Activities For Dogs In Wisconsin On Nice Days

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Introduction

Believe it or not, despite the fact that many Wisconsinites will tell you that their state has only two seasons, winter and road construction, there are a few weeks (or months on a good year) somewhere in between that often end up being absolutely gorgeous. And like any other state where people sometimes hole up and hibernate in the meantime, nice days means people will be out in droves, soaking it up while it lasts and you should too! While those days may sometimes feel limited, the activities you can enjoy on those days can be nearly limitless, that is, as long as you have a drive to get out there - which isn't hard for most. So without further ado, here are some great ideas on how to spend those seemingly ever-fleeting nice days with your dog.

Visit a New Dog Park

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Dog bags
Leash
Activity description
Most dog owners have favorite local spots they like to take their dogs, such as dog parks, state parks, nearby beaches or even just wooded or grassy areas nearby. Although these spots most certainly help for the sake of convenience, they're not always the most ideal in terms of what they offer, especially if you go to them regularly and are getting bored of walking the same old trails. Nice days are the perfect opportunity to get out there and explore what's beyond a few choice photos online. Finding a new dog park is super easy, costs nothing but gas, can last as long as a single visit or be stretched out a few hours while you check out several in the area. And best yet, it could offer a better option than your current default, giving your dog a chance to explore new spaces and make new friends!
Step
1
Pick your range
The first step in digging a new dog park is figuring out where you'd like to go and how many you'd like to visit. Generally speaking, dog parks are relatively well-spaced across the state, but if you're looking to check out more than one, we suggest heading towards larger cities such as Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, or near the Fox Cities, as they have the highest concentrations of dog parks in the state. Use the online mapping systems to your advantage by calculating driving time and seeing how many are reasonable to fit in, depending on your time and distance. Don't forget to check for registration fees as well! Some counties require specific fees to be paid before having your dogs enter the park system.
Step
2
Hit the road
Once you've picked your main destinations, grab your dog, their leash, some poop bags, water, and maybe some food and hit the road! Don't forget you can make small adventures in between as well. Most major highways feature rest stops with large, open green areas, which you can use for bathroom breaks and more exploration. If you plan on taking more similar trips in the future, make notes of what each stop offers.
Step
3
Park it in the park
Once you arrive at each park, make mental (or physical) notes of what you like and don't like about them. Explore as much as you possibly can, checking out big or small dog areas if separated, on and off leash areas, paths, trails, and water features. If you check out enough over a few months (or years if you're dedicated enough), you'll have a full slate of places you've explored and liked that you can return to, know which parks to avoid, and which you'd like to check out in the future. That way if you ever get bored of that same local park you frequent all too often, you'll have the perfect list to reflect on to find your next adventure!
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Overnight Camping

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0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
12 - 24 hrs
Items needed
Tent
Sleeping Bag
Food
Water
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Most dogs love being outside but depending on what their owners are doing or the time they have to dedicate to watching them, sometimes outside time can end up being somewhat limited - but camping can solve all of that! Going camping with your dog can be a rewarding experience for both of you, get you out into new places, give you new things to do, and allow you to maximize your time together outdoors. It does take a fair amount of preparation and a little money to pay for additional supplies and the price of a camp site, but as long as the weather is nice, there are plenty of activities to do while you're out in the wilderness.
Step
1
Pick your spot
Not every campground is dog-friendly, nor do they all have additional things to do, so you'll likely need to hop online or reference a book or brochure to figure out what best suits what you and your dog are looking to do. The best places to go are usually those that have hiking trails within the campground, feature changes in elevation, or water features, as these will all provide an extra level of entertainment once you get there. You can stay as close as the nearest campground in town or go state or nationwide if you feel so bold. As long as the weather is nice and the parks are dog-friendly, your options are wide open!
Step
2
Prepare your gear
Once you've picked your spot, make sure you've got a tent that will comfortably suit you both, a sleeping bag (and likely a dog bed), food, water, and basic toiletries. Bring plenty of doggy bags so that you can keep the camping area in pristine shape. Once your gear is packed and ready to go, get on your way!
Step
3
Assess and Settle
Once you actually get to the campsite, you'll want to get everything set up before dark so you can enjoy the rest of your day without the looming obligation of fighting the remaining sunlight. Get the tent up, your bag inside, your food and water properly stored and in a safe place (in case there are curious wild animals around), and your campfire ready if you plan to have one and the site permits it. Once everything is set up, it's time to explore! Most larger campsites will have an information station where you can get a map of the sites, trails, and other features the park possesses if they're not already available online. Once you figure out how much time you have before sunset, get to it! Hike some trails, go take a dip in the nearby lake, river, or ocean if you're lucky enough or find a cool open spot to play some games. The best part of camping is that camping itself is only part of the fun, while the rest of the nearby features can offer tons of things to do with your furry friend.
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Attend a Petfest

