Activities For Dogs In West Virginia On Rainy Days

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Introduction

If there's one thing West Virginia is known for outside of its Civil War history, is it's natural beauty and there is certainly plenty of it. The aptly named Mountain State is actually the only state that rests completely within the Appalachian region and it shows as much with towering bluffs and sprawling forests from head to toe, which is a large reason visitors and residents alike love the outdoors. But while nature's beauty may be relatively unspoiled here, the chance to get out in it can be by the late spring and early summer rains. But the rain never stopped explorers and it shouldn't stop you either! With a little creativity and some know-how, you can enjoy everything West Virginia has to offer, inside and out.

Adventure Planner

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
45 - 180 min
Items needed
Dog Waste Bags
Leash
Activity description
For regular outdoors-people, a little rain might not be a significant deterrent. For others, it might be, but it doesn't have to be. Depending on the severity and length, there are ways to work around the rain, even if it threatens to loom all day. If you've got the drive to explore the outdoors, don't let it stop you. Use the rainy time to plan your next trip (or even embark on it if you can). You can map it out, grab some new gear or even set yourself up to battle the elements. It only takes a little bit of research and some legwork and you'll be well on your way to easy fun. It may not always be cheap, depending on what you need, but it will eat up time, give you and your dog something to do and the best part is, it will set you up for your next adventure.
Step
1
Pick your trip
It's hard to argue that the most dog-friendly adventures you can have in West Virginia center around its fishing and hiking. There are, of course, others, such as caving and kayaking, but we'll stick to the first two for this example. The first step should be doing two things, picking a destination such as a specific trail or state/national park and identifying your gear needs. If you're planning on trekking out in the rain, make sure you choose a trail whose grade won't cause you too many safety issues with slippage, and high and narrow trail sections. Consider what kind of shoes or boots you'll need as well as any waterproof gear to keep both you and your dog dry.
Step
2
Seek your stores
Once you've identified your needs, it's time to figure out where to go, and this can be just as dog-friendly as the adventure itself. Many large outdoor chains are dog-friendly, so search for places like Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops as well as pet stores, as both will likely carry a fair amount of gear for your dog (and the prior for you as well). Other local shops might be dog-friendly as well, so if you find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to call and inquire. Once you've located the potential gear you want, go stop in-store and test it all out. When you find what works best, buy it and bring it home.
Step
3
Hit the trail with a tail in tow
Once you've got your location picked out and the necessary gear, it's time to hit the trails. Do your best to plan your trip assuming the rain won't let up, as it may not and it's better to be over-prepared than under. If you have the time, test out your gear in the rain at home to make sure everything works properly before you get stuck in the field finding out that it doesn't. Other than that, all you have to do is get geared up and actually get out there! The best part is, if you get stuck with other rainy days in the future, you'll have all the gear you need and the experience to know what you and your dog are comfortable handling. One good shopping trip and some careful planning will have you and your canine on the paths in rain or shine for years to come!
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Rainy Day Tripper

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
3 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Dog Waste Bags
Leash
Umbrella
Activity description
While West Virginia has plenty of natural beauty, it doesn't have very many big cities, which can often be limiting for dog-friendly establishments. Thankfully, there are still quite a few that coincide, so taking a day trip can provide several options for activities. Charleston is a great example. It has parks, dog parks, dog-friendly patios and even hotels and other accommodations that will give you and your dog some new sights, sounds and even tastes. It will take a small amount of planning, but between the road trip, patios and umbrellas, you should stay fairly dry why enjoying all the city has to offer, all for a moderate cost and for at least a few hours.
Step
1
Define your destination
We're going to use Charleston as our example, but there are plenty of other cities such as Huntington and Harpers Ferry that will suit similar needs. Start by finding as many dog-friendly events and establishments as possible so you can start planning around them. Consider looking for dog-friendly stores, breweries, restaurants, as well as hikes, parks and dog parks, as in case the rain is light enough or passes through in a matter of time, you can take advantage of those too. For example, Charleston has Kanawha State Forest, a couple of nearby dog parks, several great dog-friendly restaurant patios like Black Sheep and Tricky Fish and even pet stores where you can get them groomed or just shop for new treats, toys or anything else.
Step
2
Put things in order
Once you've picked a city and found a few places to check out, start to organize them and coordinate with the weather to the best of your ability. If it's going to rain all day, it may not matter, but if there are times where it might lighten up, you can always grab an umbrella and do some things outdoors before heading into the pet shop when it picks up again. Remember to check each establishment's hours and requirements for dogs and use that as a guideline to help decide where to go and when. For example, if it's supposed to rain harder earlier in the day and then lighten up, plan on driving through some of the heaviest (as long as it's safe) then getting them a trim and shopping for treats while it's really coming down. Once it starts to lighten up, find a spot to grab lunch under a covered patio and when it's lightest of all, you can grab an umbrella and some rain boots and go for a walk. Or in reverse, you can also let them get muddy in the rain of the dog park, THEN get them a wash and trim, shop for toys, and then get lunch!
Step
3
Hit the town
Once you've got as much as you can in order, get on your way. Our best recommendation is to get a good weather app for your phone or have a reliable place you can stay updated on the progress of local precipitation. You can always alter your plans based on how it's coming down or, like in our first activity, start by getting some rainproof gear so no matter what you want to do, you'll be comfortable and dry (hopefully).
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Doggy Workout

