Activities For Dogs In South Carolina On Hot Days

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Introduction

For golfers, beachcombers, war historians, barbecue lovers and other vacationers alike, South Carolina is a mecca for warm weather, beautiful scenery and southern hospitality, so it's no wonder why this little paradise is known as The Palmetto State. Unfortunately, like many of its neighbor states, summer means days are regularly in the 80s if not up into the 90s, leaving visitors and residents alike scrambling for shade and sweating pitchers full of iced tea. While there may be limited ways to escape the sun, there are certainly plenty more that will help you embrace it, so we're here to share our list with you so wherever you end up, you're happy as a pig in the mud, as they say. 

Boat and Beach Adventure

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Moderate
Easy
3 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Sunscreen
Towels
Doggy Life Preserver
Activity description

Despite its reputation for being a paradise for easy-going people and relaxation, there is a ton to explore in South Carolina and Adventure Harbor Tours will help you do so with gusto. Not only do they provide reasonably priced tours of the harbor and surrounding area, but they'll even take you to a secluded island where people, and more importantly, dogs, can run free (oh yes, we mean full-tilt, off-leash beach-barreling). It's perfect for a hot day because getting out on the water and catching some wind and spray off the boat is a great way to cool off, and even if it doesn't initially help, splashing in the waters of Morris island certainly will. Plus, it's easy to book, easy to ride, easy to play and can eat up just a part of or nearly half your day. 

Step
1
Pick your trip
Before anything else, you should probably make sure your dog is okay with being on boats - don't worry, the boats are good-sized with tall sides to safely keep them inside. You can always test them locally before you head out but chances are if your companion does fine in a car, they'll do about the same in a boat. When you get to the planning stages, you'll want to call and book your trip, which means phoning over and figuring out what times they offer certain tours (there's a specific tour for Morris Island for our purposes, but plenty of other great options as well). Once you've picked an appropriate time, book it, then get your supplies together.
Step
2
All aboard
When the day and time arrive, get your supplies together and hit the road, making sure you have dog bags, a leash, sunscreen and clothes you won't mind getting a little wet. When you arrive, check in and see how early you can get on the boat to test your dog's comfort, and introduce them to any others that will be sharing the boat with you, whether it's other passengers or just the captain and crew. Previous experiences have shown every member of this small business to be extremely kind, helpful, and accommodating, so don't be afraid to ask for any assistance in getting yourself or your dog adjusted. Once the tour leaves, take in the sights, smells, and sounds while you learn a bit about the area from the captain.
Step
3
Beachcomb
Eventually, you'll arrive at Morris Island and be allowed to depart the ship and head for the shore. During the walking portion of the tour, your dog will be allowed to be off-leash (just be respectful and pick up after them) and you'll be allowed to splash around on the shores and explore the undeveloped beauty of the beach and accompanying shoreline. Not only will there likely be wildlife to see (sometimes dolphins are even spotted), but there will be plenty of treasures even the most amateur beachcomber can appreciate. Should it get too hot, you can always take a dip in the water or take a quick break in the shade of nearby brush and trees or walk back to the boat and hop in to hide under the canopy. And above anything else, enjoy! There aren't many places that will accommodate your dog, show you a good time, and take you to such a beautiful and freeing place as Morris Island. Soak it up while you can and encourage your dog to do the same!
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Splash Time

Popular
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Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description

Of all the ways a dog can exercise, swimming is easily one of the best. It decreases weight bearing, works a ton of muscles and is a truly thorough workout even for the most high-energy breeds. Plus, when it gets too hot, it's a great way to exercise without getting overheated in the summer sun. Most states only have a few limited places where dogs can truly get in and doggy paddle, but South Carolina has a place designated for that and that alone: Wag-n-Splash. In fact, it's the only facility we've found like it in the state. They're open from Tuesday to Saturday but they are by appointment only, so you'll have to call ahead unlike a public pool. But when all is said and done, you'll have a great way to get your dog some exercise (and maybe learn to swim better), keep cool and entertained all for a modest price.

