As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer it’s a great time of year to start planning some outdoor adventures for you and your canine companion. With so many options in Massachusetts for outdoor excursions and puppy picnics, it can be a daunting task to plan the perfect day out. We here at Elliot’s House are always keeping track of fun things to do around Somerville and the rest of Massachusetts and we want to share some of our top picks with you. This post will include just a few of our favorite outdoor excursions, doggie day trips, and dog-friendly dining options in Massachusetts.
Herring Cove – Provincetown, Mass.
If you’re ever in or around Provincetown then you should definitely check out Herring Cove with your pup. This is also a great option for a day trip if you have the time. Provincetown is known for being very dog-friendly and the beaches of Herring Cove are no exception. Herring Cove is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore boasting miles of dog-friendly beaches, showers, bike paths, and a snack bar if you happen to get hungry during the day. We highly suggest packing some beach chairs, a cooler, plenty of snacks and water for you and your canine companion and making a day trip to this wonderful slice of New England. If you’re lucky you may even see a whale jump out of the ocean or a seal warm himself in the summer sun. Take note you’re your dog must be on a leash at all times and parking does cost around $20, but it is worth the price depending on how long you plan on checking out the beach and the surrounding area.
Middlesex Fells Reservation – Stoneham, Mass.
If you’re looking for a shorter outdoor excursion that’s perfect for you and your pup than look no further than the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Located less than 30 minutes outside of Boston, there are lots of trails and other outdoor activities. From boating to biking there are plenty of things to do and plenty of amazing trails to explore with your pup. Best of all, Sheepfold Meadow, located on the Sheepfold Trail, is an off-leash area where your pup is free to run and play to their heart’s content. Perfect for picnics and long games of fetch with the family, this is the perfect location for a low stress, easy to coordinate outdoor adventure.
Breakheart Reservation – Saugus, Mass.
If you’re looking for a walk around the pond or your pup is curious to see a cow or two, look no further than Breakheart Reservation. Dogs must be on a leash at all times around the reservation, but there is an off-leash dog park, Bark Place, where you can let your canine companion run free. The reservation is very scenic and features miles of trails and fun things to do. The dog park is not as nice as some but it is an off-leash dog park, which is always a plus. We suggest this for families looking for a nice active summer excursion with barnyard animals to distract your little one and your pup. There is also plenty of room to run around and play catch or even just sit down and have a nice picnic. There are table areas where you can put your food if you’re not the grassy picnic type. The trails are long, but there are a few water fountains scattered about so bring a collapsible bowl to keep your pup hydrated!
Willard Woods – Lexington, Mass.
Willard Woods is one of the best dog-friendly options if you’re looking for a nice walk in the woods with your canine companion. Part of a large stretch of government conservation land, Willard’s Woods is a 2.7-mile long loop that is great for a nice summer walk with your pup. Monday through Friday you can walk your dog off leash as long as your pup is within shouting distance and supervised. If you go on a weekend your dog will have to be on a leash, but it’s still a wonderful destination for a nice fulfilling walk with your pup. Make sure to bring water and a bowl!
Union Square Donuts – Somerville, Mass.
This is one of the Elliot’s House Team’s favorite places to start the day with our canine companions. The establishment is dog-friendly and they have some of the best donuts in the area if not the state! With vegan options and great coffee, there are few better places to stop with your pup on a summer morning in Somerville. They don’t have dog donuts yet; so make sure to bring a treat for your pup so they don’t get jealous!
There are so many options for summer excursions with your pup, but we think that these are some great places to start. Let us know what you like to do in the summer with your pup by reaching out to us on social media!
As CBD (or cannabidiol) gains popularity with humans in treating everything from anxiety and insomnia to nausea and heart disease, the pet industry is now catching on to produce pup-safe portions of CBD products. A healthy number of dog owner’s initial reactions tend to be skepticism or rejection…something along the lines of “Why would I give my dog marijuana? That can’t be safe.” The most important thing to note is that CBD (and CBD dog treats and oils) do NOT contain any of the psychoactive components (namingly THC) that are found in marijuana. Canine CBD is made from hemp, which is 100% legal and does not contain any intoxicating effects.
