Activities For Dogs In Nebraska On Rainy Days

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Introduction

Just because Nebraska is best known for its plains and its place in the top ten for least amount of rain, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of days that see a downpour or two. In May through July, the Cornhusker state sees a significant rise in overall precipitation, over double what it normally sees in January and February combined. While it may not be frequent, especially compared to some other states, there's no denying that it can still be a damper on most days, for dogs and people alike. But with our help and a little creativity, you and your furry friend will be ready to take on the rain in no time.

Paws 4 Fun

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Normal
45 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Vaccination Records
Activity description
For dogs with a lot of energy, rainy days can often seem to go on forever: it means hours of being stuck inside with little to no exercise, let alone space to run freely. Fortunately, there are places growing hip to the fact that weather can be a tough thing to avoid. Whether it's too hot, too cold, or in this case, too wet to go outside, dogs that were once doomed to stay indoors (as well as their owners) are now learning the wonders of indoor dog parks. While Paws 4 Fun might be the first of its kind in the state, there are more on the way, including a potential $16M facility in Omaha, as well as others that may pop up to service the Western half of the state. It may not be inexpensive but it's certainly worthwhile, relatively easy to fill out forms and best of all, a great way to get your pooch some serious exercise on a rainy day.
Step
1
Get registered
Before you go racing off towards the facility with your dog burning circles in the back seat, you might want to pump the brakes and save yourself some time by taking care of the business portion up front. Like most facilities of this kind, it does take some paperwork, which means providing your information, a little info about your dog and most importantly, their current vaccination records to show they are up to date on Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella. You'll also need to sign a liability waiver. All of this is most easily done online or by having your vet fax the records over. You can fill out the information once you arrive, but chances are it will be easier at home where all your reference documents are accessible. Once your paperwork is processed, if all looks good, you and your dog will be accepted as facility members. You can then use the online forms to make a reservation.
Step
2
Explore the potential
While you may be the most desperate for a dog park where your dog can run free without getting soaked, don't overlook the fact that the facility offers far more than just a play space. In fact, their services range from boarding to use of the dog park daily, indoor pools and dock diving, training services and even grooming. If you have the time and the need, you can take advantage of several of the company's offerings. Don't hesitate to explore the website or discuss the options once you arrive. You may find out that you've found a great all-in-one stop for much of your dog-related needs.
Step
3
Go have fun
When you're done doing all the legwork, you can do the REAL legwork by fulfilling your reservation and taking your dog for a run and play in the indoor dog park. While you're there, try to socialize with other owners and staff, as they are often a great resource for seeking out other dog-friendly activities, even for days that aren't so rainy. Best of all, do your best to burn your pooch out, especially if the rain is going to last. There's nothing better than a happy dog who has been exercised to their capacity and they'll likely thank you with lots of smiles, satisfied panting and good behavior!
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Wet Hikes

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Raincoats (human and dog)
Waterproof gear
Activity description
Getting outside can often be a hard thing to do once it starts raining. Many dog parks are flat and tend to get particularly muddy, and many dogs themselves might be reluctant to get and stay wet for any length of time (let alone their owners who may be trying to avoid the wet dog smell). But thankfully, most of Nebraska's rain comes when it's still warm out, even hot, making the rain a quick and welcome way to cool down summer days. So for those bold enough to brave the elements, a little extra waterproof gear and determination are all you and your dog need to take off on a fun rainy day hike. It may not be cheap if you don't already own the gear but it's certainly not hard and will provide plenty of things to do in the process. And chances are you'll avoid the crowds as well!
Step
1
Pick a hike for you and Spike
While many people assume that going out when it's rainy will be inevitably muddy, much of that can have to do with the location. Areas with changes in elevation and grade and good drainage can actually still be great places to hike in the rain. As long as there is some kind of well-maintained path of impacted earth, and gravel, chances are you'll have little trouble with slippery terrain. This can be as simple as sticking to the concrete of the Antelope Valley Trail near the University or as complex as exploring the sprawling paths of the Lewis and Clark Trail. We suggest picking something and sticking to it so you know what kind of gear you'll need.
Step
2
Secure your supplies
Once you've picked where you want to go, consider what additional supplies you may need, such as a good pair of hiking boots (and waterproof or straight-up rain boots at that if need be) for more rural terrain as well as a doggy and human raincoats. Once you've identified what you'll need, take your pooch on a dog-friendly shopping trip. Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and most pet stores will have these supplies and they're all dog-friendly, so while it's pouring outside, you and your pup can get geared up and stay dry in the process. The best part is, if you buy it all on an already rainy day, you'll be able to test it immediately.
Step
3
Put the gear to use
Once you've got your spot picked and your gear ready, you can put it all on and hit the road on your adventure! Make sure to wear appropriate under layers so you don't overheat or get too cold while out and about, and don't forget the basics like dog bags and a good leash. When all is said and done, you and your dog will have a great rainy day adventure knowing that unless the weather turns for the worst, you won't be stopped from having fun outdoors!
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Doggy Gym

