Island Guide

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Good Dog Goods

We hope you’ll visit us while you’re on Island. We’re on the upper end
of Circuit Avenue, the main business street in Oak Bluffs. We have
porches and a fenced-in play yard for you and your dog(s) to enjoy.
We carry lots of practical things that will help you have an even better
vacation and we have beautiful and unusual items that you won’t find
anywhere else. We pride ourselves on our healthful treats and chews
for dogs and we have a dazzling bakery case.

Come! Sit! Stay! Behave

Islanders—visitors and residents alike—are very welcoming, but
understandably intolerant of bad manners, the kind that are exhibited
by owners who do not faithfully and fully pick up after their dogs. We
have zero tolerance for folks who leave a mess of any kind behind.

Our down-Island towns are extremely busy in the summer. If a dog is
not comfortable with lots of activity—noise and excitement and traffic,
bikes and boat whistles, kids and music—they will have no fun at all! If
they like to be in the thick of things, they will have a great time.

We always ask our visitors to please remember that not everyone
loves dogs (imagine!), so respect people’s boundaries and leash your
dog close to you if someone is noticeably uncomfortable around your
best friend.


Getting Around

buses, cabs, & trolleys

If you are planning to use public transportation, our buses welcome
dogs. However, they have a policy that if a passenger who is already
on the bus objects to a dog (because of allergies or discomfort), the
dog and owner are asked to take the next bus. If the dog and owner
are already on the bus, they may remain and the objecting passenger
is asked to take another bus. Dogs are welcome to ride in cabs and
other forms of public transportation, including the trolleys in
Edgartown and the buses that service the Steamship Authority.

steamship authority

Pets are allowed to board the Steamship Authority ferries. As always,
owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and must be
kept on a leash. Pets (except for service assistance animals) are not
allowed in any food service area or on passenger seats or tables.

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Prepare for your visit

ID Tags

It’s a good idea to be sure your dog has an ID tag when you vacation
anywhere, even if they are microchipped. We recommend a tag with
the dog’s name and your cell phone number, just in case somebody
goes wandering!


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Overheating/ Medical Emergencies

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Island Veterinary Practices

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Not all beaches are open to dogs at all times and not all beaches
may be enjoyed by dogs during nesting seasons for various species
of birds. This is true of many conservation properties as well. As
much as Island dogs love their beaches, there are also times of day
when it’s no fun to be a dog at a beach. If it is too hot, most dogs
would prefer to be somewhere else, no matter what the beach
regulations allow. Having said that, at the right time of day, as long
as you are careful about nesting shore birds, there are always great
beaches to enjoy with your best friend.

There is a beautiful beach where dogs are welcome very soon after
you leave the boat wharf in Vineyard Haven, if that is where you
dock. As you travel from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs, once you
cross over the bridge, on the left is a parking lot for Eastville Beach,
where lots of people walk their dogs. The water there is nice and
calm, unless we have a strong northeast wind. If your boat docks in
Oak Bluffs, you will be right next to a beach and a huge park.

The Oak Bluffs waterfront is a terrific place to visit with a dog. You
will be welcome before 8:00 and after 6:00 on all Oak Bluffs beaches
between May and September—in the off-season, dogs may be on the
beaches at any time.

Then there's State Beach, along the waterfront road between Oak
Bluffs and Edgartown. This is is also safe, but you must watch out for
nesting terns and restricted areas. The pond side of the Beach Road
is beautiful and great for walking--very gentle waters. However,
please be aware that dogs are not welcome at any time between April
1 and August 31 on either side of State Beach along its entire length.
The Island's South Shore ocean facing beaches are spectacular, but
be careful out there. The water can be rough and there are riptides,
so it's better not to let smaller dogs play in the surf or larger dogs to
swim. To run along those beaches, though, would be a joy for any
dog--just watch out for those areas where the beach goes steeply
down to the water.


Conservation Properties

We have breathtakingly beautiful conserved properties of various sizes
here on the Island. To obtain copies of their rules and regulations,
please call the individual agency.

Dog Parks

There is a 70-acre meadow on the Island, the Martha's Vineyard Land
Bank Tradewinds Airport property in Oak Bluffs. Formerly a grass-field
airport, an occasional small plane still lands on this property, so keep
an eye out. Around the open meadow here and the wooded areas,
there are walking trails. There is shade, but no water on the
Tradewinds, so you'll want to bring water along. Sometimes it seems as
though every playground might have a bully. We rarely hear of
aggressive dogs frequenting these areas, but it’s not a bad idea to be
a little cautious.
Vineyard Haven also has a dog park--you'll see the sign as you head
out of Vineyard Haven going up-Island, towards West Tisbury. It's on
the left just past a feed and garden supply store known as SBS. This is
also a lovely property, although nowhere near as large as the
Tradewinds. There are walking trails and pretty meadows—well worth a
visit. Again, there is no water on the park, so be sure to bring your own.


Public Parks

In Oak Bluffs, we have wonderful parks where dogs are welcome. All
of these places are great for people, too, and very, very beautiful. A
walk around the Oak Bluffs harbor is an adventure all in itself and
dogs are treated like visiting royalty. Lots of boaters bring dogs, so
you'll have fun there.
There's the State Forest, with miles and miles of trails, some of them
hard-top. Because of the size of the forest, it’s best to keep your dogs
close if not on a leash. There are lots of deer out here and many
reasons to explore, so it’s a good idea to let only a dog with strong
re-call manners run free in the forest.

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Dog Care

We have a list of people who will help you
take care of your dog on vacation. While
the Island is not particularly well-served
by a kennel, there are many responsible
dog sitters who could give you a hand if
you need one.

Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting

Do you provide animal services such as pet
sitting on the island and want to be on this list?
Please get in touch with us at or call us at

Dog Training

We have a list of people who will help
train your dog.

Rise & Shine K9 - Dog Training
Contact Michael Morris
Follow on Facebook and Instagram

Do you provide animal services such as pet
sitting on the island and want to be on this list?
Please get in touch with us at or call us at

Animal Shelter &
Rescue Groups

The Island has wonderful animal shelters
and rescue groups when you're ready for
a new best friend!

Martha’s Vineyard Animal Shelter
1 Pennywise Path, PO Box 1829
Edgartown, MA 02539

Sandy Paws Rescue
Follow on Facebook and Instagram.
To get into contact with Sandy Paws
Rescue, please visit their website
and fill out their contact form.

Second Chance Animal Rescue
Follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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Dining Out & Places to Stay

Many of the restaurants with outdoor seating will allow dogs to join
you there, so call ahead and ask if they can accommodate you.

Nancy's and Coop De Ville on the Oak Bluffs harbor, Offshore Ale in
Oak Bluffs (by the Post Office), and Nomans (just before State Beach
on way to Edgartown) are all are very welcoming to people with well-
behaved dogs. There are several restaurants in each town that are
similarly accommodating.

Oak Bluffs Inn and Harbor View Hotel are some of our favorite places
to stay.


Vacation Do’s & Don’ts

Don’t leave your dog in a car even with windows open—the
temperature can easily exceed the danger threshold for dogs within a
minute or two.

Don’t leave your dog alone in a car on the freight deck of the boats—
not only can it become dangerously hot in a closed car on the freight
deck, but it also can be a frightening and noisy place for a dog.Don’t
leave your dog behind in your hotel room if you think that will be

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