Activities For Dogs In North Carolina On Hot Days

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Introduction

Let's be real: North Carolina can get pretty hot. Although the Atlantic Ocean helps keep the temperatures a bit more temperate than say, Arizona, summer days can have the heat cranked up past the 80s with humidity to boot, leaving humans and dogs alike panting for relief. But don't sweat - actually, yes, if it's hot, please sweat; it might not be ideal but at least it will help keep you cool - we've got a great list of ways you and your pooch can still enjoy the Tar Heel State even if it's too hot to trot or too muggy for Puggy.

Boats and Beaches

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Expensive
Normal
1 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Doggy Life Preserver
Water
Activity description
When the weather gets too hot, your best bet is to head towards the water, which isn't hard in North Carolina, given its sprawling coastline. But just being there is one thing. Having an adventure is another. That's where places like Entropy Boat Rentals comes into place. They offer 3 and 6-hour boat rentals (plus daily rates as well) so you can take your pooch to a nearby dog-friendly beach or just cruise around on the cool waters of the ocean and catch some wind. If you don't want to go with a full-on boat, they also offer kayaks and stand-up paddleboards you can enjoy as well for a much smaller fee. The price ranges from cheap to expensive depending on your craft, but they're all a perfect way to enjoy the heat while staying cool and should provide plenty of entertainment for the day.
Step
1
Plan your trip
Before you head out, you'll first want to figure out what kind of trip you want to take. If you can spare the expense and want to cover more ground, or water as it were, then our best suggestion is to get a boat. Most dogs are more comfortable on larger crafts and you can more quickly and easily access nearby dog-friendly beaches. Plus, if you have others that want to join, especially those with dogs, it's the best bet for easy inclusion and cost-splitting. If you're more looking to just enjoy the nearby area or spend less money, aim for a kayak or paddleboard. Just make sure you spend enough time at the launch (or better yet, before you even go) getting your dog adjusted to the type of boat they'll be on so you can get your money's worth when the day itself rolls around. You can always call ahead and let them know what kind of trip you're looking for and through their advice and website, can direct you towards the most appropriate craft and locations to check out.
Step
2
Float and gloat
Once you have your reservations made and the time has arrived, head on over and check in so you can get connected with your craft as soon as possible. Like we mentioned above, make sure your dog is fully comfortable with the craft before you set sail. Open water is probably the last place you want to find out your dog can't handle it! Make sure you get on the correct safety gear for both you and them before taking off as well. Before you depart, double check with the people you rented from to identify some places you'd like to see and how to get there. Once everything is in order, it's time to depart and have fun. Don't forget to lather up with sunscreen if need be!
Step
3
Enjoy the excursion
Head out towards your desired locations and make sure your dog doesn't get overheated. If they look hot, find a good spot close to shore where they can take a dip so they are able to stay comfy and cool. Make sure to have fresh water with you as well so you can both stay properly hydrated. There are plenty of places to stop and eat as well, just make sure you're not using up too much rental time with passive eating or eating so much you get cramps when you jump in for a swim. Other than all that, have fun staying cool in the sun!
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Lucky Dog Bark & Brew

