Activities For Dogs In Missouri On Hot Days

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

For being a nearly dead-center, land-locked state in the heart of the country, Missouri actually has some pretty temperate weather, but that doesn't mean it's not susceptible to hot weather. In June through August the Cave State caves to the heat and averages a high of nearly 90 degrees, which can, at times, feel impossible to escape. But instead of staying inside or hiding under an umbrella like a human ice cream cone, there are plenty of ways to stay cool AND get out and about. So when you're in Missouri and feel like a cat on a hot tin roof, check out our list of ideas so Wag! and the Show-Me State can show you a whole lot of fun in the sun!

Lotto in the Grotto

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Treats
Activity description
Ugh. The air is hot. The ground is hot. The water is hot. YOU are hot. So where is there left to go? Underground! Missouri is known as The Cave State for a reason and if you were unaware, most of the caves across the state maintain pretty mild temperatures year round, even in the depths of winter and the dog days of summer. While there are plenty of caves to check out across the state, we highly recommend Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, simply because they are oh-so-awesome to furry family companions. As advertised, the caverns here stay right around a comfortable 60 degrees, allow your dog into all parts (including the riding tour on the tram, which does have special seats up front for you and your dog if need be), and are cheap at only $24 for an adult (dogs are free). Oh, and for an extra $5 on top of your regular ticket price you can turn it into a season pass, so you can escape the heat there as much as you want.
Step
1
Basic planning
Before anything else, you'll want to make sure you have a good secure harness (not just a collar) for your dog unless they are exceptionally well-behaved. The tours are riding-only tours to protect the sometimes fragile ecosystem inside, which means your dog will need to be safely seated next to you (or in your lap if they're small enough). You'll also want to make sure they will do okay in the open-top tram so if there's any way to test it, say with a golf cart, ATV or other similarly-styled vehicle with another driver at the helm, it might not be a bad idea. If they're good in the car and enjoy sticking their head out the window, you should have a good indication that they're comfortable with it. Once you know that, call ahead and find a time that works and let them know you'll have a dog with you just in case they have any additional advice or requirements. Then book your ticket.
Step
2
Cave away!
Once you've got everything set up, grab your dog bags, dog, and leash and hit the road. Make sure to check in when you arrive and meet any of the staff ahead of time to help your dog become more familiar with new people and new surroundings. From past reviews and experience, the staff is incredibly helpful, accommodating and caring, doing their best to help you and your dog get settled and enjoy a new experience. They will direct you on where to sit and what to do with your dog, so once that's done you get to sit back and relax! Be mindful of what's around you in the cave, as some dogs may be tempted to jump or bark at the bats that are sometimes inside, which is when distraction treats can come in handy. Otherwise, enjoy! You've successfully escaped the heat and found something to do with your pup all while staying cool.
Love this activity?

Happy Hounds Playground

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Vaccination Paperwork
Activity description
It's almost instinctual, especially if you have kids: It's hot? Water park! Unfortunately, dogs don't often have the same luxury, more often than not being relegated to wild rivers or pooch pools if and when they can be found. But Wildwood Missouri has found the perfect way to combat this problem with a place called Happy Hounds Playground. It is slightly exclusive, as dogs are behaviorally monitored throughout their membership after being accepted and it does cost a decent amount (~$35/mo) but especially for those hot summer days it's more than worth it. The park features off-leash and fenced large and small dog areas, splash pads for cooling off and playing around, a dog beach and a dock for diving as well as nature trails and a paw wash station to clean them off before heading home. Oh, and did we mention they're open from dawn to dusk thanks to their handy member's keycard system?
Step
1
Get signed up
This playground does require membership, which means you have to jump through a few hoops to get in. But don't fret, they're not hard. The first is that you need to provide copies of all their current vaccination records to ensure they're up to date and you'll also need to sign a waiver. Outside of that, you just need to get your membership fees together and decide if you'd like a full year membership (which provides a discount) and how many of your dogs you plan to sign up (up to 3, which is only an additional $5 a month on top of the one-dog monthly plan). Once you've got your paperwork in order, you can check the membership office hours, stop in, finish up the paperwork and get your keycard.
Step
2
Play day
Once you've got all the not-so-fun stuff out of the way, it's time to play! Like we mentioned above, the park is open from dawn to dusk for paying members, so you can go run, splash, and play to your heart's desire. Make sure both you and your dog are respectful to the grounds and other members, as repeated issues can cause you to get the boot (possibly without a refund!), so do your best to be responsible so all dogs and owners can enjoy the safety and space of the park. Oh, and if it's really hot, don't forget to put on some sunscreen!
Love this activity?

A Day at the Museum

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 120 minutes
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Realistically, sometimes you need to just get out of the sun and heat to truly be comfortable. But outside of your own home, there are sometimes limited spots you can take your dog where you can enjoy a bit of entertainment as well. The American Kennel Club in St. Louis has solved all that with, get this, the Museum of the Dog! Not only is this fantastic museum dog-centric, but it is also fully welcoming to furry family members. They even provide the dogs with treats and fresh water and don't charge for their admission (yours is only a measly $6 per person). That makes it dirt cheap, easy to attend, a few hours of entertainment, and perfect for a hot day.
Step
1
Take a stroll through history
Unlike some of the other locations we have on our list, this one takes very little preparation. All you need to do is call ahead or check the museum's website for their hours and head on over whenever they're open (with a leash, dog bags, and enough time to check everything out). Don't forget to take your dog for a bathroom break before entering as well.
Step
2
Visit and learn
Every week, the museum brings in a different breed as their special exhibit in an effort to teach visitors more about them, so if you feel so inclined, look at their schedule and pick out one you'd like to learn about during your visit and plan accordingly. Like most other museums, this one has permanent exhibits and special exhibits, so check to see what's available and coming up so you can visit again in the future and see something new and exciting.
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Grindstone Nature Area

Three fenced dog parks, two other off-leash areas, plus several shady spots and water features that your pooch can take a dip in to cool off. Need we say more? Oh, also, it happens to be on a beautiful plot of Missouri land. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Don't Bake, Eat Baked Goods

Instead of roasting in the heat, you and your pooch can head on over to Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City and peruse the food in the comfort of air conditioning. If it wasn't enough that they have a ton of treat options, they also bake treats in-house and even customize them for special occasions.

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Right outside of St. Louis there is a 105-acre park dedicated to sculptures: the Laumeier Sculpture Park. It not only features 60 different pieces of art perched throughout the grounds, but there are plenty of shaded paths to keep out of the sun. And if it does get just too hot, you won't be out any money because the whole park is free!

Conclusion

It may be humid, it may be hot, but with Wag! and the Show-Me State, you'll need to fret-not. We hope you've enjoyed our hand-curated selection of doggy hot spots to stay cool in Missouri, but if you need any further inspiration, feel free to use it as inspiration to check out some spots of your own. There are plenty of dog parks, beaches, parks, barkeries, and other attractions you can visit with your dog if you just know where to look. And for any additional help, take a look at our other Missouri guides, as some activities work just as well in hot weather as they do in nice, rainy, or cold!