North Carolina Dog Days: Top Places to Beat the Heat With Your Pet in Raleigh, NC

April 01st, 2024

Life in Raleigh
North Carolina Dog Days: Top Places to Beat the Heat With Your Pet in Raleigh, NC

Best Places to Beat the Heat with Your Pet in Raleigh

Are you looking for the top spots to keep your pet cool in the Raleigh heat? Here are ten of the best places to beat the heat with your pet in Raleigh, NC! 

Much like the rest of the Southeast, Raleigh is no stranger to high temperatures and humidity. As temperatures rise, it is important not only for humans to take precautions to stay safe and cool but also for our pets. 

Extreme temperatures can cause dehydration, paw pad burns, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. As pet parents, we must keep our pets happy and safe even through the hottest temperatures. 

While it is important to watch for signs of heatstroke, which can include excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, disorientation, and an elevated temperature of 104 degrees or above, it is best to beat the heat with your pet by either staying indoors or finding shaded areas to cool down. 

Luckily, Raleigh has no shortage of dog parks and fun places to take your pet. Whether you are looking for a fun outdoor activity to do with your dog or a place to get a cool treat, here are ten of the best places to beat the heat with your pet in Raleigh! 

This is where you can cool off with your pet in Raleigh

1. Carolina Pines Dog Park 

Location: 2305 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh, NC 27603 

Hours: 8 AM to 8 PM daily 

Carolina Pines Dog Park is a great place to bring your pet in the heat since it is surrounded by plenty of tall trees that offer lots of shade. Located near North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Farmer's Market in Raleigh, this dog park is conveniently located. 

Open to the public and free to use, this off-leash dog park provides fenced areas for both large and small dogs to run around and play. This is a great place to relax while your dogs have a good time. 

When your dogs get hot, there are faucets and buckets that they can drink from and cool off. The ground is covered in wood chips, and some lights come on when it gets dark so that visitors feel safe. 

group of cute dogs playing at a dog park in the shade

2. Dorothea Dix Dog Park 

Location: 1800 Umstead Road, Raleigh, NC 27603 

Hours: 6 AM to 9 PM daily 

Dorothea Dix Park Dog Park is a great place for owners and pets to relax and hang out. This off-leash dog park is covered in grass and features two separate areas for small and large dogs. 

Free and open to the public, a water station with a bottle and bowl filler comes in handy, specifically on hot days. Dorothea Dix Park itself also has plenty of open fields and shaded areas that you and your pet will enjoy. 

3. Oakwood Dog Park 

Location: 910 Brookside Drive, Raleigh, NC 27604 

Hours: 8 AM to 7 PM 

Oakwood Dog Park is located in a 12.7-acre park and is the perfect place to bring your dog. This off-leash dog area features separate fenced sections for large and small breeds, making this a safe and friendly park for anyone who visits. 

Located in the Historic Oakwood neighborhood, this dog park is surrounded by large oak trees, which means it is very shaded, making it a much-needed oasis during the high heat. 

4. Lake Lynn Park

Location: Lynn Road, Raleigh, NC 27613 

Hours: 7 AM to 9 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 3 PM Saturday, and 1 PM to 6 PM Sunday 

Lake Lynn Park in Raleigh is not only one of the best places to have a picnic in Raleigh but also a great spot to walk your dog. Many families and pet owners love to come here when the weather is nice. 

Featuring a 2.8-mile greenway trail around Lake Lynn, this is a very popular trail with lots of shaded spots, which is ideal during warm temperatures. Open from dawn to dusk daily, this greenway trail is paved and is a nice spot to walk your dog during the cooler times of the day. 

5. Downtown Cary Dog Park 

Location: 327 S Academy Street, Cary, NC 27511 

Hours: 7 AM to 11 PM 

The beautiful Downtown Cary Park in Cary, North Carolina, opened in November 2023 and is a seven-acre, state-of-the-art gathering place for all ages. Easily walkable to Downtown Cary and its many local restaurants and businesses, this park is perfect for families and is super pet-friendly. 

Not only are pets on a leash welcome at this park, but there is a Barkyard that features two off-leash fenced areas for large and small breeds. An annual or day pass is required to access the park, which can be purchased at Guest Services through the Town of Cary

A day pass is $5, while an annual pass costs $40 for a single dog and $60 for multiple dogs. Once a pass is purchased, owners and their pets will have access to all three Cary dog parks, which also include Godbold Park and Jack Smith Park

The Downtown Cary Dog Park provides plenty of natural shade, water stations, pet cleanup areas, play mounds, tunnels, and artificial turf. A Bark Bar is next door, which serves wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks, which can be purchased while watching your dog play. 

cute little dog playing fetch at the dog park in the grass

6. Woof Gang Bakery 

Location: 8105 Fayetteville Road STE 121, Raleigh, NC 27603 

Hours: 9 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM Sunday 

Woof Gang Bakery is the perfect spot to beat the heat with your pet since it offers natural dog treats and luxury grooming services. One of the best ways to keep your dog cool during the summer is to groom them frequently, and Woof Gang Bakery offers just that. 

