Activities For Dogs In North Dakota On Hot Days

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Introduction

Although North Dakota is much more well-known for having days that are too cold than too hot, that doesn't mean the temperature doesn't rise to uncomfortable levels during June, July and August, leaving residents to fend for themselves and their dogs in the heat. But even if there isn't a perfect solution, like having a pristinely kept dog-friendly pool next door, there are plenty of ways to cleverly work around the sun's rays on even hottest days in the Peace Garden State. With a little know-how and some basic resources and materials, we'll have you and pup happily enjoying even the doggiest days of summer.

Make Pupsicles

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog-friendly human food
Blender
Ice tray
Long, skinny chewies
Activity description
While it's sometimes difficult to control your dog's inner temperature, there are certainly some measures that can help them cool down. Giving them a frozen treat can be a great way to help keep them cool, but instead of feeding them ice cream, which is only okay in very small amounts, you can make your own super-healthy dog treats with just a few basic ingredients you likely already have in your own home. It only takes a couple hours from front to back, can be stored for future munching, are cheap, easy, and will give you and your dog something to do when it's just too hot outside.
Step
1
Gather your supplies
The first thing you'll need is a list of dog-friendly human foods you can reference to see what you already have in the house. You may need to go out and get more supplies, but with a list, you'll at least know what's best to get. For reference, human foods that are healthy for dogs and work for our purpose are: cherries, blueberries (best), strawberries, bananas, coconut, sweet potatoes, apples, oranges, blackberries, watermelon, pineapple, peanut butter and carrots. If you do choose one or several fruits, remember to keep the proportions small and absolutely NO pits or seeds (barring blackberries). You will also need to grab your blender, an ice tray, and some long and slim chewies if you have them.
Step
2
Prep the pups
Once you've gathered the proper ingredients and tools, test the waters with your dog to see what they like. Make sure not to feed them too much, as they'll be thoroughly testing the finished product within an hour or two. See which ingredients they like best, then toss a few in the blender and blend them until they're at the very least near-liquid. Pour or scoop the liquid into each section of the ice tray, then pop a chewy in the middle so you have something to hold onto while you have them try it (plus they get extra fun once they've finished their pupsicle). Once it's full, pop it in the freezer and wait one to two hours until they are frozen solid.
Step
3
Let them lap it up
Once the popsicles have frozen, take them out of the freezer and pop the tray so one is loose, then pull it out, put the rest back and hold onto the chewy so they can try their new treat. You can also pop the whole thing into a bowl for them but make sure to keep an eye on them. Chewing the whole thing to mush has the potential to make a mess as well as a possible choking hazard depending on the size, so be mindful of how they are treating it. Once they're done, you can repeat the process with new flavors in the future. Hint: this is a great thing to do between other activities as well, since you have to wait for the pupsicles to freeze anyway.
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Personal Puppy Pool

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Hose
Kiddie Pool
Tarp
Shovel
Towels
Activity description
Unfortunately, North Dakota isn't super dog-friendly when it comes to water features. Very few, if any, dog parks have built-in water features (though it makes sense since they're harder to maintain in the cold, which is a majority of the year) and state parks don't allow dogs in or around the swimming areas, leaving them woefully hot and dry with no real place to cool off when the sun is at its peak. But this is also an easily solved problem for many people as well. With a few basic supplies, you can have a cheap and easy pup-pool in no time that will help keep them cool as a frozen puddle of drool.
Step
1
Assess your supplies
At its core, this project really only takes two things if you're willing to spend the money or have them handy: a hose and a kiddie pool. If either or both of these aren't available, you may have to spend a few dollars but if you do it right, you won't likely push it over $25. Of course, not everyone has somewhere that sells either nearby, so if you find yourself stuck in this situation, consider looking for a tarp and a shovel instead - these are pretty much essential without a pre-made kiddie pool. If you have both supplies already, just fill your pool up with some cool water, put it in the shade if possible to maintain the temperature, fill it up and have your dog crawl in. If you don't, move onto step two.
Step
2
Build it
If you own your own home, you won't need any additional steps. If you're renting or live in an apartment complex, it will probably be more difficult, as we recommend you get your landlord's permission beforehand (or you may have to refer to the kiddie pool method instead). Once that is out of the way, pick a spot in the yard that won't disrupt other activities like lawn mowing or kids playing. Then dig a shallow but somewhat wide hole that will suit your dog. Fold up the tarp to fully cover the bottom and sides of the hole with a little extra overhang at the top, as the weight of the water will drag it down as it settles as well. Once it's in place, grab your hose and fill it up. The tarp should keep the water in place and any extra folds should help with durability issues their claws might cause.
Step
3
Playtime in the pool
Get them in and play to your heart's content! Hint: if you don't want to mess up your yard, try doing this with a space that hasn't been growing grass regularly. Once you're done you can drain the water in place and even toss new grass seed in while you fill it in.
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Buy Buy Hot Days

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Hot Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description

Sometimes it's just too hot to be outside and on those days we're OK just sticking indoors. But if you don't want to run your A/C constantly, let alone die of boredom, consider some alternative ways of keeping your dog cool. There are a wide variety of products and services that will help you do so and will also help you avoid standing out in the sun in the process. All you need is a bit of extra cash, since it's cheap to moderate in terms of price depending on what you get, plus a leash to walk them around and dog bags for picking up after your pal. The best part is, once you've come up with a solution for one hot day, you may have future hot days solved as well, leaving you to spend money only once to stay cool any number of blistering days. 

Step
1
Try free alternatives first
The first step should be ruling out other possibilities first if you're looking to save some money. Giving your dog a cool bath is a great way to keep them from overheating, but excessive baths can be harmful to the natural oils of their skin and hair, so it's only an occasional solution. The same goes for a cool towel and/or plopping them under the A/C. Once you've ruled those out (and our pupsicles above as well), it's time to hit the stores. Do some quick research and see what stores nearby are dog-friendly. Most outdoor stores like Bass Pro Shops are dog-friendly, as are pet shops, which are the most likely places to find these items anyway. Isolate a few nearby so in case you don't find much at one, you'll have the others as backup.
Step
2
Test 'em out
Once you reach your destination, don't hesitate to flag down a staff member and ask where they may have products to help keep your dog cool. Once you've located them, see which ones you can try in store, which your dog immediately likes, and which you may need to take home. This should help you reduce your options. If you're unsure if you're able to test them out in-store, just as a staff member. A few ideas are the FroBo chilled dog water bowl, a canine splash pool (an alternative to the options under activity #2), cooling vests, an outdoor fountain, a crate fan and cool-gel or similar beds and mats. If the store has an easy return policy, you could potentially try them all with little issue should they not work out. With any luck, at least one will turn out to help keep your pooch at a comfortable temperature.
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More Fun Ideas...

High Hikes

While the regular lowlands may be battered with sun, often times higher elevations and shade can subtract double digit degrees off the thermometer. If there are good mountainous hiking spots nearby, consider taking a trip and finding out in person if they're able to provide a break from the heat. If nothing else, you'll have A/C on the ride there and back and will have future reference if your nearby location turns out.

Haircuts

If your dog has a longer coat that needs to be trimmed or maintained (or can even just be cut short and grown back), consider getting them fully groomed and trimmed so they have less hair to fight on hot days.

Conclusion

Even if hot days are rare in North Dakota, that can just make them all the most difficult to deal with since they're a problem not often faced. Hopefully with the help of our activity guide, you'll have a better idea of ways you can escape the heat in more ways than one, if not a have template for coming up with some ideas of your own.