If CBD doesn’t have the effects people typically think of when they hear the word ‘cannabis’, then what does it actually do? There are a range of positive and therapeutic benefits that come along with CBD for dogs, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, nausea management and appetite stimulation. If your pup has chronic pain due to cancer, heart disease or arthritis, CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and manage discomfort. Even if your pup is completely healthy but suffers from the occasional bout of separation anxiety, CBD can work wonders in calming otherwise overactive nerves. Now that we’ve covered the physical benefits of this growing treatment, let’s take a look at the most reputable and effective canine CBD products out on the market today.
Innovet is the #1 rated manufacturer of hemp dog treats and oil tinctures. All of their products are USDA certified organic, contain no harmful additives and have thousands of positive testimonials from happy owners whose pups have benefited from their products. Backed by the American Kennel Club and competitively priced, Innovet is truly leading the charge in this new category of pet care.
HolistaPet CBD dog treats are gluten-free, made with non-GMO organic superfood ingredients and have the added benefit of being tailored to specific areas of care. Pups love the all natural flavors while owners praise the treats effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders safely and without pharmaceuticals. With flavors like Green Apple Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon, your pup will be beyond pleased!
Hemp My Pet is a unique brand that produces its own 100% organic hemp for each of its human grade products, with a wide variety of options to choose from. They offer both hemp-infused coconut and olive oil, which is a tasty and effective way to introduce CBD to your pup’s everyday meals! Hemp My Pet also donates a large amount of product to rescues and sanctuaries, so you know you are investing in a company that is invested in animal welfare themselves.
CBD is a brand new frontier in pet care, so doing your research before making a choice for your pup is imperative. Always look for products that are organic, US-made, heavily reviewed and third party tested. As always, let us know if these or any other new products helped your pup so we can pay it forward!
As dedicated and loving dog people, we all take a bit of bad dog breath as par for the course for all the love and loyalty they show us everyday. With everything our pups get into, it’s no wonder that surprise face lick doesn’t always come with a minty fresh scent! If your dog’s breath is consistently bad enough to make you avoid close contact, however, there may be an underlying dental problem that needs to be addressed. Periodontal disease can have serious implications; from tooth loss and jaw damage to heart disease. As February is National Dog Dental Health Month, we thought we’d take this opportunity to impart some tips and tricks to keep your best friend’s chompers as healthy as possible!
While it may seem odd to brush your dog’s teeth, it is actually a very effective way to keep plaque, gum disease and bad breath at bay. Some pups may be more receptive to having their teeth brushed than others, so it’s important to reinforce positive behavior and introduce this process slowly. The Vetoquinal Enzadent toothbrush is a popular option and has an extended handle and dual brush ends for both small and large teeth. Though it may be obvious, it’s very important to use dog-specific toothpaste as human toothpaste is toxic to dogs. Sentry Petrodex toothpaste comes highly recommended in fighting bad breath and plaque, and its chicken flavor will have your pup looking forward to brushing time!
Dental Chew Toys
Dental chew toys are a fun and easy way to keep your pup’s teeth healthy and clean while satisfying their natural urge to chomp! These toys work using ridges, bumps and bristles that clean plaque and stimulate healthy gums as your dog bites away! The Benebone Dental Dog Toy is a popular, super durable nylon option that comes in natural bacon and peanut butter flavors to keep your pup interested! As with most dental toys, the ridges help remove plaque and tartar in between brushing while keeping your dog occupied at the same time!
Dental treats are a tasty yet still very effective way to keep up with your dog’s dental health! These treats work similarly to dental toys as they clean teeth, freshen breath and maintain healthy gums as your pup chews. The difference with dental treats is their digestible ingredients that your pup can enjoy with added health benefits! There are numerous dental treats on the market, including the popular and highly recommended Blue Buffalo Dental Bones. These treats have a meaty flavor even the pickiest dogs love, are grain-free and made in the USA for quality assurance!
Dental health is a too-often overlooked aspect of your pup’s overall health and well-being. Keeping up with brushing your dog’s teeth at least three times a week, providing them with healthy and safe toys to chew and maintaining regular vet checkups all contribute to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The next time you find yourself getting bombarded with some less than minty fresh kisses from your pup, keep their dental health in mind and make sure that smile stays as cute as ever!
