The Dog Days of Summer in Provincetown
Coming to Provincetown with your canine companion? Great! Your dog is going to have just as much fun here as you will—and he or she is the most welcome of visitors, as you’ll see when you first walk down Commercial Street. Some days it seems that we have more dogs than humans … not that there’s anything wrong with that!
In fact, it’s such a special place for dogs that Dog Fancy magazine named Provincetown as the most dog-friendly town in the United States; its editor notes that “it is remarkable to have an entire town where virtually every establishment opens its doors to dogs—even the bank.”
Getting here to Dogtown isn’t a problem. Both ferry services allow leashed dogs, Cape Air allows kenneled dogs, and the daily bus from Boston allows service animals.
Fun Dog Activities in Provincetown
- The Pilgrim Bark Park is an award-winning one-acre dog park on the corner of Shank Painter Road and Route Six. It’s filled with local art, water fountains, and very happy dogs. The park has a separate section for your extra small friends weighing 25 pounds and under.
- If you don’t want to leave your best pal alone while you go out to eat, call ahead and ask if the restaurant has outdoor seating where they will permit dogs. Lots of places do, and will allow dogs!
- Want to go on an ocean adventure? The Dolphin Fleet, Dog Gone Sailing Charters, and SeaSalt Charters are all dog-friendly cruises.
- Paddle out on the bay with Fido in a rented kayak from Venture Athletics Kayak Shop. Tours are also available, so call the shop to see what’s on the schedule.
- The schooner Hindu is pet-friendly. These sailing trips are hosted by the Nautidog herself, Admiral Finnigan, who pulls in the hundred-year-old boat’s dock lines!
- If you want to go shopping for your pet, check out Paws & Whiskers, located at 304 Commercial Street.
- Why not rent a pet trailer when you go to rent your bicycle? You can take Fido whizzing along the bike path through the Seashore or just heading down Commercial Street.
Walking Your Dog in Provincetown
Note: If you’re inside the National Seashore, your dog must always be on a leash. In fact, it’s a good idea to have your dog on a leash at all times, everywhere. Don’t forget your baggies for cleanup!
- Most businesses in town have water bowls outside their stores so your pets can stay cool and hydrated while you explore town together.
- Town beaches: The advantage here is that between six and nine, morning and night, you and your dog can enjoy some unleashed time together. Town beaches are great places to throw a Frisbee, romp in and out of the water (your dog may even let you come along!), have a run together, maybe even meet up with some canine friends you encountered at the dog park. Another great feature of the town beaches is that many of them supply you with bags for cleaning up after your dog (de rigeur, of course, at both the National Seashore and town beaches); put a couple in your pocket to take with you as you walk around town, too.
- There are amazing paths into the woods you can find by following the fire roads (we like the one off Snail Road in the far East End of town). In fact, there are freshwater kettle ponds, beaches without lifeguards, and lots of trails you can explore together. Just watch the signage—if they say no dogs, they mean it.
- As long as they remain on a leash, you can go through a lot of the Cape Cod National Seashore together. Just steer clear of areas that have nesting shorebirds.
- Located at the beginning of Provincetown’s West End, the breakwater provides hiking access to the very tip of Cape Cod at Long Point Lighthouse. It’s a great swimming location; just keep your dog on a leash.
- Hatches Harbor salt marsh is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Miles of bike trails wind their way through a massive salt marsh between Hatches Harbor and the Provincetown Airport. The trails are a favorite among dog walkers because the sand is well-packed and easy to walk on. They also provide gorgeous views of the harbor and Race Point Lighthouse. If you come during low tide, you can actually walk all of the way to Race Point Lighthouse, but at high tide, you may have to take an ORV road (which is always accessible) back. You can access the trails from either Herring Cove Beach or the Province Lands Visitors Center. Dog owners are told to keep an eye out for certain trails restricting dogs, and to call ahead during the summer months to ensure there are no closures due to bird season.
Amenities for Dogs in Provincetown:
- Safety first! It goes without saying—never, ever leave your dog in your car. Even with the windows down, it becomes unbearably hot very quickly.
- If you need to go to the veterinarian while in town, head over to the Herring Cove Animal Hospital at 83 Shank Painter Road.
- If you are looking for a dog sitter or dog boarding while in town, check out your Facebook options at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ptownjobboard/, either by seeing if dog sitters are currently advertising, or by posting that you need someone.
There’s more where that came from! Ptownie has more to share about our special town at land’s end. Check out our recipe for the Roberts Family Stuffed Clams from Truro Vineyards.