Activities For Dogs In Wisconsin On Hot Days

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Introduction

If you've been to Wisconsin in the summer, you likely already know that the "winter state" or "moderate temperature" identities are nowhere close to reality. On some days, it can still reach over 100 degrees! Because of it, many residents and visitors have found a variety of ways to have fun in the sun (and out of it for that matter) when the days get as toasty as fried cheese curds. Whether you're planning to dodge or embrace the heat, here are a few ways in which you can enjoy America's Dairyland on hot days.

Splash on the Lakeshore

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Ball or fetch-able toy
Internet-accessible device
Towels
Activity description
Wisconsin may not have as many lakes as Alaska, Florida, or Minnesota, but it certainly has more than its fair share, many of which are encompassed by state parks and other public land, leaving the door open to hitting the shores with your canine companion. The best part is, since so many are scattered throughout the state, chances are you won't be too far from finding one nearby. To enjoy this activity, all you need is transportation such as a car, a swim suit, and a toy for your dog to fetch or play with. It's low-cost since outside of any basic entrance fees and gas money there's no other overhead, will help both you and your dog beat the heat, can be done numerous different places so it will stay fresh and fun for both of you, and is as easy as getting there.
Step
1
Pick your park
The first step can at least be done inside with air conditioning if need be. You'll need to determine how far you're willing to go, as that will help you define what options are most reasonable. Once you've done that, search on a map-related site for terms like "beaches" or "parks" and see what pops up and piques your interest. Make sure you do your research to ensure that your destination is fully dog-friendly and not restricted to just trails, paths, or open areas nearby. Once you've found an appropriate spot, grab your dog, leash (if dogs are required to be leashed or if your dog isn't good at coming when called), towels, a good toss-able toy, and swim suit and hit the road!
Step
2
Shoreline fetch time!
Of course, there are plenty of things you can do on the shoreline, but on a hot day, if you're looking for relief, use the water to your advantage! Shoreline fetch is a great way to get your dog motivated to go in the water even if they're not a huge fan or unwilling to fully submerge themselves. Just splashing them with a little water will go a long way in cooling both of you down and playing fetch will not only keep you both entertained, but provide exercise and a give you both an opportunity to splash around and cool off.
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Wooded Hike

Popular
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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Internet-accessible device
Leash
Water
Activity description
Avoiding the sun doesn't always mean holing up inside with the air conditioner cranked so high it turns your home into a meat freezer. There are certainly still a lot of activities you can do outdoors without getting baked like a potato in the summer sun, including going for a hike. While it may seem counter-intuitive to do something somewhat labor-intensive while it's already hot out, the benefit of a well-researched hike means that you'll be able to safely enjoy being outside, get some exercise, and not feel limited by the sometimes-excessive heat. All it takes is a little research, simple transportation, a leash and some water so you don't dehydrate. Otherwise, outside of park entrance fees (depending where you go) and gas money, it's extremely low-cost and an easy activity to do overall.
Step
1
Find your park
The research portion of this activity is certainly one of the most important, as you should be looking for a park where you can hike a fair amount of distance underneath significant tree cover or if possible, even near the water where it's bound to be cooler or may provide a cool breeze. Most state and other designated parks have thorough maps that will show how much of the trails are covered, when they near water features and so on. If not, many others at least have numbers you can call to ask a few basic questions to determine if the location you are inquiring about will suit your needs.
Step
2
Select the trail
On extra hot days, try to choose trails that aren't too intense as far as a vertical grade and don't have significant portions where you'll be in direct sunlight. Once you've found a suitable path to trek, get your dog, their leash, and some water and get on your way. Tell someone of your plans, and give an expected time of return.
Step
3
Hike it
Once you arrive, just as a tip, try to find a parking spot where your car will remain shaded - there's nothing like staying cool on a walk only to have to roast in the car on the way back home! Try to find a park station map if you don't have a map on your smartphone so you can navigate the trails as you go, which can be extra helpful when you can physically see what kinds of conditions are directly in front of you. Choose the most appropriate trail, grab your water, saddle up your dog and hike! Most larger parks have tons of different features including small valleys that are generally cooler if covered, as well as water features, so if you get too hot, you can head for those. If you get too cool in the shade or just want some extra sun, you can tailor your hike as you go just by using the map and looking at what's in front of you.
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Sprinkler Spray

