Activities For Dogs In West Virginia On Nice Days

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Introduction

Most people think of West Virginia and think about coal mining, which is one of the chief industries of the state. However, West Virginia is much more than coal mining country. It is nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, is the home to an abundance of natural beauty, and is still covered by a great deal of forestation (seventy-five percent of the state is forested). Safety is paramount in West Virginia - the state has the lowest crime rate in the United States. The state is also home to many caves and caverns ready for the adventurer to explore.

Hot Dog Festival

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Doggy waste bags
leash
bottled water
Activity description
This Huntington, West Virginia traditional festival is not only a celebration of the hot dog but also a day for the Dachshund, also known as the "wienie dog." While you may feast on a wide variety of hot dogs (don't leave your pup out; they will love a plain hot dog too!), your dog can participate in the dog parade and a number of other dog-inspired contests. All Doxies are invited to participate in a wienie dog race. There is also a car show and many craft booths available for your perusal. This event is held annually in July.
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Contests
Although the festival is a geared a bit more toward Dachshunds (nicknamed wienie dogs), all dogs of any breed can participate in a number of fun contests meant to highlight the talents of your canine companion. Bring your dog along for fun and for socialization.
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Wienie dog race
The Wienie Dog Race is not only a fun event to watch, but it is perfect for your Dachshund to sprint to victory! The course is perfect for the Dachshund's short stature, and the winner is honored for their victory. Not a Doxie owner? No problem! You'll get a kick out of watching the puppies participate.
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3
Enjoy the food
What would a festival be without good food? A great many vendors touting a large variety of hot dog offerings are always available at the Huntington Hot Dog Festival. Be sure to give your pup only a plain hot dog without onions or other trimmings. Have plenty of water available to assist in washing it down as well.
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Charleston in June

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Doggy Waste Bags
leash
Activity description
Charleston is the capital of West Virginia. Each June, the capital city is inundated with visitors as the city celebrates art exhibitions, live music, and a chili cook-off. As this ten-day event is held outdoors, dogs are welcome at all events. Furthermore, some events are specifically geared toward your dog. The FestivALL promotes a "Woofstock and Wieners" race. There are also dog sprints (not to be confused with races; these are merely fun events for your pooch). In addition, some informal dog shows allow you to show your pup's obedience skills. Should the festivities prove too much, there is a state park nearby where you can take a break and enjoy the great outdoors.
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1
Woofstock and wieners race
Dachshunds are also promoted at this particular race held during the FestivALL celebration. Described as a "goofy competition for Dachshunds", the Woofstock and Wieners race is designed to promote the fun nature of the breed. This quick sprint is really more entertainment than a speed trial.
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2
Informal dog shows and dog sprints
Charleston's FestivALL is a great opportunity to enter Fido in any number of informal dog shows. Most of these shows promote obedience training skills rather than breed standards. Your pup can also participate in a number of short dog sprints if Fido needs to expend a little of that energy.
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Kanawha State Forest
The capital city is also home to the beautiful Kanawha State Park. The Kanawha River Trail will provide you and your pup with the opportunity to view beautiful birds along quiet brooks and streams. Dogs are welcome at any place in the park provided owners keep them leashed and clean up after them.
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New River Gorge

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
2 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Doggy Swim Vest
leash
doggy waste bags
Activity description
The New River Gorge is a natural beauty nestled within the Appalachian Mountains. The Gorge itself is home to many whitewater rapids, one of which is gentle enough that you and your pooch can join you. A popular tourist area during the summer, the New River Gorge area is home to many pet-friendly restaurants that you'll certainly want to visit with Fido. Furthermore, if you enjoy the great outdoors, camping in this area is a must. Many accommodations are built specifically for tourists to bring their pets. Your pup will enjoy a great time of bonding with you as you visit this area in West Virginia.
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1
Whitewater rafting
Although whitewater rafting is not normally an activity one would recommend for pups, the Upper New River is rather gentle. Be sure that your pup is fitted with a swim vest. Your dog will need to have mastered the commands sit and stay so that they are not tempted to walk around as you traverse the water.
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Find great food
There are many restaurants that not only welcome pets, but they have built facilities in which dogs are happiest. Vandal's Kitchen has an outdoor picnic area where dogs are welcome while you eat. Another popular spot, Mackie's, sports an outdoor deck area that welcomes you as well as your pooch.
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Stay a while
Camping has always been a popular pastime, especially with pet parents as dogs can stay in tents or campers. However, for some of us, a night spent on the ground is not feasible. Proprietors in the New River Gorge area planned for those people by building cabins with fenced-in backyards for guests with dogs. The Hemlock Haven Cabins as well as Country Road Cabins and New River Cabins all welcome pets.
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More Fun Ideas...

Dog Park

West Virginia offers a wide variety of dog parks, many of which allow you to take your pup off their leash to play.

Swimming

The many rivers and streams of West Virginia offer great places for you and your pup to enjoy a dip in cool, refreshing water.

Conclusion

West Virginia is not only the home to a great deal of natural beauty for us humans to enjoy, but the state is rife with places that welcome our canine friends as well! You may take Fido to a variety of dog-friendly events throughout the state, or you can take them hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. Whatever you choose to do, your pup will enjoy time spent in coal country!