Activities For Dogs In Connecticut On Hot Days

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Introduction

No matter what your constitution, some days in The Constitution State can be just plain hot, especially during June through September when daily highs regularly surpass 75 degrees. And while it ranks as the third smallest state in the country at just over 5,500 square miles, Connecticut still offers residents and visitors alike some great escapes from the summer sun. Although many center around water, especially the state's fantastic shoreline, it takes no more than two hours from nearly anywhere in the state (and often considerably less) to reach it, thanks to its small size and offers plenty of forms of relief along the way (doggy ice cream, anyone?). So whether you're a tenured soul or just passing through, Connecticut has some perfect ways to beat the heat for your dog and you.

See the Seaport

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Hot Day
Moderate
Easy
30 - 180 min
Items needed
Water
Leash
Dog Bags
Extra Money
Activity description
Nestled on the Eastern banks of Mystic River in the city of Mystic, is, you guessed it, the Mystic Seaport. Outside of harboring some seriously awesome boats, the 19-acre plot offers absolutely tons to do from checking out the ships, some of which are historic, to exploring a working shipyard, walking through a 19th century seafaring village, and even enjoying food and drinks in the shade of overhanging trees nearby. While bringing your dog does limit you to staying out of buildings and off the ships themselves, there is still a ton to see and experience, including performances and demonstrations (plus, if you have a human-to-dog ratio of 2:1 or better, you can always trade off looking inside at the exhibits). It's not super cheap at around $30 a ticket, but it more than pays for itself given the number of things there are to do and it's a great way to grab some cool air by the water (and you can always take a break in the shade as well).
Step
1
Plan your visit
If you're lucky enough to have more than one human per dog attending, your options are much more wide open. Our best advice is to look at their website and figure out what you'd like to see and try to plan your visit around them (some demonstrations and exhibits are only open certain times, so be mindful). In fact, the website is a fantastic resource as it efficiently shares all dates, times, costs, and offerings all on the "Plan your visit" page, making it super easy to figure out what you'll be able to reasonably catch.
Step
2
Ahoy! It's time!
Once you've got everything planned out, head over, pay your admission fees (if you haven't already online), and get inside. If you have specific things to check out, you may have to work around that schedule but if you left things open, our best suggestions is getting food and drink during the hottest part of the day when you can escape in the shade, and enjoying other activities like walking around, taking pictures and watching demonstrations when a few degrees drop off the thermometer either before or after the day's heat peak. Don't forget to drink lots of water (and share some with your pup), so you can both stay happy, healthy, and hydrated in the summer sun.
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Cascade into Lake Mohegan

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Dog Bags
Towels
Leash
Water-appropriate dog toys
Activity description
The best place to play on a hot and sunny day is usually by or in the water, and Lake Mohegan offers the perfect place for both you and your pup to get out of the direct sun, explore, and cool off in the clean water of the lakes and rivers. Outside of the first hundred feet from any parking area as well as swimming areas designated for people, dogs are allowed off-leash and the park does have several swim spots where you and they can both splash around in the water. Unless you're entering the human swimming areas, the rest of the space around the lake is free, making the trip cheap and easy, and it also offers plenty of shade throughout should you not want to jump in the water.
Step
1
Research and prepare
The most important aspect of going to a park with split access (those with designated dog areas) is doing your research and planning beforehand (getting fined or being scolded is no fun!). Do some research beforehand on their website to figure out where and when your dog is allowed in certain areas, then try to plan your trip around it so you have minimal hassle when you actually arrive. Make sure to bring a leash to get them to the off-leash area, as well as towels to dry both of you off with once you've decided to stop playing in the water (otherwise it may be a long and stinky ride home).
Step
2
Jump in!
Once you've got everything prepped, driven the distance and arrived, then it's time for fun! Pull up a digital map on your phone if need be, but chances are you'll only need one glance or basic directions from a tenured park-goer (or follow signs in the park). There is a large looping trail that goes around the park several directions and in between, circulates past two lakes and a connecting river. We suggest getting some hiking in, then finding a cool spot to take a dip to cool off. Of course, you can always go back and forth between the water and hiking so you can stay cool and explore at the same time.
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Kool Off With K-9 Crunch

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
10 - 45 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Water
Activity description
While humans have the capability (and stomach) to enjoy numerous frozen treats when it gets too hot, dogs rarely have the same luxury. But in Connecticut, a few down-to-earth ice cream shops offer up dog-specific treats, like Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream's K-9 Crunch, which is an easy blend of vanilla ice cream with kibble bits mixed in. It's inexpensive, a rare treat to be sure, and a perfect way to keep cool on a hot day. Plus, it boasts the added benefit of having Sleeping Giant State Park right around the corner, which is a great dog-friendly place to check out in itself.
Step
1
(K-9) Crunch the numbers
If Wentworth's isn't close to you, we suggest taking advantage of everything that's in the area, as it can be a great all-in-one kind of trip that has at least two sun-beating activities you and your dog can enjoy. Planning doesn't take a whole lot, outside of figuring out whether you want to get ice cream after a hike, or get some before you depart, as well as which trails are most reasonable for the temperature. All you'll really need supply-wise is a leash (as they'll need to be leashed in both places), dog bags for cleanup, and water (the combination of a hot day, sugary treats, and hiking can be a quick recipe for dehydration).
Step
2
Hit the tail trail!
Simply for the sake of being rewarded, we suggest doing a hike in Sleeping Giant State Park before enjoying your ice cream as a well-deserved reward. Sleeping Giant is a great mix of bluffs, wooded trails and even open meadows, so it's best to tailor your hike based on the weather. You'll probably want to stick to both easier and wooded trails if it's super hot, so you can take advantage of the shade and the cool valleys the park offers. Be mindful of your dog's condition, especially in hot weather, and make sure to bring something they can drink out of while on your hike. When you've chosen a trail and hiked it, you can return to base, take two rights until you're on Whitney Ave and hit up Wentworth's, which is less than a mile away!
Step
3
Munch some Crunch
Once you arrive, the rest is simple. Order yourself up something delicious and cold, and get some K-9 Crunch for your furry friend. Wentworth's is tucked right up against a wooded area if you need to keep cool, but they also have nice sunny benches in front and a well-maintained seating area including a gazebo in the back. Pick your spot and go enjoy!
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More Fun Ideas...

Good Dog. Stay, Overnight

Unlike a few neighboring states, Connecticut is pretty universally dog-friendly and they have an impressive roster of dog-friendly hotels to prove it. If you're trying to beat the heat, check out a new city and grab a room. Relax in the cool air until it cools down outside enough to get out and explore more!

Dog Beaches

There are several noted dog beaches in Connecticut, including Jennings Dog Beach. While they are only allowed off leash during certain times of the year, it's still a great place to dip your toes in the water if you need to cool off.

Take a Tour or Cruise

Although there is a water-based tour offered at Seaport Village, there are others that will get you out on the water and cooling off, whether it's just a ferry ride or a full-blown tour.

Conclusion

Whether it's highly warm or just plain too hot for Spot, The Constitution State is a great place to get Connect(icut)ed to your dog, especially since it offers so many ways to keep you both from panting. With numerous significant water features, dog-friendly outdoor seating at restaurants, top-notch parks, doggy ice cream and plenty of other attractions to keep you busy, it's easily one of the best East Coast spots you can end up in, whether you live there or are just there for the dog days.