Activities For Dogs In Nebraska On Hot Days

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

Nebraska is known for many things from the origins of the Reuben to the discovery of the world's largest Wooly Mammoth, but it's generally better known for its cool and Kool-Aid than it is for its heat like some of its southern neighbors. But that's not to say it doesn't still get hot in the Cornhusker State. During summer, especially July and August, temperatures can still rise into the discomfort of the high 80s and 90s and with more plains than trees, there isn't always an easy escape for people and their dogs. But hey, that's why we're here, to bring you some ideas on how to turn your heat-wave bummer into an endless-fun summer.

Bryson's Airboat Tours

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Expensive
Normal
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Doggy Earmuffs
Dog Treats
Activity description
We'll be honest: this one is best suited for relatively easy-going dogs who do well in vehicles because airboats are loud and move differently than most (although dogs who do well in boats in general probably won't have many issues). But it tops our list for three important reasons. First, it's not something you can do just anywhere, let alone with your dog. Second, it's super adventurous as far as dog-friendly activities go. Third, while you might be out in the open, the air at cruising speed is usually pretty cooling even on a hot day. It's not particularly cheap at about $45 a person and that doesn't include doggy earmuffs just in case you want to protect your dog's hearing (although airboats aren't much louder than a busy street) but it is perfect for cooling off on a hot day and even has a few additional options beyond the ride.
Step
1
Test the waters
Out of all the things on our list, this one will take the most preparation. First, you'll want to make sure you have a dog who can handle the excitement. They'll need to be well-behaved and good with new environments. You can test them yourself with other activities like standard boating or taking them near louder local areas to make sure they can handle the noise and vehicle movement without being too nervous or spooked. Once you've got that part down you can start planning your trip.
Step
2
Plan your trip
Once you're sure your dog can handle the ride, you'll want to call Bryson's to get a comprehensive guide to what's available for tours. It generally costs less to have more people, so if possible, fill it up with people you know so you have more eyes on your dog and they'll be surrounded by more familiar faces. Of course, this isn't always possible, so discuss with Bryson's your dog's size, weight and temperament so they can best advise you on what kind of tour you can take or where they can most comfortably fit you. They offer standard 1-hour tours but if you need some extra time and space to cool off, there is also a 3-hour package that includes an area for barbecuing, horseshoes, beach volleyball, and swimming in case you want to extend your stay or make a day of it with friends (and their dogs too!). During this stage you should also decide whether or not you want to get dog-specific ear muffs so you can have them shipped or picked up by the time your ride day arrives.
Step
3
Catch some air
Once you've got all the details worked out and everything booked, you're ready to hit the water. Grab your supplies and head on over to check in. Once you've done so, make sure you give your dog a bathroom break beforehand for the comfort and safety of everyone, including your dog. Talk to staff about the best seating locations and methods for keeping your dog safely inside the boat, then, if possible, introduce them to any other staff or passengers they may not know to increase their comfort levels (dog treats can be good for this). Once you're all settled in, it's time for your tour! Once you've received all instructions, don your ear muffs (and put your dog's on if you decided to get some or ask for an extra pair of human ones to see if they'll stay on comfortably). Then, hold on!
Love this activity?

L.E. Ray Dog Park

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Free
Easy
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Towels
Activity description
From our estimate, there are at least 20 dog parks scattered throughout Nebraska's larger towns and cities and they all provide a decent space for your dogs to run and play. But few seem to be as wide and feature-laden as L.E. Ray. Outside of its significant shade, size, and gorgeous natural backdrop, L.E. Ray has one thing most others don't: a massive water feature. Since the park is multi-use, there is also fishing and boating allowed, so you do have to be mindful, but it's largely used by locals as a nice spot to cool off with their dogs, complete with picnic areas should you also decide to bring snacks or lunch. It's free, fully fenced, has water to cool off in, and can entertain you and your furry pal for hours if you decide to explore it all.
Step
1
Pack it for the park
There really aren't many steps to this one. Pack your basic supplies based on what you intend to all do there. Consider whether you'll just be there for a wade-in with your pooch, plan to eat a bit on-site or explore the large area around the lake. Although the park is fenced and off-leash, it might be best to bring a leash anyway if you plan to take the few trails that line the park, as we've been told there are spots of poison ivy your dog may not notice but may still transfer to you if you're not careful. Otherwise towels and swimsuits are also recommended if you plan on splashing around in any capacity, as well as sunscreen. And, of course, dog bags are also required to help maintain the cleanliness of the park. Once you've got everything packed, hit the road!
Step
2
Splash and bark
The park is located just off of West Husker Highway (34) and S Blaine St and should be pretty easy to find. There is only one main entrance and several places to park. Once you find it, there's little more to do than enter and have fun! Feel free to check out the beach, the picnic areas and the trails that meander through. Just make sure you put on enough sunscreen beforehand if you plan to spend a decent amount of time out of the shade (and maybe even if you do). Keep a watchful eye on your dog to ensure they are safe at all times.
Love this activity?

Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
When it's too hot overground, go underground! While many dog-friendly tours are either outside or on rare occasion inside with some air conditioning you can take advantage of on hot days, the chalk mines do a great job of maintaining cooler temperatures out of the hot sun and Happy Jack is there to give you and your dog some education and entertainment simultaneously. Outside of having significant historical and geological value, the chalk mines are an inexpensive way ($8 per person) to stay cool and have something to do. Plus, when you're all done, there's plenty of space outside to explore including hiking trails, picnic areas and some beautiful views as well.
Step
1
Book your tour
As with any touring experience, it's always best to call ahead and let them know you plan on bringing your dog, just in case there is any additional planning to be done on either side. When you call, you should be able to secure your tickets or at least procure all necessary information prior to your trip. It shouldn't take much to get this all aligned, so once you've done so, you just need to grab your dog, dog bags, leash, and go!
Step
2
Chalk it up
Once you arrive, check in and make sure everything with your ticket is in order, then you'll likely have to wait until the tour departure time. There are a few nice spots outside to explore in the meantime, should you feel so inclined. Once the tour starts, you'll head down into the mines for a guided tour of their historical and geological importance (and yes, they should be a bit cooler than the air at the surface). Keep your pet close and praise them for exploration well done. Once you enjoy the tour, you can ask the staff about areas for you and your canine companion to check out nearby, such as the shaded hikes and paths and the North Loop River just in case there's an extra spot you can snatch some cool shade or better, yet, some cool water.
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Go Shopping

Take advantage of new things to see and someone else's air conditioning by going shopping. There are several unique dog or pet-centric stores throughout the state, like Lucky Dog's Place. Go shop around or get your furry friend a new toy, leash, or collar!

Get a Haircut!

When it gets too hot, a haircut is almost always a great idea. It costs little and will help your pooch stay both cooler and cleaner. If you can, try to find a few smaller shops (Omaha and Lincoln are great places to start) or you can always revert to the big pet shops for a tried-and-true default.

Go Nuts at Walnut Creek Lake

Outside of L.E. Ray, Walnut Creek may be the best water-centric spot for you and your pooch. It has some beautiful scenery and offers another place for your dog to take a dip and cool off.

Conclusion

Nebraska may not be the hottest spot in the United States, but when it heats up it may feel like it thanks to the rising humidity and wide open spaces that often offer little shade or shelter. But luckily, we've got a great list to get you and your dog started on your way to keeping cool as a cucumber. If nothing else, just use it as inspiration to do some research and find your or hot (or cool) spots to check out (or just check out our "Nebraska on nice day" guide as well since there may be some overlap in activities that work for both types of days!).