Following on from my last post, here are the remaining 5 tips to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday with your canine companion.
6. Places to walk
There are a ton of great places to take your dog on island. For helpful trail maps and information visit Nantucket Dog Walk. Please remember though that there is a leash law and your dog must always be under your control. While your dog may be “friendly” it doesn’t mean everyone else has to or wants to say hello to him/her! As for the beach, your dog should not be with you on beaches where there is a lifeguard in attendance. And please don’t forget to pick up the poop.
7. Dinner time
For health and safety reasons, dogs aren’t permitted inside restaurants. There are a few places to eat with outside terraces where it’s possible to sit fairly close to your dog without them actually being in the food service area. If you can’t leave Fido back in your accommodation you’ll need to arrive early to ensure you have your choice of tables. Lunchtime is definitely easier – think sandwich spots like Something Natural, Bartlett’s Farm, Claudette’s in Sconset or Millies in Madaket. All are great picnic spots. While well-mannered dogs are welcome at Cisco Brewery, be warned that this is one of the busiest spots on the island after a day on the beach. With lots of people, children running around, live music and other dogs, is this really going to be a happy outing for you and your pup?
8. Doggie supplies
If you’ve forgotten any of Fido’s essentials Geronimo’s and Cold Noses are the places to go. From eco-friendly poop bags to Nantucket themed collars and leashes, you should be able to find anything you might need. For prescription diets Offshore Animal Hospital may also carry your preferred brand – worth calling them first before you drive over.
9. Pet services
There are dog walkers and pet sitters aplenty on the island but do your research and book well ahead of time. The adage “you get what you pay for” is as true on the island as it is anywhere else. Offshore Animal Hospital offers outside daycare within an enclosed area making it a good choice for pups that might otherwise stray. And for the times when Fido finds something super stinky to roll in, clean him off at The Dog Wash.
10. Lost pets
With all the bunnies, deer and fabulous places for a dog to run, it’s no wonder that pups and people do get separated. Store this number for just such an emergency: 508-825-2287. This is the phone number for Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals (NISHA) – the island’s shelter for lost and abandoned animals. Any stray dogs picked up by the Animal Control Officers, or by the public, are brought to NISHA. You’ll need your check book, proof of identification and a rabies certificate to be reunited with your four legged friend. Consider a visit to them in any event and see first-hand the great work they do on the island. And their logoed merchandise could make pretty cool souvenirs too!
Nantucket beaches are a great place for dogs to run…..and run….and run.
Thinking of bringing your pup on vacation this summer? Nantucket is a great place for dogs. Here are my first 5 (of 10) tips to ensure you and Fido have a wonderful time.
1. Check your accommodation
Before making further plans double-check that Fido is welcome where you’re planning to stay. Not all hotels or inns are happy to accept our four-legged friends and boarding options are very limited once you reach the island. If you’re still looking for pet-friendly accommodation, check out the awesome Woof Cottages at Nantucket Island Resorts .
2. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date
Rabies is the big one. We don’t have it on the island and we don’t want it. Rabies vaccination is the law in Massachusetts. Fleas and ticks are prevalent on the island so ensure you’re using an effective treatment as well as a heartworm preventative. If you’re worried about Lymes Disease, speak to your vet about the vaccination well before you travel.
3. Emergency veterinary treatment
Make sure you have easy access to Rover’s veterinary and vaccination records. It could make all the difference in the (hopefully) unlikely event you need to seek emergency treatment. Know your local vet’s contact details and save this link for Offshore Animal Hospital – the island’s largest provider of veterinary care.
There are only two ways to get to the island – by boat or by plane. If arriving by air, check with your carrier for their requirements. If coming by ferry, you have a choice of a two-hour traditional car ferry or a one hour fast boat. The fast boat is always busy in the summer. There may be many other dogs and very little space. Dogs are not allowed on seats. Please consider your pet’s comfort as well as other passengers’ safety. Packed boats and big anxious dogs aren’t always a great match. Have lots of distracting treats with you to keep your pup as calm as possible. While the journey is a little longer, bringing your dogs in your own car means they have a quiet and familiar place to relax before and during the trip.
We have beautifully warm sunny days and while not as hot as on the mainland, please don’t plan on leaving your dog in your car for any length of time when you reach the island. Temperatures in cars ramp up quickly. Ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar with your on island contact details – no point having a phone number which you’ll be away from for the next month! Chipping your pet is a great way to ensure you can always be reunited even if a collar comes off.
One of the biggest attractions on Nantucket is the beach. This is an island don’t forget so Nantucket has a fair number of sandy spots.
Not being in a position to work here when I first arrived I dedicated much of my time to exploring the island – and that logically included a diligent study of the island’s shorelines. Water temperature in the summer is in the 60’s. For a girl who grew up in Bermuda this is a little chilly but when the sun is at its highest and the humidity is punishing, a fresh dip in the ocean offers instant relief.
The beaches on the North Shore tend to be calmer and are more gently sloping making them ideal spots for families with young children. The South Shore beaches on the other hand tend to be much rougher and the water gets deep very quickly. The South Shore is where you want to head if you’re looking to surf, while the harbour is better suited for SUP. Life guards are stationed around the island.
And surfing is pretty big out here. Almost every SUV you see in the summer will have a board on its roof rack. I had a great first lesson with Ack Surf out at Madequecham Beach my first summer. The other students were two teenage boys so they ended up with one instructor while I went out with the other – a private lesson for the group price! Interestingly these guys now appear to focus on apparel rather than lessons.
With a little assistance from the teacher I was able to catch a wave and even stand up once or twice. It was awesome and I’d love to try again but for one reason or another I’ve just never had the time. My husband recently purchased a couple of Stand Up Paddleboards and as soon as I’m given the all clear to bear weight again on the ankle I broke last month I’m absolutely going to be out on the water with it.
But as beautiful as the beaches are, swimmers have to be aware of possible rip tides. Breaking news this morning was a family caught in one. They were rescued by life guards and a mystery Good Samaritan. Luckily they never dropped the Go Pro!