Activities For Dogs In Delaware On Hot Days

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Introduction

While Delaware is about as temperate as the rest of the Upper East Coast, it does experience hot weather for about a quarter of the year when the calendar turns the cool, modest climate into the dog days of June, July, and August. And although Delaware ranks 49th in terms of overall land mass, there is certainly still plenty to do whether you're a local or a visitor. As The First State, Delaware boasts some serious history, but luckily, those who find themselves there in summer will also appreciate that it has just about as much shoreline to enjoy, giving The Small Wonder a big enough advantage to make The Diamond State a true diamond in the rough.

Lewes-en Up in Lewes

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Hot Day
Moderate
Easy
2 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Digital Map
Money
Sunscreen
Activity description
We could easily make these three smaller activities because Lewes, Delaware has more than enough to do for the average dog owner but to pack as much as we can into this activity guide, we're giving you three for the price of one (which is also free). Lewes has an absolute ton of stuff to do and for anyone within the state, visitor or otherwise, it's a great destination because of it's accessibility - it's less than 90 minutes from anywhere in Delaware. It includes a place to get out of the sun, a place to get in it, and a place to cool down while heading towards more fun. What more could you ask for? The price is moderate since it does include a ferry, a store, and a fee-based destination but otherwise, all three are super easy to get to and should provide you with nearly a day's worth of activities for you and your dog.
Step
1
P.U.P.S. it up!
Outside of packing the supplies we've listed above, all you need to do for the first step is get to the first location, which is P.U.P.S., a dog-centric store right in downtown Lewes. Should you have forgotten to pack any food, treats, leashes, collars, or anything else you might need, P.U.P.S. offers a fantastic selection of healthy options and stylish and useful clothing, leashes and accessories. It's big enough to walk around for a while and steer clear of the summer sun before being immersed in it during step two.
Step
2
Cape Henlopen
Once you've departed P.U.P.S., you can head on over to Cape Henlopen Park, the entrance of which is less than three miles away, meaning you could walk to it if you so desired (depending on how bad the heat actually is). To be realistic, it's best to do at least some research beforehand to determine what areas are accessible to both you and your dog, as some times of the year require them to stay in certain spots. Most of the locations will be leashed, but if they're not designated swimming areas for people, chances are they're fair game for your dog, which means they'll have an easy and enjoyable time cooling off in the water and running the dunes, and resting in the shade of nearby trees when they're not. Our insider tip: ask the locals or even those at P.U.P.S. about where you can go or where you can obtain a map. There is a large dog beach on the northern end but make sure you bring your own bags and so on, as they are not supplied.
Step
3
Be merry on the ferry
When you're sufficiently tired or entertained, head on over to the port used for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and get yourself a ticket for the ferry across to New Jersey - it's right outside the park! Round trips are under $18 or, if you don't mind leaving your car or got to Lewes by another method, you can always buy a one-way ticket as well, which is half the cost, and your dog is free. You'll get to cool off on the Atlantic Ocean, get some great views of the Delaware and Jersey shoreline and you'll be heading towards another location full of things to do, should you choose to continue your adventure beyond the landing port on the other end of the trip.
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Run, Fish, Camp