Step
1
Plan your swim
Let's be clear: Not all dogs love water. Some may be apprehensive to be around it all-together while others may just be reluctant to fully immerse themselves. Make sure your dog has the willingness and capacity to try if they aren't water-lovers already. Otherwise, this activity may not be for you. For those it will work for, know that it is meant to be treated as a process, not an event, which means you'll be allowed in the water with them, Wag-n-Splash will provide all dogs with proper life preservers, and your first session will be treated like an introduction, so your dog's comfort level is never pushed too hard - after all, they want your dog to love the water too! All swims are by appointment only, so you'll need to call ahead with your and your dog's information to get everything set up. Make sure to provide as much detail as possible so they can best prepare for your visit.
Step
2
Test the waters
Once the day arrives, grab your pooch, their leash, dog bags, and a towel or two for your car (Wag-n-Splash will provide the life preserver, water-ready dog toys and towels to dry them off). When you get there, check in and wait for them to give you instruction. From there, they will instruct you step by step in getting your dog into the water. They are serious about both safety and outcome, so make sure to follow their instructions closely. They've helped tons of dogs overcome their fear of water, so their methods are, more often than not, extremely reliable. Once you go through the first full session, you can gauge your dog's ability and interest. If they love it, return ASAP! Wag-n-Splash offers discounts for pre-purchased swims in larger quantities as well as for second dogs, so don't miss an opportunity to take advantage. Once all is said and done you may have a new place to play, exercise, and keep cool!
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Summer Classic

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Towels
Sunscreen
Activity description

If you want to make a mini adventure that will have you cool as a pool, you can start in one of several Myrtle Beach dog parks (some of which even have water features) and end up lapping some delicious canine (and human) ice cream just up the highway on the way out of town. There are several spots to check out, but don't worry, we have some recommendations, all of which are good for staying cool. They're all cheap if not free, great for hot weather specifically, easy to get to, and best of all, will be rewarded with tasty treats afterward!

Step
1
Visit the parks
Right in Myrtle Beach there are 3-4 great parks perfect for keeping cool. The first is the furthest south, but it's also easily one of the best. This park, named Barc Parc South, is not only open and fenced, but also boasts a sizable pond near the center, which is perfect for dogs who want to splash around or take a dip. There are several mini play-stations and even a small gazebo if the trees don't provide enough shade inherently. Just up the road is Myrtle Beach State Park. Although it is leashed, dogs are welcome in most areas except the beach itself, where they are restricted to certain hours and certain times of the year. But that doesn't mean there isn't still plenty to explore!
Step
2
Tour them all
Right around the city itself is Barc Parc North, which doesn't boast a water feature, but has plenty of shade, space, and even doggy drinking fountains for those extra hot and thirsty dogs. Finally, there is Myrtle Beach itself, which has the same restrictions as the State Park (no dogs on beach 10am-5pm from May 1 through Labor Day), but if you're outside of these hours, you can bring your dog on a leash and enjoy the beach. We suggest picking a park and getting some exercise and play time in, if not touring all of them to see which you and your dog like best.
Step
3
Grab a cup for your pup
Once you're thoroughly pooped from dog park playtime, head up the 501 northwest out of town and stop in at Bruster's Real Ice Cream. Not only do they have a great selection of flavors, but they even make a special ice cream cup just for dogs that is topped with a milk bone upon request. Reward yourselves for your hard play with a cup or cone while you enjoy the ocean breeze in the comfort of a chair in the shade.
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More Fun Ideas...

Cut the Heat Off

There are tons of grooming spots all over South Carolina, giving you lots of options for where to take your pooch to get trimmed down to a cooler coat. A few of them offer unique options, such as Camp Bow Wow's blueberry doggy facial, so shop around and find some other fun ways to pamper your panting pooch. 

Hot Shopper

South Carolina is surprisingly dog-friendly all-around, so you'll have no shortage of places to stop and shop out of the cruel sun. Check out places like Paw Paws USA or Cupcakes Pet Boutique and Bakery for some custom made gear, toys, and treats!

Hit the Shoals

Beside the dog parks we mentioned in Myrtle Beach, there is another we surely need to mention: Saluda Shoals Barking Lot. This fantastic dog park is two acres of off-leash space complete with a pair of bone-shaped pools for cooling off and a water fountain for thirsty pups. It's easily one of the best in the area and afterward, you and your pooch can head up the road to check out Lake Murray or southeast to check out Columbus.

Conclusion

While it may fall in the smallest fifth of overall area compared to other states, South Carolina has no shortage of hospitality, space, and activities to keep you and your dog chill, chilled, and happy. And to be honest, our list, although thorough, only details a few of the possibilities available. Feel free to use locations or ideas straight off our list or just as inspiration for other trips, activities and spots to check out. We're here to help and we want you and Blue to stay happy and cool and make your time great in the Palmetto State.