Activities For Dogs In North Dakota On Rainy Days

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Introduction

North Dakota isn't the rainiest of states, but in summer, it's certainly not the driest either. From May through August, the Peace Garden State sees about as much precipitation as it does the entire rest of the year combined - it is the driest winter state in the country, after all. With a fair amount of summer rain, residents and visitors are often left wondering what to do with their warm and wet days, which is where we at Wag! come in. We've got a decent-sized list of suggestions of how to embrace, enjoy or even avoid the rain, or if nothing else, give you an idea of how to come up with a few ideas of your own!

Go Go Fargo

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Umbrella
Activity description
North Dakota might not have much when it comes to big cities, but it certainly has the midwestern low-key feel down and Fargo is a great example. It has a fantastic history, considering it was the original Gateway to the West and a starting point for anyone looking to break into the western wilds and yet, it never grew too big and still has a very down-to-earth feel. That also means it's stocked with a fair amount of dog-friendly spots you can take advantage of. With a little planning and an umbrella, you can turn the town into a day trip, full of different types of stops that will keep you both entertained and (mostly) dry. The cost will be variable, but most of the activities will certainly be easy.
Step
1
Points of interest
Considering the wide array of potential places you can stop, you'll first want to make a list of what interests you most, which may also be impacted by the intensity of the rain. If you want to stick indoors, consider the Visitor's Center, where you can snap a picture with the famed wood chipper or the Natural Pet Center, where you can shop for natural dog treats, food, toys and other doggy necessities - there's also PetSmart and PetCo in town as well, in case they need their nails or hair trimmed, or if you just want a wider selection. For doggy outdoors gear (a waterproof jacket for the rainy day, perhaps?), you can always stop at Scheels as well.
Step
2
Break for a bite
There are tons of dog-friendly patios throughout town, though the folks at Prairie Brother Brewing Company actually allows dogs in their taproom. Otherwise, it's best to call ahead and see what patios are covered so you can escape the rain AND enjoy some great food. We suggest calling around until you find 2 to 3 spots to stop just in case.
Step
3
Make an itinerary
Once you've outlined the places you'd like to stop, consider how much time you plan to spend in town and which spots are the closest in proximity to each other so you can try to fit some walking in as well. A good umbrella should help save you from a fair amount of the rain. If you're extra savvy, consider checking an hourly weather report so you can plan to be inside for the heaviest rain and either out on a patio or walking in between locations once it lightens up. If it will eventually let up entirely, you can even combine some other outdoor activities, like going for a walk along the Red River or even taking them to a dog park, as long as it's not too muddy (unless you brought towels and rain boots!). When all is said and done, you'll have at least a few hours of entertainment, some good food in your belly, some exercise and maybe even a few extra toys and treats! Anywhere you don't end up stopping can just be put on the list for the next rainy day.
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Maah Daah Hey

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Dogs Bags
Leash
Umbrella
Towels
Waterproof jackets (dog and human)
Rain boots
Activity description
Unfortunately, like quite a few other states in the region, dogs aren't allowed on anything but paved paths in the state/national parks, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage elsewhere. Out of all the potential dog-friendly trails, the Maah Daah Hey might be the most beautiful. Stretching 144 miles, much of which is dog-accessible, it offers tons of gorgeous different views whose colors truly come to life when saturated with the rain. Going when it's wet might make it slightly more challenging but you aren't as likely to get too hot, you'll avoid more of the crowds and you'll get to see it like few others get to. The difficulty all depends on where you start and the cost depends on how much extra gear you'll need for a rainy hike, but otherwise, it's certainly a great way to get equal amounts of exercise and nature.
Step
1
Find your launch spot
Before anything else, it's probably best to first see where dogs are allowed on the trail and where the closest trailhead resides. Depending on your and your dog's health, you should check the general difficulty of each section of the trail as well, so you can gauge what will suit you best (the official website is a great place for this, as it maps out in detail each section of the hike). Once you've determined that, you can take a look and see if you'll need to supplement your current gear. Consider waterproof shoes or boots with good grips if you don't have any, as well as waterproof jackets for both you and your dog.
Step
2
Gather supplies
Once you've figured out which section of the trail to take, where to catch it and what additional supplies you need, take your dog somewhere you can fulfill the remaining needs. Outdoor and sport stores like Scheels and Bass Pro Shops are perfect places to go, as they are both dog-friendly and offer a variety of both dog and human gear. Plus, it's another activity that will keep you both dry and entertained while it rains.
Step
3
Hit the trailhead
Once you've got everything planned and prepared, check the weather one last time to make sure nothing is threatening to change your plans, then do the same again once you arrive. Being aware and staying dynamic is the best way to enjoy the opportunity without being foiled by the weather. When you arrive, you can finish gearing up then grab your dog and hit the trails! Keep an eye on the landscape ahead and if you have a smartphone, keep your eye on the weather in case it lightens up or threatens to get heavier. Other than that, have fun! Now that you have the proper rain gear, you can embark on all sorts of rainy day hikes, as long as you've got the drive and the weather stays tolerable enough to get out in it!
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Road Trip

