around most Texas lakes, where you can throw out a line to catch some fresh bass or crappie. They will still get excited when you catch something and, if the fish just aren’t biting at all, perhaps the two of you can jump in and enjoy a swim together.
Dock Jumping and Boating
Dock jumping, which is also known as dock diving, is a very popular and fun way for you and your bloodhound to work together and compete for prizes! Here’s DockDogs Youtube Video from Houston demonstrating this type of watersport, in which a dog can be seen running down a dock at full speed and jumping into the water to chase down a throw toy. This feat of athleticism is fun to see, and it is also a lot of fun and healthy for the bloodhound (again, as long as he can swim; if he can’t, you know what to do by now).
Some lakes even feature DockDogs competitions, in which canines get to compete in a long jump event called “Big Air,” a timed event called “Speed Retrieve,” and a high jump event that is referred to as “Extreme Vertical.” If you’d like to have even more fun with your water-loving bloodhound, you might want to check out Heart of Texas DockDogs, which holds lessons, practices and events all through Texas at various times of the year, especially summer. Imagine your bloodhound leaping headlong in the water and getting ribbons for doing so with the most style of any other dog in a fun competition.
If you’re one of those who spends most of their weekends on your boat, leaving your bloodhound behind does not have to be an option. If you can’t resist spending a day on the water on a hot summer day, why assume your best friend isn’t thinking the same? Your BBF loves the outdoors and the fresh air as much as you do, so if you plan to cruise the lake to keep cool and swim during the hot Texas summer, your bloodhound deserves to do the same. Once again, don’t forget plenty of water, because you and your dog don’t want your friend to be drinking out of the lake. Also, make sure both of you have a life jacket while you’re on the boat, and include sunscreen in all the right places as a part of your summer routine. Make sure you both are safe and healthy.
Hit the Beaches
Most Texas lakes feature beaches for swimmers and sunbathers to enjoy being around the water without actually having to get wet. And make no mistake; dogs love a day on the beach as much as humans do. Something about the surf and the sand makes dogs excited; in fact, the sight of the water turns most dogs into puppies; it gets their tails wagging and they can’t wait to jump in, even on a hot day. Your bloodhound will also get excited just spending time with you; again, bloodhounds are very family-oriented, and they love to be included in the fun. If you jump in the water with them, they will be even more excited and happy.
There are a few caveats, however. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your friend stays properly hydrated, and you do not want your bloodhound drinking from the lake, which is a great way to become contaminated with E. Coli, so take some fresh water and be sure to set out a dish of water at least a couple times every hour. Also remember, if the sand is too hot for your feet, it will be too hot for your BBF, so be sure to fit your BBF with some doggie booties, which are available for most breeds. It’s not like your dog has the option of slipping on a pair of flip-flops. You should also apply sunscreen because they do have skin underneath all that fur and they can be affected by sunburn, just like you.
Oh, yeah; you’ll want to make sure your bloodhound can swim. In most cases, they’ll take to it immediately, but not all dogs are good at it. If they have trouble, consider purchasing a canine life jacket, which will prevent drowning. And by all means, bring some food. Just as you and your human family like to have a picnic to stave off hunger, don’t let your bloodhound go hungry all day, either. A day on the beach should be fun for everyone, in every way possible.
Whether you just lie on the beach or you decide to jump in the water and swim in that clear, cool lake water together, you and your BBF can have a great day together on the beach, and you’ll create memories that will make your friendship even stronger than before. Take a frisbee and throw it to your buddy and watch what happens.
Playing Near the Lake
Thankfully, most lakes in Texas are surrounded by parklands of all types. In East Texas, thick piney woods surround many lakes. One thing you should understand about bloodhound is that they are great long-distance walkers, which means they are great companions to have on long hikes or walks. They use their noses very well and they were initially bred as hunting dogs, so besides the great exercise, your BBF will also enjoy using his nose for something besides smelling his food.
Bloodhounds love a long walk anywhere, so yours will likely feel at home either walking through the woods or along the edge of the lake. While they have a reputation as being lethargic and slow moving, don’t be surprised if they move faster and have more energy than you do. They also love to play fetch. Bloodhounds are happy sometimes just chewing on a tennis ball, but when you throw it for them, they are in heaven. They wil happily chase anything you throw over and over again for hours. Though it doesn’t seem that way at times, bloodhounds love mischief and they love being active, so throwing the Frisbee or having them fetch a stick or a ball is very stimulating for the and makes them feel happy.
The Bottom Line for You and Your BBF
When summer hits East Texas, many of us have a strong desire to head straight for the lake. The days can be brutally hot, and the cool water of a lake can represent an oasis for us. Where the right clothing and just for fun, grab one of these ‘cool Bloodhound T Shirts‘ for your day! For those of us who own bloodhounds, don’t feel that you either have to miss out on a great day at the lake, or that you have to leave your BBF home based on an assumption that bloodhounds don’t like water. They will do anything for you and they want to do everything with you, as well.
Enjoy your Bloodhound as much as you can. They are unlike any other breed. If you can, get together with other bloodhound owners and what you will find is how much fun they are having with their best friends. Perhaps consider hosting a lake-side BBQ get-together to celebrate this year’s 4th of July! You really can have fun at the lake and also make sure your bloodhound has fun as well.
In closing, as we approach another July 4th celebration, make sure you and your BBF are prepared for the loud fireworks display and noise that comes with it.
Things can get loud as the sun sets and this can mean unnecessary anxiety for your BDF…and you. With a little advance planning, both you and ‘Rover’ can have a great adventure together this 4th and still enjoy all the celebrations and bang-sparkle-boom! that Texas lakes like Cedar Creek Lake, Lake Lewisville, Lake Texoma and Lake Travis are famous for!
Just like people, for many reasons, dogs can react differently and sometimes profoundly to loud, unfamiliar sounds and bright lights nearby. These sources can include heavy highway traffic (as in on the way to the lake!), large thunderstorms and late-night fireworks displays…all potential sources of anxiety for your BDF at the lake. But for some, avoiding a costly trip to the vet to pick up some prescription sedatives may be a preferred route to take; especially if you’re rushing around at the last minute to get that full lake day started. So, we’ve put together a short Fireworks Anxiety Tips list HERE for how to help make your furry friend as comfortable as possible while you and yours enjoy the bright lights, loud sounds and patriotic celebrations!
You can both have a great summer in Texas. So get out there and have fun together. He or she will love you for it.