Activities For Dogs In Texas On Hot Days

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Introduction

When it comes to hot weather, there are few that can hold a candle to Texas, which routinely ranks as a top five state for the hottest weather year round, even jumping up to second place when it comes to summer. Because of it, visitors and residents alike are faced with more scorching days than those nearly anywhere else in the country, which is dually difficult when you also have a full-coated dog to compensate for as well. But then again, being the second largest state in the country also means there are significant opportunities to keep cool even if it means several hours of driving. Regardless, we're here to help give you ideas on where and how to trim a few degrees off your personal thermometer and find a way to turn those Texas rays into awesome days.

Barking Springs

Popular
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Hot Day
Free
Easy
30 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Towels
Activity description
In the heart of Texas, right near Austin, is Barton Springs, one of the top recreational destinations in the state. As the name implies, its springs are sourced by the nearby Edwards Aquifer, providing tons of natural, cool water to splash around in. The only problem? No dogs! Fortunately for both you and Fido, there's a better spot for the pair of you further East, colloquially known as Barking Springs where dogs are free to frolic on the shores and in the water. Since it's the same water, it's perfectly cool, making it perfect for a hot day. It's also free and there's no time limit to your stay, so you can soak in the cool waters to your heart's desire.
Step
1
Bring to the springs
While Barking Springs is easily one of the best spots in the state, it does have a couple caveats you may want to be aware of. Because of the origins of the water and the nearby nature, the rocks in the area do have a tendency to get slippery, so you may want to pick up a pair of water shoes before you head out. Even though the area itself is free, the nearby parking lots are often not, but usually only charge around $5, so make sure you have a little spare cash on hand if you intend on not having to walk a significant distance in the hot sun. Outside of that, you just need to pack your basic supplies such as towels, a leash, dog bags, and of course, your dog!
Step
2
Splash time
Once you've got everything packed, you just need to get to the park. Since it's not specifically designated, you'll need a little know-how. There are several parking lots north of Barton Spring itself that you can park in (which is where the $5 comes in handy), otherwise you may have to park somewhere else in or near Zilker Park and walk. Once inside, it's easiest just to follow signs towards Barton Springs, then once you arrive (or almost arrive), head directly East, following the water. There should be a gate on the far end that marks the edge of Barton Springs and afterwards, will lead you down some stairs to Barking Springs. At that point, it should be visually apparent where you can get into the water, so find a good spot to drop your stuff, hop in and cool off. There's plenty of space from the mini waterfall down the waterway, so find a good spot that's a suitable depth and help your pooch enjoy their new vacation spot. There are plenty of birds to watch and fish to catch, so your dog should have no shortage of things to do.
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BayWatch Dolphin Tours

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Sunscreen
Activity description
Chances are, if your dog plays outside often enough, they're probably run into a significant number of wild animals, many of which they'd likely prefer to chase. But if you want to give your dog the experience of a lifetime, introduce them to one of the other most intelligent mammals on earth: dolphins! BayWatch Dolphin Tours in Galveston gives you just the opportunity to do so with 45-minute dog-friendly tours full of information and potential interactions with dolphins themselves. The boats are propellor free to keep the dolphins safe, are only $10 a pop for adults (and dogs ride for free!) and since the boat is covered and out on the water, provides both shade and cooler temperatures than you'd find on dry land.
Step
1
Call ahead
Like any dog-friendly business mainly designed for humans, it's always best to call ahead to book your trip if possible. You should let the staff know the size, weight, and temperament for your dog so they can help you get your dog adjusted and comfortable once on the boat, as well as the other passengers. But other than that, it takes little planning. BayWatch's boat tours leave every hour on the hour so you'll have plenty of opportunities to book a trip when the days get hot. You may even be able to procure a ticket just hours in advance, but you'll never know unless you call first and find out.
Step
2
Get nose to nose
Once you have everything packed and your trip (potentially) booked, head on over and get your dog introduced to both the boat and the staff, then do your best to get them comfortable and settled in their seat or area. Even though the boat is covered, don't forget to lather up with some sunscreen if need be. Then, sit back and enjoy! The staff will take you on a tour of the bay, taking you to points where the dolphins regularly swim and if you're lucky, you may even get a chance to interact with them as well.
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Cool Treats

Popular
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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Activity description
While there are plenty of ways you can grab a cool drink or cold delight for yourself, our canine companions aren't always so lucky, usually being limited to ice water or refrigerated treats. Luckily, there's a new trend of dog-friendly desserts (as well as other foods) that work as a prime way to both spoil them and help them cool off. It may have once been a rare location that would provide as much, but even national chains like Shake Shack are picking up on it and coming up with specialized treats such as the Pooch-ini, which features vanilla custard and peanut butter sauce with dog treats dipped in. It's cheap no matter where you go at only a few bucks a pop, will help keep them cool, gives you a location to travel to and something to do!
Step
1
Pick your spot for Spot
There are places scattered all over the state that feature these creature treats, so you'll probably want to find one that's somewhat close by, unless you plan to do other things while on your trip. Shake Shack is located in almost every major city in Texas, so they're your best bet, but there are other locally-owned spots that also feature a similar selection, should you want to support a small business or try something you can't get other places. Before you go, it's best to look and see how much is recommended for them to eat based on their size and weight. You may even want to double check with your vet in case they have a sensitive digestive system or any kind of food restrictions based on their health. Many treats are dairy free, but most are still pretty dairy and sugar heavy, so you'll want to be wary of their intake and brush their teeth when you get back home. Step two? Go get some!
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More Fun Ideas...

Shop for New Dog Gear

When it's just too hot to be outside, just hop online and look for some dog-friendly shops to take your dog to. While most pet shops are inherently dog-friendly, you'd be surprised which chains and other local independents welcome dogs with open arms. Just don't forget the doggy bags!

Paws in the Pooloza

It may only be an annual event, but Paws in the Pooloza is a great way to help benefit the Tri-County Animal Shelter and give your dog a chance to chill out in the pool, making it a cool and conscious choice!

Water Dog Park Tour

Outside of the Barking Springs, Texas is home to quite a few dog parks that have water features. Do a bit of research and do a mini dog park tour if you find enough cool spots clustered together. You can always hit regular parks first, then cool off in ones with some water to cool off in.

Conclusion

While Texas has a reputation for being sweltering, there's no reason you and your dog can't still have some fun in the Lone Star sun. Whether it's wading in water, straying from rays, or staying in the shade, we hope our list has provided you with some specific ideas on how to beat the heat no matter the day, or at least given you some inspiration on where to look. If nothing else, check our other Texas guides, as there are plenty of places you can go and activities you can participate in that work just as well in other types of weather.