Craving out door fun? No sweat! The Fourth of July means firing up the grill, ultimate frisbee, fireworks mania and pool time. With a ton of picnics and barbecues going underway you and dog are sure to become social butterflies by the end of the dog days of summer. Lots of picnic invites equals more fun in the sun all summer long.

As many dogs would barkingly agree, a picnic at the park is the perfect opportunity to roll in the grass, nap in the shade, and be outside with their favorite humans. Here are few pooch friendly picnic tips from our friends at ehow so your dog does not spoil the festivities but is on his best doggy behavior.

1. Bring special dog picnic treats. Everyone else is getting scrumptious picnic foods so your dogs should, too. Bring a generous supply of healthy treats for your pups, like small pieces of plain grilled chicken, turkey hot dog chunks and small pieces of cheese. This way your dogs will have their own supply of yummy goodies and will be less inclined to eat the people food, which may not be the best for them.

**Picnic leftovers can be very dangerous and fating to dogs. Even if those puppy pleading eyes are saying “yes please”, maintain will power and say “No” to your begging dog.

2. Set up a dog zone. Pick a shady spot far enough away from the grill, picnic tables and main activities where your dogs won’t get in the way. Lay down a dog blanket or old sheet. Scatter a few chew toys and treats around the blanket. Hook up the water bowls. If necessary, use tie outs to secure your dogs in the dog zone if they are inclined to lunge at people eating spare ribs.
3. Do a round of introductions. Once your dogs are introduced to the dog zone, introduce them to the people at the picnic. You will know those who do not want to be introduced. Do not force it. This gets your dog used to everyone there so there will be no surprises if someone comes too close to the dog zone.
*Do time-outs. If your dog gets too hyper, calm him down in their dog zone or take him on another romp through the woods to dispel his energy. Never banish a dog to a hot car. It could kill him. 
**It’s important to know your dogs unique personality, certain dogs do not do well at picnics and around large crowds. If your dog becomes way too obnoxious, perhaps you better take him home. Don’t let him spoil everyone else’s fun.
***Dogs often get excited around running, screaming children, a common picnic addition. Watch your dogs closely and take them for a run in the woods if they start to get too crazy near the children.
4. Treat the dogs when the people eat. Once the steaming ribs, corn and chilled potato salad is on the table, plop some of the special dog picnic treats in the dog bowls you brought. This ensures that the dogs won’t feel slighted or compelled to sit around and bark for people picnic fare.
5. Play. Part of the picnic fun is play and your dogs should be included. Play catch, chase and whatever other games you create with the toys your brought them. Romp with them so they, too, have a grand old time. 

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