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Rainy Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Umbrella
Towels
Activity description
When all else fails and you need to get out of the house but the rain is too heavy for walking, consider grabbing your pup and hitting the road. As long as the weather is safe enough to drive in, you'll both get to see lots of new landscapes, roadside attractions and possibly even drive your way into better weather at some point as well. If you plan your trip right, you can see numerous interesting things and even get some exercise if the weather breaks right, all for the simple cost of gas. North Dakota has plenty of strange and unique things to see, it all just depends on where your interests truly lie.
Step
1
Attractions
Before you start picking places you'd like to see, it's probably best to first decide how long you plan to be in the car and how long your dog will be able to tolerate it as well. Some dogs do perfectly well sniffing the breeze through a crack in the slightly rolled down window or falling asleep, while others are frantic pacers and all of this should be considered before making any decisions. Once you've got that figured out, see what falls within the scope of proximity - there's generally plenty to see within a few hours of most towns. For instance, there's the Enchanted Highway Sculptures in Regent, the pyramid in Nekoma, the World's Largest Buffalo and albino buffalo in Jamestown, the Geological Center of the Country in Rugby, the oldest mosque in the US in Stanley, the world's largest Holstein Cow in New Salem, amongst many others (Atlas Obscura is a great place to find weird and interesting stuff for this purpose!).
Step
2
Map it
Once you've picked out your attractions, pull out a digital or paper map and see if you can make a path that has you driving one direction on each road or highway, so you see less of the same views (but don't be TOO inefficient or you'll cost yourself extra gas money). Do yourself a favor and either have a good way to check-in on the weather, or get a weather app for your smartphone so you can see which way it's moving and the intensity. If you're clever enough, you can plan your trip around the weather so you can find dry or light patches or head in the opposite direction so you can drive through the worst before coming out the other side in the sun and fit in some walking or exploration time as well. You can even find some great dog-friendly patios to eat on or somewhere interesting to stop to grab yourselves some treats. Once everything is mapped out, you're ready to hit the road and have some fun!
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More Fun Ideas...

Go Glamping

While the rain might ruin some traditional camping, going a bit more upscale can certainly be just as exciting. Even if dogs aren't allowed on the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the beauty around it from the comfort of a rental or Airbnb. Stay inside while it rains, make your plans for when the skies clear, then launch out into it without having to go anywhere.

Share a Bison or Pitchfork Steak

North Dakota may not have many food claims throughout their history, but there are two perfectly good dishes to share between the two of you: Bison Steak and Pitchfork Steak, both of which the state is known for. Although high levels of salt aren't great for your dog, a few tasty cuts off a well-cooked steak will likely do nothing more than give them a warm feeling in their heart and belly (and yours too).

Conclusion

North Dakota may not have the biggest cities or the most attractions, that doesn't keep this down-to-earth state from being inviting, adventurous and most importantly, dog-friendly, even when the rain starts to pour. With any luck, we've given you some ways to either avoid or enjoy Peace Garden State days in the rain and if nothing else, inspired you to stop cursing the precipitation and start using your imagination!