We have a definite soft spot here at Elliot’s House for breeds that are tough on toys; bulldogs, terriers and pit bulls just like our very own Elliot know how to annihilate even the most durable playthings! We all love to spoil our pups, but there are a few important factors to look for when deciding on the right toy to reward your best friend with. As fun as stuffed animals and squeaky toys can be, tough chewers (and all dogs for that matter) have an instinct to rip the stuffing out of the toy and remove the squeaker. Obviously these objects can pose a choking risk if swallowed, so it’s best to choose toys that remain intact no matter what they’re put through. Overall you want to look for reputable, US made products with no extra parts that may be ripped or chewed off. Now that you know what to avoid, let’s get into some of the most popular and long-lasting tough chew toys on the market today!
The T-Rex by Nylabone comes highly recommended from pup parents of the toughest chewers due to its extreme durability, fun shape and effectiveness as a dental chew. The small rounded nubs and bristles aid in preventing plaque and tartar build up while your pup chomps away! As with all toys, you should always supervise and replace when the toy begins to break down (which takes a while with this toy)!
If you dog generally destroys any toy you put in their path, products made of tough natural rubber are your best bet. What makes the Tuffy boomerang an option as a fabric toy is the bulked-up construction and multiple reinforced sewn layers. Each of the seven layers of fabric are sewn together in additional to a protective webbing around the stitching, making this toy the one of the longest lasting fabric options on the market. When you factor in it being both floatable and machine washable, this boomerang is a home run!
West Paw is an owner-favorite out of Montana that backs all of their toys with a 100% replacement guarantee for tough chewers. If your dog manages to destroy it, they’ll replace it no questions asked! This particular toy floats, bounces, and can be stuffed with either treats or ice cream/peanut butter and frozen to keep your pup occupied for hours! The Tux is a great example of the quality products produced by West Paw, and the reviews speak for themselves.
As classic as tennis balls are as a ‘dog toy’, anyone who has ever tossed one to a tough chewer knows how quickly they become a shredded mess. This is not only an inconvenience but a huge health hazard as the ball breaks down into a hundred pieces of fuzz and rubber that can easily become ingested. Enter the Kong Extreme Rubber Ball! Kong is a trusted and celebrated company for a reason, as they produce beyond durable products beloved by tough chewer owners. This particular ball will out bounce a tennis ball any day and is highly puncture resistant for rough catch sessions!
Another innovative and highly recommended product from West Paw, the Bumi Tug-of-War is a bomb-proof new take on your typical knotted tug rope. While a normal rope can become split and picks up dirt and bacteria easily, the Bumi is dishwasher safe, maintains its structure and stretches to twice its length during play! Also backed by the same guarantee against dog damage as the Tux, this toy will outlast the competition and tire you and your pup out in the process!
As with any object you introduce to your pup, do your research and be sure you purchase the correct size for your dog’s weight and size. While these toys are definitely built to take a serious beating, no toy is completely indestructible so it’s best to supervise and interact when using a toy at all times. Now that your walks may be getting shorter due to the weather, take some extra time to reward your best friend with a quality new toy and some indoor playtime!
Not everyone has the luxury of shuffling half-asleep to the bathroom in a warm house when nature calls in the middle of winter; your pup has to brave the elements when it’s time to take care of business! Whether you’re headed out for a quick relief walk or adventuring along a snowy trail, it’s important to understand how elements such as snow, ice and salt affect your pup as well as the steps you can take to keep them protected. The most sensitive areas we make sure to bundle up when heading out (ears, feet, etc) are just as if not more susceptible to frostbite and discomfort on our pups. As winter in New England can be as unpredictable as it is unrelenting, let’s go over some tips and tactics both Elliot’s House and our clients swear by!
Your pup’s paws are particularly vulnerable in the winter, as they come in contact with both ice and snow and harmful road salts and chemicals used to melt it. There are several lines of defense for keeping paws protected and healthy in the harsh winter months, one of the first being regular trimming of any extra fur that grows between your dog’s paw pads. This fur can cause an uncomfortable buildup of snow and ice balls to stick during walks, increasing the risk of frostbite and pad damage. If your dog will cooperate, there are several winter-proof booties available to cover and guard your pup’s paws completely. While a warm and protective bootie is the most fail safe option, a healthy majority of dogs will not tolerate wearing them. If this is the case, using a wax-based cream such as Musher’s Secret is a popular alternative that many of our clients swear by. This wax is applied in between and on your dog’s paw pads in order to form a breathable shield from ice and salt, as well as preventing dryness and cracking with all-natural moisturizers. Aside from these options, it is always a good idea to wipe your pup’s paws with a warm cloth after winter walks to remove any excess salt or chemicals they encounter while adventuring!
