Activities For Dogs In Virginia On Rainy Days

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Introduction

Virginia is known for many things: smoked meats, presidential homes, history, horses and even fraternities. Although rain doesn't happen to be one of them, that doesn't mean Old Dominion doesn't see a fair amount in the summer months. From May to September, Virginia sees most of its precipitation, which can sometimes feel like a nuisance considering these are also the most pleasant of outdoor months. While the rain can often make people and their dogs feel trapped or obligated to stay in one place if they intend on staying dry (let alone avoiding the dreaded wet dog smell), there are actually plenty of rainy day activities that can make them just as fun as any other day. With our advice and a little bit of creativity, you'll be singing in the rain in no time.

Pups, Paws and Patios

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
60 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Umbrella
Small Shammy Towel
Activity description
When it rains, most people prefer to avoid it entirely. In Virginia, when it rains, it's usually warm enough to still get outside and enjoy, all you need is a small towel, an umbrella and a little resilience. The best part is, if you're bold enough to brave the elements, you'll often be rewarded with shorter wait times and a newfound drive to explore in more types of weather. Since Virginia is already a pretty dog-friendly state, yet also knows how to deal with inclement weather, many areas are replete with businesses that cater to both such as restaurants with covered patios. They're perfect for rainy days as you can still get outside, avoid getting too wet, eat good food and hop from place to place without getting bored. It does cost some money but it's a great way to wait out the rain or embrace it.
Step
1
Pick your strip
You can always hop from place to place by car, but if you're looking to spend more time outside without getting wet, the best course of action is to grab an umbrella and some high-soled shoes or boots and hit a street with multiple options. For the sake of example, we suggest Alexandria. The city itself is super dog-friendly, but many of the establishments are crammed into a few strips and blocks, making a brisk walk all that's needed between stops. The Eastern extent of King Street is perfect since it has at least 10 dog-friendly bars and restaurants just one block from the main drag.
Step
2
Map it
Once you've picked a good dog-friendly area, start doing some research. Figure out which and how many stops you can reasonably make (you can only eat and drink so much!). Consider adding in a place to shop for a bit in case you need digesting time or want something else to do. Then, start making calls and find out which restaurants have covered patios versus open patios -- it defeats the purpose if you're stuck in the rain on an uncovered patio anyway! Once you've figured out which ones will best house you and your dog, let alone offer any dog-specific treats or meals, you can start to map your trip out. Moving in one direction is certainly the easiest, but it also means a long walk back to the car, so unless the rain lets up or you don't mind, you may want to consider making your path circular so you can end up closer to where you started.
Step
3
Hit the town
Once you've got everything generally laid out, check the weather and see if you can either work out a way to patio hop until the rain subsides or avoid the worst or heaviest parts so you don't end up soaked. Then, grab your dog, leash, dog bags, cash and hit the road! If you have a smartphone and are savvy, you can always do a bit of research and find other options once you've arrived at your first destination. Plus, you can also check the weather and alter your plans to accommodate the rise and fall of the precipitation and temperature.
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Canine Cruise