From luxury baths to full haircuts, your pup will love staying indoors and getting pampered in the high heat. Gourmet treats made from the highest-quality ingredients are also available. 

cute dog balancing a treat on its nose

7. Goodberrys 

Location: 1146 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC 27511 

Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM Sunday through Monday, 11 AM to 11 PM Friday and Saturday 

Goodberry's has nine locations in the Triangle area and is a beloved destination that is known for its all-natural frozen custard. Made fresh daily, hourly, three flavors are available daily: vanilla, chocolate, and the day's flavor. Visitors can choose from various toppings to add to their choice of flavor. 

Serving some of the best ice cream in the Triangle, Goodberry's is very pet-friendly, offering only outdoor seating, and they even offer their version of pup-cups, which is a tiny cup of vanilla custard. Bring your furry friend here to beat the heat while you both enjoy a cool treat. 

8. FRESH. Local Ice Cream 

Location: 138 E Chatham Street, Cary, NC 27511 

Hours: 12:30 PM to 9 PM Sunday through Thursday, 12:30 PM to 10 PM Friday and Saturday 

FRESH. Local Ice Cream is a mom-and-pop ice cream shop in the Triangle that serves unique ice cream flavors made from fresh ingredients. Only using local milk and free-range cows that are free of artificial hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, all of the ice cream sold in-store is delicious and homemade. 

With multiple locations in the Raleigh area, including Raleigh, Apex, Cary, and Holly Springs, there are multiple places to cool off and enjoy a frozen treat with your pet. All of the FRESH. Local Ice Cream locations feature outdoor seating, which is perfect for you and your furry friends to hang out. 

cute dog licking and eating dog-friendly ice cream out of a cup

9. West Street Dog 

Location: 400 W. North Street Unit 110, Raleigh, NC 27603 

Hours: 4 PM to 9 PM Monday, 4 PM to 6 PM Tuesday, 4 PM to 9 PM Wednesday through Friday, 2 PM to 9 PM Saturday, 2 PM to 7 PM Sunday 

If you want to beat the heat with your pet, West Street Dog is the place to be. A great place to socialize, there is an indoor dog park, walk-in daycare, overnight boarding, and bathing services available. 

Offering a clean and safe environment, the indoor dog park is a convenient amenity where dogs can have fun and play in the rain, cold, or high heat. This off-leash indoor dog park features a bar where visitors can buy alcoholic beverages, making it a fun spot for dogs and their owners. 

A monthly dog membership is required to access the park, and membership costs $28 per month for one dog and $40 for two dogs. Day passes can also be purchased. They are $5 for one dog and $8 for two dogs Monday through Thursday, and they are $10 for one dog and $15 for two dogs on Friday through Sunday. 

10. Raleigh Beer Garden 

Location: 614 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603 

Hours: 11 AM to 2 AM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 2 AM Saturday and Sunday

There is no better place to spend the weekend or a long day at work than at the Raleigh Beer Garden. As one of the best bars in Raleigh, this pet-friendly beer garden on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh has over 350 beers on tap and plenty of outdoor seating on their patio. 

An awesome spot to beat the heat with your pet, bring your furry friend with you to hang out while you enjoy a nice cool beer. Make sure to sit out of the direct sun and bring a water bowl so that you pet can stay hydrated.  

family dog wearing a bandana sitting with family outdoors


We used data and information from Pet MD, The Dodo, and other local sources to determine the best places to best the heat with your pet in Raleigh, NC. 


How do I keep my pet cool in the summer? 

The best ways to keep your pet cool in the summer heat is to bring them inside, make sure they have access to water, groom them frequently, provide cooling pads and ice packs, walk them at cooler times of the day, and never leave them alone in the car. 

Is Raleigh, NC, dog-friendly? 

Raleigh, North Carolina, is a dog-friendly city that has plenty of well-maintained dog parks, walking trails, and pet-friendly restaurants and breweries. 

How hot is too hot for dogs? 

Summertime can get very hot especially in the southeast so paying attention to the temperature and making sure that your pet does not overheat is important. Temperatures that range between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit is risky so try not to stay out too long and carefully monitor for symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

How can I keep my dog cool at night? 

Keep your dog cool at night by turning on the air conditioner, keep a bowl of water nearby, direct a fan towards your dog, and let them lie on a slightly damp towel.

Best Places to Beat the Heat With Your Pet in Raleigh - Final Thoughts 

If you are moving to Raleigh then finding fun places to cool off with your pet is a must as the weather gets warmer. There are plenty of pet-friendly restaurants, parks, and breweries to check out with outdoor seating and shaded areas. 

Contact the team at Raleigh Realty if you are ready to find your dream home in Raleigh or the surrounding area. We are here to help and answer any questions. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!

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