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Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Vaccination Records
Activity description
Sure, dog parks are fun. They can even be refreshing. But do any of them double as boarding facilities? Bars? Social hotspots? Well, Lucky Dog does, which is why it's the perfect all-in-one stop when it's too hot. During the day, it acts as a doggy daycare where owners can board their pets or just leave them for a few hours. In the evening, the bar opens up and patrons can bring their dogs in to play. They do require updated vaccination records (or comprehensive waivers signed for the forgetful type) but outside of needing to be spayed or neutered beforehand, that's about the only hurdle you and your dog will need to jump through (though there are others there that they may WANT to jump through). The AC inside will keep you cool during the day and in the evening, when it cools down, you can enjoy the outdoor space as well. Plus, it's modestly priced no matter what service you use from daycare to boarding to bathing and as long as the bar is open there will be cold drinks for you to enjoy as well!
Step
1
Get your things in order
If you want the process to go as smoothly as possible from the get go, you should get all of your vaccination paperwork in order and either print it out or contact Lucky Dog to find out where to email it. Then check the hours and call ahead to make sure certain play areas are open for you and your dog to take advantage of. Once you've got everything in order, head over and check in to ensure your paperwork was received (unless you bring it with you). Once you get clearance, figure out which areas are most appropriate for your dog's size, then escort them to the proper location. Each of Lucky Dog's two (soon to be three) facilities has their own designated spaces, so check with staff so you know where you're going.
Step
2
Stay cool puppy boy (or girl)
Once you're checked in and find your space, play away! Once the bar opens up, you can grab yourself a drink and explore a few more areas if your dog is comfortable. There are several indoor and outdoor areas to take advantage of, so explore where you're able to. If there's one thing we can't recommend enough, it's socializing. Not only will it widen your friend circle and potentially your dog's play circle, it will improve their social conduct and if you choose to board them in the future or drop them off for doggy daycare, chances are you may have already met dogs doing the same thing, making the transition that much easier on both of you. Finally, don't forget to check their events list, as they usually host 1-2 dog-centric events a month such as talent shows, cookouts, and even benefits for local shelters, all of which you can likely enjoy, attend, and even volunteer.
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Gem in the Ruff

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Few dog-friendly places boast all-access unless they're almost entirely dog-specific, but Emerald Village in Little Switzerland is the perfect exclusion. Although it has numerous buildings, various activities and even a few tours, dogs are actually welcome to join in on every aspect as long as they are leashed, well-behaved, and picked up after. That means you can take a black light mine tour, tour the North Carolina Mining Museum and Discovery Mill Building, both of which feature some great exhibits, pan for gold and even mine for gems all with your furry sidekick. Most of the activities are individually priced so you can do what interests you and most are priced under $15. Plus, even on the hottest days being in a mine and near running water will significantly increase your chances of cooling off.
Step
1
Mine time
Here at Wag!, we're nerds for dogs and planning because that combination usually produces the best results and the least amount of headaches. But every once in a while we introduce an activity that takes little preparation, and this is one of them. All you really need to do is take a look ahead of time to see what you might enjoy so you bring enough money, pack some basic supplies like dog bags, water and a leash, and you're set to go.
Step
2
Call ahead
If possible, call ahead and see what peak times are if your dog is anxious around crowds, and feel free to request any advice on how to make everything go smoothly with the new and various noises they'll be experiencing. Otherwise, go in and have fun! There's certainly more than enough to do, so take advantage while you're there. Even if it's too hot to trek between activities, there's little chance anyone will judge you when you hunker down in a cool mine or cave for a few minutes.
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More Fun Ideas...

Rent a Beachfront Cabin

It won't be cheap, but renting a beachfront cabin means you get to enjoy the cool breeze off the ocean with windows open and a ton of shade. You can even draw a cool bath if you don't want to head to the shoreline to enjoy the Atlantic itself.

Cruise the Wilmington Riverwalk

Not every city will have a great escape from the heat but Wilmington does in the form of a nearly 2-mile boardwalk. There are numerous restaurants with umbrellas to provide cool drinks and shade for both of you and even boasts some dog-friendly businesses you can go inside to catch some AC relief.

Go For a Dip

If you're near Asheville, check out the Annual Doggy Dip which takes place at the Recreation Park Pool. They have designated hours depending on your dog's weight and size, so if your patience for the heat is growing thin, go and take your dog for a swim!

Conclusion

Even though the Old North State may not be far enough north to keep the temperature regularly cool, that won't matter when you have a roster of ways to beat the heat. With any luck and some effort, you'll be a true blue Tar Heel in no time (if you aren't already), taking a shine to the sun with a bucket of fun. And if nothing here intrigues you, don't forget to check out our other North Carolina guides, as you may find something that strikes your fancy that works just as well in other types of weather.