Summer Dog Bucket List:
11 Fun Ideas for Dogs in Dallas-Fort Worth (and Beyond)


We are in the middle of the dog days of summer and it’s sure hot out here!

It can be a challenge to entertain our four-legged friends in the heat so we’ve made an official Dallas Dog Summer Bucket List of a few things you can do at home and around DFW. 

Over the past few months, I think we all have had to become savvier in the kitchen. (Thanks 2020!)  I know my assistants and I have enjoyed making up a few treats for all our pups! I’ve included my two favorite recipes below. 


1. Make Your Pup Homemade Ice Cream 

You don’t have to be a chef to make an amazing treat for your dog. These two simple 3 ingredient recipes will have your furbaby chilling all summer. 

Simple Sweet Potato Dog or Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

-16 oz of plain yogurt

– ⅓ cup of pureed sweet potato OR pumpkin puree

– ⅓ cup of natural/organic peanut butter 

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Pour the mix into an ice cube tray(s) and freeze. 


Simple Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Ice Cream Recipe

-3-4 peeled, ripe bananas

-32 oz of plain yogurt

-1 cup of natural/organic peanut butter 

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the mix into an ice cube tray(s) and freeze. 

*Please make sure you use peanut butter that does NOT include Xylitol. Xylitol is fatal to dogs* 


2. A Drive-Thru Doggie Treat 

If you don’t want to make your own ice cream, these places below in the DFW have food options for the dogs. My assistants and I love to share fun finds of treats for the dogs to enjoy. 

Oh, and while sharing, we have to admit that we all definitely frequent Starbucks (with and without our pups) waaaayyy too much! 

-Starbucks has a Pupachino 

-In-N-Out Burger has a Pup Burger 

-Dairy Queen has a Pup Cup for your doggie Queen or King 

-Sprinkle Cupcakes has a sugar-free doggy cupcake with a yogurt “frosting” 

-Shake Shack has a Pooch-ini or doggie biscuit 


3. Wags and Waves 

Dogs can dress up, socialize, swim, and snack! The best part is that it raises funds for local DFW dog and cat rescue groups. 

Unfortunately, the annual dog swim event has been canceled for 2020, but the 2021 event is already being planned! 

As you can imagine, this is a disappointment to all the rescues involved as this is one of their big yearly fundraisers. If you can, please consider donating to these deserving nonprofit organizations: DFW Rescue Me, Dallas Cat Rescue, Dallas Companion Animal Project, and Legacy Boxer Rescue 

We regularly make donations to animal rescue groups and love that having a pet photography business and serving clients allows us to help and support the animal rescue community too!

As for Wags and Waves, we are wagging our tails at the thought of 2021!!!


4. Dog Days of Summer 

Mutts Canine Cantina currently has locations in Dallas and Fort Worth and will soon be opening locations in Allen and Austin! (The Allen one will be super close to our office in McKinney, so we will definitely have to go check it out!)

This restaurant is dog friendly and also has an off-leash dog park. They offer a great menu for humans and dogs and have local draft beer. 

Every Wednesday from June through August is, “Dog Days of Summer,” with $4 draft beers for the humans and dog water features all day!!! I know a few doggies that would love their mini ice pools! 

Also, check out Mutts’ website to schedule a pilates session at one of their locations.


5. Lake Grapevine 

Visit Lake Grapevine and go camping, hiking, boating, or do other recreational activities with your dog!! The lake is about 8,000 acres with hiking and biking trails, parks, tent and RV camping, fishing, a floating water park, boating, playgrounds, cabin rentals, and more.

Pack up the tent and some pup treats for the weekend to camp and chill. 


6. Get a Puppy Pool 

Head over to your local Tractor Supply Co store and pick up an H20 Recreation Dog Pool. 

It comes in blue or red and is made in the USA! My dogs have a blue one and love cooling off in it and using it as a giant water bowl too.


7. Pupsicles 

You can make your own watermelon pupsicles with this recipe. It’s a popular recipe on Pinterest! 

We use ice tray molds when we make ours and of course, we got ours from Amazon!

We like the doxie tray, paw print/bone combination and dog breed ones best!

If you don’t have time to make pupsicles, or want to be an extra fun dog mom you can order this cool pupsicle cooling toy!

It’s great for teething puppies and for those hot summer days. 


8. McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square

One of the top-ranked Texas Markets is in downtown McKinney, Texas. Every Saturday until November 14th this amazing dog friendly (on a leash of course) farmers market opens at 8 am and closes at noon. 

There are approximately 60 vendors offering local grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, farm-fresh produce, and baked goods. In addition to yummy food, there are plants and flowers, handmade soap, and craft items available for purchase.  

Parking is available in downtown McKinney at the public garage at Davis on the Square, and in the Playful lot, directly north of Chestnut Square. 

Check out their website for more information about live music, face painting, and pony rides!


9. Dog Scouts of America 

Now, this is cool!! We learned about our local Dog Scout of America (DSA) troop from our long time client, Sasha’s Mom!

Dog Scout’s goal is to improve the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement. You can join a DSA troop with your best friend- how fun is that!

During the year, you and your dog(s) would pursue badge activities within a troop or on your own. Some of the badges available are: Community Service, Obedience, Agility, Competitive Sports, Water Safety, Trail and Outdoor, Pulling, and Nose Work. 

DSA does not discriminate against any breed and any dog can become a scout after the canine and owner pass a test. Look up your local troop today!  


10. Drive-In Movie 

Coyote Drive-In & Canteen on Panther Island in Fort Worth is fun for the whole family that includes the four-legged members. 

A variety of movies from “Harry Potter” to “Monty Python And The Holy Grail” are shown nightly and the titles change weekly. 

Dogs are welcome on their leashes and gates open daily at 5:30 pm. 

Check out their menu and movie selections on their website. 


11. RoughRiders Bark in the Park 

In previous years we lived for taking our pups to the Frisco RoughRiders Bark in the Park events. There’s nothing more American than watching baseball with your dog!

We recently learned that the Riders have a Team Dog named Brooks. He is the Chief Morale Officer and he’s super adorable with his own Instagram account. You can follow him @ridersbrooks. 

Sadly because of COVID, no fans are allowed in the stands at the beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark this year. 

We are anxiously waiting for 2021 to be able to put on our Riders jersey and to cheer on some home runs with Brooks!


BONUS #12: A Pet Photography Experience

Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our personal favorite summer (well year ‘round) activity- a custom pet photography experience!

We have the most fun dog photo session process that our clients and their dogs rave about and we would love to tell you all about it!

We offer a complimentary discovery call to learn about you, your dog, and your lives together! That way we can customize a photo session just for you! 

From city strolls to leisurely park adventures, we would love to plan the best day ever for your dog! The options, locations, and possibilities are endless!


What next? 

Enjoy the remaining days of summer with your beloved dog! Before you know it, it will be fall! Maybe we’ll put together an Autumn Bucket List next!

Please let us know if you make any of the recipes and/or do the activities on our list. 

Tag us on Facebook or Instagram @jennareganphotography or email us at to share your stories.

And we always give bonus points to those who share dog photos!


Do you have a suggestion for more ways to create summer memories with your dog?

We’d love to hear it and expand our Summer Dog Bucket List! Email with the subject “Summer Dog Bucket List” and tell us your ideas!