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Hot Day
Free
Easy
5 - 60 min
Items needed
Hose
Sprinkler
Activity description
Being able to enjoy hot weather doesn't necessarily mean you have to avoid the sun completely. By finding the perfect balance between temperatures, you can have fun for hours without even getting close to overheating. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to do so is setting up a sprinkler in the yard. You need little more than a swim suit and a hose to enjoy it and it's perfect for hot days when you may be unable or unwilling to travel far. If you don't have a sprinkler attachment for your hose, let alone a long enough hose itself, it might set you back a handful of dollars, but at the end of the day you'll have a great way to keep cool just about any day of summer.
Step
1
Set up the sprinkler
You'll first need to find a good location to set the sprinkler up, and depending on your yard, you may have several options. You'll want to make sure to keep it far away from anything that is easily water-damaged, as even if the objects are out of reach, a wet dog shaking certainly increases that potential ten-fold anywhere that's accessible to them on-foot.
Step
2
Double duty fun
You may also want to have the sprinkler serve double duty, such as setting it up near the garden, where the water can eventually seep down and provide good liquid nourishment for your plants. You'll also want to make sure to place it where there aren't objects to run into or trip over, as both people and dogs can get easily carried away and fail to pay attention to what's around them. Once you find a good location, drag the hose out, twist the sprinkler head on and turn the water on.
Step
3
Make a game of it
Having the sprinkler spraying cold water can be relief enough, but after a few minutes might get boring for dogs and people alike. Don't be afraid to make a game of it. Try using it to spray them (if they're not scared by it) and see if they playfully try to dodge the streams or chase them. You can also toss a ball or Frisbee to get them to run through it, or do so yourself. You can also place an object nearby, then try to grab it without being touched by water (or better yet, only when being touched by water) or even jump high enough through the streams not to be touched. Use your creativity, since as long as you're being cooled off and safe, you can't go wrong!
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More Fun Ideas...

Ice cream or frozen custard

In Wisconsin, frozen custard has its own place on the food pyramid, somewhere near the bottom where it's considered a staple. As long as your dog isn't lactose intolerant, it's okay for them to eat a little ice cream. The flavor must be dog-appropriate and the product cannot contain xylitol. Try to keep it simple such as vanilla and avoid harmful choices like chocolate or anything with raisins. Just be careful, the sugar can still rot their teeth like it can yours, so make sure to brush afterwards to keep them both happy and healthy.

Sunbathe

If you've got a towel or a chair and sunscreen, don't be afraid to bake! Some dogs love being warm or hot and laying in the sun can be the perfect way to do so. Just make sure you both get enough water and don't get overexposed or you may end up with an unexpected pup-pie!

Kiddie Pool

Whether you don't have a sprinkler, your dog doesn't enjoy it, or either of you aren't satisfied with just being tickled by the sprinkler streams, a kiddie pool is a great alternative. You can fill it up as much or as little as you want, control the temperature, and even throw ice in it if you want it to stay extra cold! Most dogs that have any interest in water will thoroughly appreciate having a place to soak and cool off.

Conclusion

Compared to other states where options may be more limited, Wisconsin is a great canine-friendly state, even in the dog days of summer. There are parks, forests, and lakes to walk around in, hike through, and swim in, on top of having access to some of the best frozen custard in the country (not to mention a claim that Milwaukee is the unofficial frozen custard capital of the world and for good reason). So if the Wisconsin heat has got you down, don't fret, as there are plenty of ways to get in and out of the rays even on the hottest of summer days!