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Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
2 - 12 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Money
Overnight Bag
Umbrella
Sunscreen
Activity description
Like the activity listed above, instead of just giving one spot to check out, we're going to give you multiple, since they're all in the same general area (within about 5 miles of each other) and all offer great options to beat the heat. We're giving you a spot to play, a spot to eat, and a spot to hang out and sleep, so should you feel so inclined, you could make an entire day of it (and night for that matter). All options will help keep you from overheating, keep you entertained, are relatively simple, and range from free to moderate in price. You can do as many or as few as you like depending on your time restraints and budget, but hey, better to give you more than less!
Step
1
Day in the rays
If you plan to make all three steps, this will certainly be a day's worth of stuff to do (or at least half of one if you do it right) so you may want to do at least some planning in advance, but we'll address it per step. For the first step, like the first activity, you'll want to do a little preliminary research before you hit the sands. Fenwick Island State Park is the first destination, so you'll want to double check the hours and areas your dog will be allowed on the beach. Once you do, there is a $10 fee, but it's worth it considering you're helping pay for park maintenance and you get access to a pretty broad stretch of sand and water. Most of the best stretches of beach are on Fenwick Isle, but there are at least a few other areas to explore should you feel so adventurous. If you get too hot, take your pup for a dip in the water or find a nice spot where you can take advantage of the breeze pouring in off the Atlantic.
Step
2
Aye aye cap'n!
Once you've gotten enough heat and sunshine, pack up your things and head on over to Captain Mac's Fish House. On top of having top-notch seafood, Captain Mac's also boasts nine dog-friendly tables on their patio with enough shade to keep the ice in your glass solid and the water in your dog's bowl a crisp place to lap from. Stop in for a cool-down drink or order up some authentic East Coast seafood. If you feel so inclined to spoil them, check with your vet and see what your dog can safely enjoy with you as well. Plus, once you've gotten your fill, you can do a little grocery shopping at Mac's market as well to ensure you have some fresh seafood of your own for later in the evening.
Step
3
Relax with max
Once you've gotten your fill, cap your day with a stop in at Treasure Beach RV Park and Campground - it's literally 0.2 miles away! If you planned ahead, you may have already parked your RV if you have one or rented one of several waterfront cabins, many of which are fully equipped with kitchens ready for you to cook that seafood you bought in the market. If it's still too hot, you can always dip inside and crank a fan (or the AC if you need to) or just lounge in the shade of the trees outside. Make sure to check the details of your cabin rental ahead of time, as only some of the pet-friendly ones are fully equipped and some do charge a minimal daily fee. Once you've settled in, you can finally relax. Take in the peace of the nearby river, take another walking trek to the beach to enjoy the sunset or just relax in your home for the night.
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Delaware Humane Association Event

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0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Money
Sunscreen
Activity description
This last activity, unlike the other two, is super easy and it benefits more than just you and your dog. The Delaware Humane Association hosts numerous events a year (sometimes even more than once a month!), with benefits going back into state-run facilities, programs, and even adoptions. There are tents to help you both escape the sun and stay cool, cold drinks, food to enjoy, as well as activities to participate in as well, all while your efforts help the DHA and the dogs they transition. What better way to spend a hot summer day than helping heat up the chances of getting another dog adopted?
Step
1
Find an event
The DHA website is a great resource for finding an event that will be suitable for you and your dog. While they don't have events every week, they usually have one every 2-3 weeks, including happy hours, Bike and Hikes, and so on. And if you're in the market for a new (or another) pooch, check out their Meet and Greets, where they bring unadopted dogs to meet new potential owners. Check the website and find a day that works for you, then plan to have dog bags, a leash, sunscreen and possibly water just in case it gets extra hot.
Step
2
Attend and enjoy
Once you've picked your event and date, show up, pay the marginal fees and enjoy! Happy hours offer everything from food and drinks to raffles. If you can spare it, donate while you're attending and help some dogs in need secure a home. While you're there, don't hesitate to spend some time networking and finding out what other great events may be held nearby and when. If nothing else, you'll have something to do, ways to stay cool, and some avenues to meet some fellow dog lovers, professional and amateurs alike!
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More Fun Ideas...

Cut the Heat

If your dog is too hot and in need of a haircut, take them on over to Pampered Pets Grooming Spa in Delaware City. Having less hair should help keep them cool, and when all is said and done, a walk down to the water is less than a block away!

Get a Pup Cup

Most ice cream parlors with patios or outdoor space welcome and may even serve your dog, but at Dairy Palace, you can order them a treat of their own. Order a Pup Cup and they'll serve your dog a small cup of ice cream topped with milk bones. Proceeds even go to a local dog shelter.

Conclusion

Whether you're just passing through (which isn't hard given the state's small size), taking your pup to Dover, or staying for life, Delaware offers some fantastic ways to beat the heat during the dog days of summer. If you need any more inspiration, check out more dog parks, dog-friendly state parks, restaurants, businesses and places to stay, and you'll be sure to find out why they call Delaware, The Small Wonder. Or, you know, check out our other guides on what to do on nice, rainy, or cold days - some of them can be done just about any time!