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Rainy Day
Free
Easy
30 - 180 min
Items needed
Rope
Pillows
Chairs
Toys
Treats
Activity description
Sometimes it's just not reasonable to get outside. Whether you're on a time crunch and can't spend the time getting clean and dry or if the weather just isn't cooperating, you may be stuck inside regardless. But that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of your situation either. When all else fails, you can always get your dog some exercise by making an indoor doggy gym. It's a great way to give both of you some entertainment, get them some exercise and can even give you a reprieve from your normal day to day activities. The best part is, it's free, as easy as it is creative, can be adapted to dogs of all sizes and can provide hours of entertainment.
Step
1
Assess your dog
Before you make them start running laps, give some serious consideration to how much exercise they'll need, what kind they'll be best at and what you can use in your house. For small dogs, it can be as simple as having them sprint back and forth between two of the largest rooms. For big dogs, you may need to employ a staircase or something high enough for them to jump over. You should also consider their health. Younger dogs with few health issues will likely have fewer restrictions than older dogs with, say, bad hips.
Step
2
Design the exercises
Once you've given your dog a mental once-over, start coming up with appropriate exercises. For smaller dogs, we suggest making a course for them to run, which you can do along with them or by having them chase a favorite toy. If you want to get extra creative, line it with pillows, furniture or even ropes so they know the bounds they're supposed to stay within. For an additional challenge, add in objects to jump over or things to crawl under such as chairs, turning their race course into an obstacle course that will have them working both physically and mentally. For larger dogs, especially in smaller spaces, consider using any staircases to your advantage. In multi-story homes, this shouldn't be hard to do, but apartment dwellers can also use communal staircases if need be (just don't disturb the neighbors too much!). For extra small spaces without stairs, consider making a jump bar you can raise progressively higher, forcing them to expend more energy to get over it.
Step
3
Round it out
We suggest coming up with two or three different activities or exercises so neither you or your dog get bored and you tire them out thoroughly enough. Use treats or toys as motivation if necessary and you can also use this opportunity as a good time to reinforce training elements they may need to brush up on - or you can even introduce new ones as well!
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More Fun Ideas...

Catch a Patio Meal

While the rain may best you in more ways than one, it can't keep you and your dog from eating great food. Dogs may not be allowed in the restaurants, but many allow them to be on their patios. If the patio is covered and the weather is warm, you can still be outside, stay dry and have some good eats in the process. Hint: Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney are hot-spots for dog-friendly dining.

Road Trip

One of the easiest ways to get out of the house without getting wet is taking a road trip. Consider stopping by roadside attractions or taking a cruise through the Nebraska National Forest, the largest man-made forest in the country.

Conclusion

Nebraska may not be the rainiest place in the country, but that won't matter when a good sprinkle threatens to ruin your day when it turns into a downpour. Hopefully, with the help of our list of suggestions, you'll be better prepared to take on the rain, whether that's embracing the weather or avoiding it entirely. If nothing else, we hope to have provided you with some inspiration on how to find your own fun when it gets wet in the Cornhusker State.