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Rainy Day
Free
Easy
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Household items
Treats
Activity description
Sometimes the rain is just too heavy or the weather too violent to get outside. When all else fails, you can always find a way to keep yourselves entertained indoors. Depending on your dog's age and energy levels, it might be necessary to get them some exercise and if that's the case, you've got your work cut out for you. From keeping your adventure partner in shape to making sure your older dog stays healthy and active, there are plenty of ways to keep them entertained and in shape indoors, you'll just have to be a bit creative. It won't cost any more than a few treats and it might take a little work to get them doing the right thing, but in the long run, it's a great thing to develop for days that are too hot, too cold AND too rainy.
Step
1
Assessing your dog
The first step overall will be gauging what your dog is good at, comfortable with and what will suit their size, age and abilities. Consider what they do on a normal day, including walks, runs around the yard or dog park and so on, then try to come up with an exercise routine that stays around the same activity level. For instance, if you have a large dog that needs a lot of space to run, they will probably be fine working with more strenuous workouts. If you have a brachycephalic dog, it's better to stick to activities that won't force them to breathe too hard. Older dogs will need to do low-impact activities so they don't wear out their joints just trying to stay active.
Step
2
Brainstorm
Once you've figured out what they need, start brainstorming some ideas using basic household items. For larger dogs who have a good amount of energy, consider using your staircase, as the climbing and incline will help burn them out at a faster rate without using a ton of space. If you don't have one, try clearing some space so you can have them jog laps through several rooms of the house, or race from one end to the other. For more entertainment, you can also time them and see if they improve or decline over time. For medium or smaller dogs who can jump well, consider doggy burpees. Find a good surface for them to start on such as a rug or carpet for better padding, then have them jump up, then lay down, get back up and do it again. Use treats if necessary to get the desired effect. For older dogs, keep it simple and low to the ground, such as walking laps around the house with you or doing simple, easy jump ups or downs off of a single stair or stable low-to-the-ground object.
Step
3
Workout time
Once you've come up with 2 to 3 exercises, have them do a few in order, repeat them, or mix it up. Not only will it help keep them active but will help train them to follow instructions better as well. Plus, when all is said and done, you'll have entertained each other for a while and gotten some exercise while it pours outside!
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More Fun Ideas...

Make a West Virginia Treat

West Virginia is well-known for their insanely tasty Golden Delicious apples and they're a great treat for your dogs too. Take a trip to the local farmer's market or grocery store and find some, then sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top (both are dog-friendly foods). If you're feeling really adventurous, you can make an apple dumpling as well, but make sure they only get a taste-- sugar and flour aren't good for dogs, especially in large quantities.

Road Trip

If the rain isn't so heavy that it makes driving dangerous, consider taking a road trip. Drive to things you can see from your car or better yet, see if you can drive far enough to escape the rain entirely!

Conclusion

Although West Virginia isn't well-known for rain, it is well-known for its gorgeous natural beauty, which can be marred for those seeking to get out in the glory of it all by heavy downpours. But if you're rugged enough, determined enough or creative enough, nothing can stop you from overcoming the elements and finding unique ways to enjoy the Mountain State days.