We’re not the only ones celebrating locals’ summer: September marks the time our canine companions can reclaim their favorite sandy spots and long trails, with many off-limits areas opening back up for pups.
Most area beaches allow dogs back on them as ofSeptember 15 (check your town’s rules for variations – sometimes it is Labor Day). Some of our favorites are a long walk from Craigville Beach down to the conch tree at Long Beach in Centerville, Harding Beach in Chatham, and Race Point Beach in Provincetown. For an extensive guide to the Cape’s dog-friendly beaches (and not so welcoming ones) visit the Cape Beach Dog.
For a woodsier walk, try Cotuit’s Eagle Pond, Scorton Creek in Sandwich (awesome for dogs who like to play in the water), the Kettle Pond Trail in Wellfleet/Truro, Thompson’s Field in Harwich (dogs allowed off leash), or any of the conservation areas such as Barnstable’s Old Jail Lane and Dennis’ Crowes Pasture.
Dog parks add another level of comfort and freedom for owners and dogs alike. Fresh Pond in Dennis, the Falmouth Dog Park and Provincetown’s Bark Park are favorites – with more being planned all the time, including a new one in Mashpee.
Wherever you go, don’t be that owner – keep your dog on leash if you’re not the only one around or in an off-leash area and pick up after your pup with biodegradable bags you can purchase at any local pet store.
Once you’ve tired out Fido, reward him or her with treats, toys and necessities from any of the awesome doggie boutiques throughout the Cape. Pupcakes Boutique and Bakery and The Ultimate Dog in Hyannis, Cape Cod Dog in Eastham, Uptown Dog in Falmouth
or The Chatham Beach Dog.
Got a dirty dog? No worries. Hot Diggity Dog Wash & Boutique in Dennis Port offers both fabulous grooming services and self-service washing stations featuring good-for-your-pup products. You can also reward your dog with healthy treats and special indulgences at their boutique (or their second location in Mashpee). The Cape Cod Pet Resort, Aussie Pet Mobile and Happy Tails Self-Serve Dog Wash are also excellent options.
For those of us who treasure our dogs like they are our children, how about a family portrait? A session with local photographer Stacey Hedman of Cold Nose Photo is a great way to capture the love between you and your best furry friend.