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Umbrella
Dog Bags
Leash
Raincoats
Activity description
Okay, let's be honest, cruises are known for giving people a great way to have fun in the sun, but that's not the only way to enjoy them. With the right covered craft, like those at Potomac Riverboat Company, an umbrella and some raincoats for your dog and yourself, you can still enjoy being outside without the promise of getting soaked. It may reduce visibility to see some of the attractions and points of interest discussed on the tour, but given that you've found a way to get out of the house, do something interesting outside, one that will primarily keep you dry and one that has snacks and beverages as well, there are certainly bigger things to worry about. The cost of a tour is moderate and since the staff members are very dog-friendly, the process is certainly easy!
Step
1
Pick it
The biggest disadvantage is that there isn't a canine cruise every day. On average, there's about one a week with more stacking up towards the end of August and into September, which means you'll have to watch the weather to see when a rainy day aligns (not that you can't go on a sunny day, but there are usually a lot more things you can go those days). Of course, there are several other cruise lines and tours out there, but you'll have to do additional research to find out if they're equally as dog-friendly. During the rainier months, keep your eyes on the incoming weather and see if you can take advantage of a covered cruise. Once you see a potential day, make sure to secure your tickets. Times and days are subject to change, so it's always best to call ahead to make sure everything is still as originally laid out on the schedule.
Step
2
Cruise it
Once you've got your tickets booked, all you need to do is wait for the day to come and get your supplies ready. Make sure to bring an umbrella and rain gear just in case you want to stand out by the railing past where the covering stops or in case it starts pouring in sideways. It's also a good idea to make sure your dog gets a bathroom break before you board, as even though the tour is only around 45 minutes, your dog obviously has no concept of that length. Other than that, go enjoy! The canine cruises come complete with treat and refreshment offerings on top of offering a great tour of the surrounding area between Virginia and Washington D.C. Like mentioned above, you can always go on nice days too, which is just as enjoyable, but on those rainy days, it provides a perfect chance to get out and do something different while most others are huddling inside!
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Treat Yo' Dog

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog Bags
Leash
Umbrella
Activity description
When you can't get outside to enjoy nice (or in this case, rainy) weather, one of the most enjoyable things you can do is pamper your dog. Since they have no control over the weather (or their energy levels at times), they are at an even bigger loss than you are on rainy days, doomed to stay inside with no way to burn off energy or find much entertainment on their own. So when the rainy days gets them or you down, take them with you and spoil them rotten. There are plenty of dog-friendly shops, boutiques and pet services to boot in most Virginian cities, making for an easy, (hopefully) only moderately expensive activity that can make for hours of pampered pooch fun.
Step
1
Track your treating
Before you embark on this dog-indulgent trip, consider what kinds of places you can go. If you want to try some new food or treats, find some different pet stores and pet boutiques you've not been to before. Most boutiques are much more particular about the products they stock and are usually more knowledgeable than chains are and are just as dog-friendly. You should also see if you can find some barkeries (dog bakeries) nearby, as they are a great place to find healthy and rewarding treats to pamper your pup with. Finally, if your dog enjoys (or maybe just needs) some kind of grooming, including a trim, a washing or nails cut, find a good pet salon to check out. While they may not enjoy the process, having freshly trimmed or cleaned fur and nails can do a lot to improve their quality of life.
Step
2
Pamper time
Once you've got some ideas, you can grab your supplies and your dog and hop in the car. Our best suggestion is to start with the pet salon so everything that comes after seems like a reward - you know, just in case they don't enjoy being washed or trimmed. Plus, less fur to get wet should you two get caught by the rain in between stops! Otherwise, the day is yours to get some tasty treats, try some new food (and toys) and get some good exercise walking around. For additional suggestions, look up what chains are dog-friendly. You'd be surprised how many are perfectly happy letting well-behaved dogs walk through their stores as long as their owners are responsible and clean up after them and keep them in order!
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More Fun Ideas...

Unwind at a Winery

Many Virginia establishments are super dog-friendly, including the likes of the Barrel Oak Winery, which not only allows dogs on the grounds, but inside as well. It's a great and easy place to grab a bite and a sip and since they're dog lovers themselves, there may be other dogs to introduce them to. There're even dog-friendly tours to take as well!

Luray Caverns

It's not an option for big dogs, but any small dogs that can be fully carried can enjoy a tour of the gorgeous Luray Caverns. Tickets are moderately priced, the hours are expansive and the experience is fantastic!

Conclusion

Rainy days can often put a damper on plans, especially if they include being outside. But thanks to Virginia's beautiful summertime weather and the majority of the rain coming while the temperatures are perfect for being outdoors, residents and visitors alike can still enjoy Virginia's attractions both inside and out. All it takes is a little dedication and a big umbrella and you and your pooch will be on your way, rain or shine!