To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Pup Coats!
Whether or not your dog may need a coat in the winter depends on several factors, the most obvious being breed and the length/thickness of their coat. While a Husky or St. Bernard is more than capable of heading out sans-winter wardrobe, shorter hair dogs such as Pit bulls and Greyhounds benefit from the extra warmth and insulation. Smaller pups and senior dogs have a more difficult time regulating body temperature, so a thick coat is always a good idea when temperatures start to drop. Pup coats are available in almost every option available to us humans, so it’s important to pay attention to quality and function over trendy designs (though they’re not mutually exclusive)! The Canine Styles Goose Down Puffer jacket is a high end option for the biting cold that is both water resistant and snow-repellent. If you’re in the market for a slightly more cost effective and synthetic option, the Weatherbeeta Deluxe Dog Parka is a full-wrap coat that is also reflective for added safety during night walks.If you’re taking your pup on an all-day sledding excursion, the Casual Canine 2-in-1 Snowsuit includes a removable hood and leg coverage for complete protection from the elements.
There are an infinite amount of winter accessories to keep your pup warm and safe this coming winter, so as always do your research and take your time deciding what works best for your pup. Pay special attention to your dog’s energy level and behavior in colder temperatures, as they may tire out more easily with the added exertion needed to run and play in the snow and ice. Most importantly, gear up, get out and have a blast with your pup this winter!
We all know the feeling…you’re heading out the door to work early in the morning and you catch that heartbreaking glance from your pup as if to say “When are you coming home?” We all hate to leave our best friends by themselves while we head out to take care of business, mostly because we know they’re at their happiest with us! Unfortunately we can’t possibly give our four-legged friends the round-the-clock attention they so deserve (gotta pay for those treats and toys somehow!), so what options are we left with? Dog daycare is an increasingly popular choice for busy parents who want to provide their pup the attention, exercise and socialization they can’t while at work. If you’re wondering whether doggie daycare is a good fit for your pup, there are numerous benefits and advantages to consider; all of which result in a happier, less anxious and healthier dog for you to come home to! Let’s explore some of those benefits so that you can make an informed decision in getting your pup to some much deserved weekday playtime at Elliot’s House!
While no one can replace the special bond you have with your pup, forming a positive and caring relationship with other people trained to provide a stimulating, safe and fun environment is a definite plus. Expanding the circle of people your dog interacts with on a daily basis helps them to become more well-adjusted and social; making meeting new people less stressful going forward. Work is stressful enough without having to worry about your pup restless at home, so give yourself some peace of mind knowing they’re in the care of dog lovers just like you!
Whether you have a rambunctious new puppy or an older more reserved dog, daycare provides a unique monitored environment for pup socialization. Younger pups can learn social skills and boundaries with a variety of other dogs, while older or otherwise anxious pups can learn to come out of their shell at a pace that’s comfortable to them. Daycare is a safe training ground for meeting and playing with new friends, so that those Saturday trips to the dog park can be more fun and less stressful for pup and parent alike!
The same way people workout to reduce anxiety and restlessness, dogs need consistent activity and exercise to keep them from becoming antsy and possibly even destructive when left unattended at home. Behaviors such as chewing on your favorite leather couch or knocking over the kitchen garbage often come from lack of stimulation or separation anxiety; issues that can easily be resolved from running and playing for hours straight at daycare! There are few things cuter or more peaceful than a pup returned home exhausted from a long day of play with new friends!
Overall, providing your dog with the opportunity to socialize, exercise and play while you’re at work will result in a happier, healthier pup for you to come home to. The Elliot’s House daycare facility has 4,000 square feet for your pup to roam and play while getting professional care and attention from our dedicated attendants. You can opt to drop off/pick up yourself, or have us provide transportation and drop off your pup happy and tired! We offer both single day and 10-50 day packs at a discounted rate if you plan on making daycare an everyday treat for your pup. To schedule your dog for daycare, head to https://www.elliotshouse.com/dog-day-care/ and get your pup in for a full day of fun!