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Water and Water Bowl
Dog Bags
Leash
Activity description
Wisconsin is extremely well-known for being a state of festivals. After all, they do host the largest music festival in the world, Summerfest, amongst other themed festivals that center on drinks, food, music, and cultural celebrations. But like most things Wisconsin, many are not solely limited to the human variety, as many festivals or events center on dogs themselves. Every year, Germanfest hosts the annual Dachshund Derby and Weiner Dog Costume Contest while others, like the Door County Scottie Rally and the Milwaukee Pug Fest, highlight specific breeds. The best part is, most are cheap, offer food items for people and dogs alike so you don't have to bring your own, are featured all over the state, are easy to attend and often provide a full day's worth of entertainment.
Step
1
Pick your fest
Of course, not all petfests are all-inclusive, as many are breed specific or may be limited to a certain number of entries, so doing research well before the events arrive can go a long way in finding the appropriate fit. Luckily, many other petfests welcome all dogs, so if you have a mix or a largely uncelebrated breed, have no fear! There are plenty of events that are open to all types. Just make sure you check the details so you know the cost and any restrictions that may be in place beforehand.
Step
2
Attend and befriend!
Given the vast expanse of festivals that go on in Wisconsin, we can't say they're all built to last. But many of the most popular, such as Germanfest's Dachshund-centered events, Petfest, Pug Fest, and so on are perennial favorites, meaning many also feature similar activities, participants, and volunteers year after year, leaving an open door for both you and your dog to make some new, and hopefully lasting, friendships. The best part is, once you've attended a few and talked to a few people, you'll likely find out about others you didn't even know about. Plus, most petfests feature a significant amount of activities to participate in, events to watch, and foods and drinks to try.
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More Fun Ideas...

Bike it!

Wisconsin is home to a significant number of killer bike trails and chances are you probably aren't too far from one, even in some of the state's most remote areas. Look online for a bike map, find a route and hit the trails with your high-held tails!

Custard Pup

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the unofficial frozen custard capital of the world and they have fro-yo and ice cream to boot - and other Wisconsin cities aren't far behind! Take your dog out for a taste of some of the best around. Just make sure they aren't lactose intolerant or eat too much, as the excess sugar still isn't great for their health (or yours), even if it makes one of the best summer treats ever. Dog friendly treats are a must, as additives like xylitol are highly toxic to dogs.

Hit the Patio

Larger cities, such as Milwaukee and Madison, have a growing population of dog-friendly establishments, many of which have a sunny patio to eat and drink on, and may also feature some dog-friendly food or drink options. Do some research and figure out what establishments nearby may provide a new place for you and your pooch to hang in public.

Conclusion

While "nice" days in Wisconsin can often be left to the eye of the beholder, that doesn't mean they don't exist and when they do come around, your best bet is to be prepared. Use our list and a few online resources and come up with some ideas on how to spend days outside both near and far. When those nice days finally land in succession, you'll be fully ready to hit the ground running and on your way to enjoying the beautiful Wisconsin weather in no time!