Activities For Dogs In Massachusetts On Hot Days

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Introduction

While it may be more common to get baked fish than baked in the sun, Massachusetts still boasts a fair number of hot days throughout the year, leaving dog owners and their furry friends to fend for themselves. Thankfully, it's called The Bay State for a reason, as it possesses a significant chunk of shoreline from Boston out into the boot of Cape Cod Bay, providing more than enough opportunities to stay cool near the water, whether it's just a small lake or the vast Atlantic Ocean. And while the locations are nearly always accessible, finding the right place to hit the bays and dodge the rays can still be a challenge, which is why we're here: to help you find ways to have fun with your hot summer MA days.

Tour the Harbor

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Moderate
Easy
60 - 70 min
Items needed
Leash
Doggy Bags
Water
Activity description
In the heat of the dog days, sometimes it's just best to head towards the biggest or closest body of water. Luckily for residents and visitors to Massachusets, that means the Atlantic Ocean, which does a fantastic job keeping the coastal areas more windy and cool than the heat-soaked inland areas. While beachcombing can be fun in itself, if you want something more interesting to do, you can always hop on a dog-friendly harbor cruise. They're relatively inexpensive, last around an hour, and also provide shade, a cool breeze and a good amount of entertainment. Plus, once you're done, you'll still have a nice, cool body of water to walk around and splash in once you're done!
Step
1
Pick your trip
While we mentioned above that the Atlantic Ocean is the best option, there are certainly others that will provide similar relief on the likes of a lake or river. We chose the prior simply because we know that New Bedford's Harbor Tours are indeed dog-friendly and come at only a modest price. Picking your trip comes down to finding an appropriate time and choosing what type of tour you'd like to take (there are usually a few offered from a basic harbor tour to a sunset tour - which is all the better for escaping the hot sun!), alerting the business that your dog will be joining you and securing your tickets. Then all you have to do is pack your basic supplies and hit the road.
Step
2
Float and gloat
Once you've arrived at the departure location, park your car (free for New Bedford) and find an appropriate nearby space to take your pup for a bathroom break - there's nothing like cleaning up a mess once you're already in relax mode! Then, double check to make sure you have all your supplies. If possible, try to arrive early so you can introduce your dog to the new space with minimal distraction. They may be inundated with strangers once the tour starts, so the sooner you can establish their comfort, the better.
Step
3
Relax and enjoy
Make sure you check in and secure your tickets if you hadn't prior, then get them aboard, acclimated, and find a spot where they will be most comfortable. Feel free to introduce yourself and your dog to others, as it will likely make your trip more enjoyable anyway, and chances are it will help them be more comfortable as well. When all is said and done, kick up your feet and relax! Take in the sites with a cool breeze and if need be, sprinkle yourself and your dog with a little cool water so the wind is that much more effective in cooling you off.
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Doggy & Paddle

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Water
Dog Treats
Activity description
Unlike the harbor tour above, sometimes it's more fun to seek adventure and take the control of your vessel into your own hands, which is why paddling out in a kayak or canoe (or even a paddleboard) is the perfect activity. It's a great way to see areas you likely haven't previously explored, isn't terribly expensive, can use up as much or as little time as you'd like, will likely be cool on the water, and is only moderately difficult. Plus, you have your choice of vessel and whether you want to go solo or join a group, both of which can be important factors for your dog's overall comfort.
Step
1
Plan your trip
There are several different businesses that offer dog-friendly water vessel rentals, so you'll likely want to find something close and convenient. Both Island Spirit and Boating in Boston offer several options of trips to choose from and the latter even has numerous locations in case time is a factor. Pick a spot that looks the most exciting and is economic to get to. Then, you'll need to pick which watercraft you think is best suited for your and your dog's comfort (most amateurs start with canoes as they're open enough for a dog to sit comfortably and are relatively easy to control compared to others). Once you've decided, book your trip and pack your supplies.
Step
2
Test the waters
Depending on your dog's comfort level with water, it might be best to make this the first step in the process, as you may want to opt for a short rental to test in the shallows before you commit to taking your dog into deeper and more isolated waters. Make sure they are comfortable and stay calm, as you don't want them so excited that they have a frequent chance of flipping the craft over. Incentivise them with treats and give calm yet stern commands so they know you feel firmly in control. Test their behavior and comfort in the shallows, then add in the regular rowing motions, boat movement, and deeper water until you're convinced they will make a good vessel companion. Once you reach that point, you can lock down a longer rental and put them to the test!
Step
3
Go adventure
Once you've prepared, booked, and climbed aboard, now is your time to go find some adventure. Follow your group (if you signed up for one) or head out into personally unexplored areas that look promising. See if you can find a new place to temporarily dock where you and your dog can dip your toes in the water for an extra level of cool down time. If they do well on the first trip, consider doing the opposite next time (group or solo) or even try to get some other dog-owning friends to join so you have help if you need it and company to share your good time with!
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Nicest Ice

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Let's face it, there are numerous restaurants around the United States that are FINALLY figuring out that if they want to maximize their customer base, they need some dog-friendly items on the menu. But while many may have the occasional one-off treat, Bar Boulud offers a mini menu called #BarkBoulud just for your furry friend and it's worth a trip just to have them try it. It's the perfect destination for a hot day, as there's always a lot to do in Boston and 3 of 4 items will certainly help keep them cool, plus it's cheap and easy. What more could you ask for?
Step
1
Pick the day, make your way
Since Bar Boulud is in Boston, that means it's no farther than three hours from just about any point in the state. Should you be on the tail end of that spectrum, it might be best to plan numerous locations to visit ahead of time to make the most of your trip. Regardless of where you're coming from, it's also best to call and check in to make sure reservations won't be required, which really depends on the day and time you plan to visit and if they're required for the patio/terrace, the only dog-friendly portion of the establishment. Once you've got all that information confirmed, you can head on over!
Step
2
Taste some treats!
There are four distinct dog-specific items on the menu, so depending on how far you had to go to get there should help you decide what to try and what to wait on. If you're an out-of-towner, indulge! You never know how long it will be before you can return. If you're a local, maybe just have your dog try one so you can have four unique experiences. Their offerings go beyond the standard doggy ice cream (although they have that too - the pup cup: peanut butter, vanilla ice cream and oatmeal), such as the Au Jus Ice, which is frozen beef or chicken stock, as well as a watermelon pupsicle, which is exactly what it sounds like. All are great options for a new experience, taste, and adventure for your dog! Plus, if they need to eat something healthier before their meal, you can always offer them gourmet biscuits like bacon-parsley.
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More Fun Ideas...

Reach for the Beach

Massachusetts has an absolute TON of waterfront areas, including places where dogs can splash about on the shores. In reality, there are few places better equipped for keeping you and your dog cool. Just make sure to check out leashing and time restrictions, as most beaches are different.

Water Taxi

It might be somewhat short and sweet, but taking a dog-friendly Water Taxi can be a super fun way to get in between places to hike and swim.

Polka Dog Bakery

While their fresh menu is a bit more limited, Polka Dog does offer several healthy frozen yogurt treats for your dog, plus an escape from the sun inside the store, which is littered with ultra-healthy and all-natural dog treats you can take home and save for later.

Conclusion

Just because it's hot in Massachusetts doesn't mean you have to be as red as a baked bean. There are plenty of options to help keep you and your canine cool while in The Old Colony, but if you ever have any doubts, feel free to get some inspiration from our list or dig into some more of our resources. After all, some activities work just as well on a nice day as they do a hot one!