Apparently today is National Dog Day, which as a dog “parent” I find ironic. Isn’t every day Dog Day?
Regardless, the idea of celebrating dogs got me thinking about things I do with my dogs… which of course led to me pondering how dog friendly my state (and region) is. I can’t say it’s perfect or the best in the US, but it could be way worse. So, in an effort to share knowledge and promote our favorite canines, let’s talk about what’s dog friendly!
I’m going to try to keep this list as updated as possible as I uncover new things and places so I’d bookmark it, dog lovers!
**Do you know of any dog friendly attracting, dining, or lodging? Share the details in the comments and I’ll add it to the list!**
It’s probably pretty obvious, but most pet stores are incredibly dog friendly. However, some are WAY more fun than the big box chains like Petco and Petsmart. Here’s our favorites:
Four Your Paws Only – North Conway, NH: I’m in love with this store and so are my pups. Located right on the main strip in North Conway, NH, Four Your Paws Only (FYPO) is a perfect mix of bakery, toys, and essential supplies. Every time we’re in the area (with or without dogs), we always pick up a box of freshly made treats. Yuri has also gotten a birthday cake here every single year since we adopted him and it’s huge. Perfect for sharing at daycare!
Woof Meow – Derry, NH: Woof Meow is the Toys ‘R Us of the doggie world. We have spent close to an hour in there just meandering the hours, greeting other dogs, and staring at the resident parrots. It’s super dog friendly, so don’t be surprised if your fur kid ends up picking out a few too many toys.
Bark Harbor – Bar Harbor, ME: I love the little dog boutiques more than anything, so it’s always fun to find one while we’re on travel. This one was absolutely awesome and I was sad I didn’t have my dogs with me at the time. You are sure to find something for your dog or cat here to bring back home. Also, be sure to ask them for their list of other dog friendly attractions, restaurants, and lodging in the area. It’s awesome!
Scalawags – Kennebunkport, ME: If Yuri had to pick a favorite shop, I think this would be his. While the others have great selections of toys, this one has an awesome selection of durable gear for all types of dogs. I’ve seen everything in there from pirate collars (Yuri has one now) to doggles (dog goggles). Don’t be surprised if your pup ends up being featured on their Facebook page. The owner remembers everyone!
I have to admit that we haven’t tried any hotels yet with the furkids. Too many hotels claim to be dog friendly, but in reality have weight or breed limits along with some crazy fees. Needless to say, our dogs tend to be way over the limit! Fortunately for us, there are some wonderful dog centric accommodations out there.
Lazy Dog Inn – Chocorua, NH: I’ve already promised Yuri that we’ll go stay a few nights this winter and go do some local hikes. He looked thrilled when I told him, but seriously – the kid looks excited for everything! Regardless, I’m personally excited to check out a bed and breakfast in a prime location that caters to dog families of any breed and size. Among the many awesome features and accommodations, Lazy Dog Inn has a climate controlled doggie lodge and fenced in play area already included in the rates. To give you an idea of how dog friendly this place is, let’s just say the only place that pups aren’t allowed is the human dining room. That’s it! We’re very excited to check it out this winter and write up a complete review!
The Paw House – West Rutland, VT: On our list for next summer is The Paw House in West Rutland, Vermont (just around the corner from Killington and Okemo for you snow enthusiasts out there). The Paw House is yet another totally dog focused bed and breakfast, but this one exists in a total mecca of totally dog friendly attractions ranging from dining to tours. I’m also happy to hear it has a doggie playhouse (daycare and such), as well as a great play area, and an agility course. I suspect that the dogs and I will never want to leave.
Things to Do
Nothing is worse than getting somewhere with your pups and finding that there isn’t anything to go do with them. Fortunately, New England has a ton of things to do and we’re finding more by the week. This part of the list will grow for sure!
Pack Monadnock – Peterborough, NH: If you’re looking for a fun hike with your rock hopping pup, Pack Monadnock might be exactly what you’re looking for. This 1.4 mile to the summit hike is the perfect mix of hard pack trail, scrambling, and some not to big leaps to get up the trail. Humans will appreciate the beautiful views from the top that can sometimes extend as far as Boston! Yuri and Kina have both done the hike multiple times and the look on their face is pretty incredible every time. Fortunately, the trip back down the mountain is a breeze thanks to the auto road! If you’re in the area, you may also want to check out Temple Mountain right across the road, but do keep in mind that dogs are NOT allowed at Mount Monadnock… even though they’re way more prepared than most hikers. 😉
Mount Major – Alton Bay, NH: I’m a tad bit embarrassed to admit that Kina got to claim this summit before I even have (she went with a two-legged friend of ours), but regardless it’s a solid hike to check out. It’s a bit longer and more strenuous than others I’ve listed at 3.4 miles roundtrip, but the great views start quickly so wherever you make it to is perfectly alright!
Pulpit Rock – Bedford, NH: This hike is definitely a favorite of mine now and one I’d recommend to any canine or two-legger who is interested into getting into the world of hiking. At about 2.5-3 miles round trip, this trail has virtually no vertical gain so it’s easy! It’s also a wide open hard pack trail with some interesting sights ranging from the actual Pulpit Rock to beaver dams and the foundation of a very old mill. It’s in Southern NH too, so it’s super easy to get to!
Arethusa Falls – Crawford Notch State Park, NH: If Yuri had to pick a favorite hike, I have a feeling he’d pick this one for sure. At about 2.8 miles roundtrip and roughly 1000 feet of vertical gain, it sure isn’t the flattest trail but the view at the end is well worth it – a waterfall reaching over 200 feet in height! We were also super happy to run into lots of friendly off leash dogs on the trail who had fantastic trail etiquette. Humans will definitely enjoy taking a dip in the ice cold falls, and Yuri recommends that other canine buddies take a chance to drink in the refreshing water!
Welch Dickey Loop – White Mountain National Forest, NH: This was one heck of a hike, so read on before deciding to go. The Welch Dickey Loop is a phenomenal and unbelievably stunning 4.5 mile loop in the White Mountains. It summits two small mountains in the 2500′ range with a total of 1800′ elevation gain throughout the hike. This is a hike for dogs who are experienced hikers and work well with their humans, because you will be cruising along cliffs and ridges, working together to get up big steep slabs, and so much more. I highly recommend keeping your pup on a long leash so you’re both able to let go and let it drag when you need your hands, but also able to keep them close by when needed. The full write up is here.