Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: Finding Fun with Fido: Pet-friendly Vacations
Many pet owners are so devoted to their pets they wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind when they go on vacation. Luckily, traveling with animals has never been easier according to several Cape businesses that are committed to helping you do just that.
There are far more pet friendly accommodations on Cape Cod than in previous years, but all of them have different rules and requirements. You should always inform the hotel or inn you where you’ll be staying that you are bringing your pet along, even if they advertise as pet friendly, because many places designate certain rooms for furry friends.
Most pet friendly accommodations prefer that you don’t to leave your pet alone in the room, but there are usually exceptions for extremely well-behaved pets. “If people have a cell phone and they’re just going out to dinner and they’re willing to come back if there’s a problem we might allow it,” says Milton Kelley, manager of Green Harbor Waterfront Lodging in East Falmouth. “Most people say ‘I wouldn’t leave my pet alone,’ anyway. They’re not happy when they’re left alone, especially in a strange place.”
At Green Harbor, they have a once-a-week campfire down on the beach with guitar playing and singing. “People come down with their dogs,” Kelley says. “Our beach is a boating area, not a swimming area, so the dogs can swim down there.”
The Sandwich Lodge and Resort has six-and-a-half acres of open grassy areas for guests to play with their pets and General Manager Rita Patel says being pet friendly has resulted in a lot of regular clients, allowing the resort’s staff to get to know their guests, even the furry ones, better. Their website has all the details and includes a list of local places that welcome pets.
Donna McLaughlin, owner of Uptown Dog Cape Cod in Falmouth, which sells everything from gourmet pet treats to gifts for pet lovers, started a second business, Dog About Town Pet Care, because so many people asked her about pet sitting and dog walking services. Employees visit area hotels and cottages and feed pets and take them for walks.
Leaving your pet in a crate in a room is much safer than leaving it in the car, cautions McLaughlin. “Dogs can get heatstroke really quickly compared to people,” she says.
At the Lamb and Lion Inn in Barnstable, they actually offer an in-house pet sitting service similar to hiring a babysitter. The pet sitter stays in the room to keep the pet company.
“Our guests who travel with their dogs really just love their dogs and most of the time they’re taking their dog with them because they want to spend really good quality time with them and they want to run them on the beach,” says Tom Dott, co-owner of the Lamb and Lion Inn.
Most beaches allow dogs from mid-September until shortly before Memorial Day and there are plenty of other places that welcome pets. The Lamb and Lion Inn has prepared self-guided driving tours for guests with dogs that takes all of the work out of planning activities by providing information on places that welcome the family Fido.
“We have a driving tour, for instance, of the Route 6A corridor and we point out all of the pet friendly beaches, pet friendly hiking trails, pet friendly parks and pet friendly restaurants so we keep them busy all day long,” Dott says.
If you’re going to travel with your pet, make sure your pet is safely secured with a seatbelt harness or well-secured crate. “There are a lot of different products to choose from, but I always put it this way: if you get into an accident whatever is not tied down is going to be thrown through the air. Do you want that to be your dog?” says Katrina Boucher, owner of The Cape Cod Dog in Eastham, a full-service pet store that specializes in holistic food and pet products.
Boucher also recommends buying a pet “diaper bag,” many of which come with travel bowls and different compartments that you can pack with bottled water, food, medications, and a pet first aid kit with items like self-adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, pet friendly sunscreen and a can of pumpkin for digestive upset.
If you would like to hop over to one of the Islands to do some sightseeing, Hy-Line Cruises, which sails from Hyannis Harbor, allows pets and travels to Nantucket year-round and to Martha’s Vineyard from early June to early October. The Steamship Authority, out of Hyannis and Woods Hole, is also pet friendly and offers year-round daily service to both islands.
No pet vacation on the Cape would be complete without a trip to Provincetown, winner of the 2010 DogTown USA competition in Dog Fancy Magazine.
Provincetown has a beautiful one-acre dog park, with a separate small dog section, where several local artists have created sculptures and whimsically decorated hydrants. The park is named the Pilgrim Bark Park in homage to the English Mastiff and English Springer Spaniel that were recorded as passengers on the Mayflower, whose first stop was Provincetown.
But dogs are not just confined to the park. “Pretty much everything that you want to do (in Provincetown) is pet friendly,” says Candace Nagle, president of the Provincetown Dog Park Association. “This is a dog crazy town.”
Nagle cannot think of a business that doesn’t allow dogs in and most even give biscuits. All of the association’s charter businesses are pet friendly so you can take your dog on a whale watch or go parasailing with Fifi by your side. You can dine at outdoor cafes and there is a three-tiered dog/person water fountain on the lawn of the newly renovated town hall.
Provincetown’s three miles of town beaches have off-leash beach and trail rights where dogs can run free in the morning and early evening in the high season and from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. in the offseason.
“We have over thirty pet friendly accommodations (all of which are listed at www.provincetowndogpark.com) so you can go on our website and see different price ranges, different types of accommodations, and then go to their websites,” Nagle says. “We also have a list of many of the pet friendly activities.”
For Additional Information:
Green Harbor Waterfront Lodging: 134 Acapesket Rd., East Falmouth; 508-548-4747: www.gogreenharbor.com.
Sandwich Lodge & Resort: 54 Rte. 6A, Sandwich; 508-888-2275: www.sandwichlodge.com.
Uptown Dog Cape Cod: 143 Main St., Falmouth; 508-548-4115: www.uptowndogcapecod.com.
Lamb and Lion Inn: 2504 Rte. 6A, Barnstable; 508-362-6823: www.lambandlion.com.
The Cape Cod Dog: 3 Main St., Unit 1, Eastham; 508-255-4206: www.thecapecoddog.com.
Pilgrim Bark Park: intersection of Route 6 and Shank Painter Rd., Provincetown; 508-487-1325: www.provincetowndogpark.org.Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories