Dog Friendly Places to Visit in Western Mass

We love dogs around here – in case you couldn’t already tell. While being home and enjoying time with your pup is some of the best quality time, we also know that people are loving to also get out, in nature, be social, and have a great time with their dog along for the ride too!

As most dog owners know, there’s a lot to consider when planning to take your dog on an outing with you. Like will the location be dog friendly? Is there access to an area for them to relieve themselves, will the temperatures be too hot.

Of course, once you have the perfect opportunity and conditions for an outing with your four-legged friend, we want to help you make the most of it.

Here in Western, Massachusetts, we have some of the greatest attractions to visit in New England. From the Berkshire Mountains to the Connecticut River Valley – there’s something great for everyone looking for recreation to get into.

Here are some dog-friendly activities worth considering next time you’re heading out in Western Mass.

Trip to an Orchard

Apple picking is a very popular activity around the area in the fall season. You can take your dog out to enjoy the orchards and pumpkin patches too. Of course, you’ll need to make sure with the local orchards policy, but many will allow dogs on leash to enjoy the outing too. A popular pick in Western Mass is Hilltop Orchards located in Richmond. There are woodland trails to hike and get a spectacular view at the top.

Beach Days

Many dogs love to swim. If your pup is an avid water lover then a trip to a beach location where dogs are allowed is a must. In Western Mass, there are many locations such as Crane Beach in Ipswich, Plum Island Beach in Newbury Port, and Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. Be sure to check and see if there is a restriction on which season dogs are allowed on the beach and any other rules.

Parks & Gardens

If you’re just looking for somewhere serene and peaceful to escape to and enjoy a stroll with your dog there are lots of options for parks and gardens all around Western Mass. Some rich in history and others filled with beautifully manicured landscapes you’re both sure to love! Just a few to check out include Borderland State Park in Easton, Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, and Maudslay State Park in Newburyport.

On the Water

Of course, if your dog is more of a thrill seeker and you want to take them on an unforgettable adventure with you what better way than out on the open waters. There are local options in town such as Dog Gone Sailing Charters that goes around Cape Cod Bay or the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown where you can enjoy whale watching with your best bud.

Employers Add Pet Stipends to Return to Office Perks

The COVID-19 pandemic dynamically changed how people work. For more than a year many were forced to switch to remote working from their homes while social distancing rules were in effect. Now with many employers trying to get their workers back to in person working, many have noticed the apprehension to return to an office where they’ll lose their work-life flexibility and comforts of working from home.

While some businesses have moved to fully remote work now or have added some flexibility to the work-from-home offering, many others are requiring that staff come back to the office and their pre-pandemic setup.

To make the return a little more appealing many are also adding new perks to sweeten the pot. One of the best we’ve seen is new pet stipends being offered to employees. These are meant to provide employees with additional resources to fund important pet sitting, walking or other activities they and their pets have gotten accustomed to during the time they worked from home.

In addition to being a particularly sweet perk, it also comes at a time when the number of pet owners has skyrocketed. In fact, pet adoptions increased drastically during the pandemic as people sought the companionship and affection of a furry friend.

Other big brand offices are even listing their jobs with “pet-friendly environments” to attract workers who would be compelled to take a job if they could also take their pup along with them.

Outside of pet perks, many companies are trying things like 4-day work weeks, free lunches, and relaxed dress codes to try and attract workers back to in person working.  

Solving the Dog & Skunk Problem

Having a dog you love and who enjoys the backyard and time with your family is a truly rewarding experience. There are things that can happen out in nature, that aren’t as pleasant though – like when you’re beloved furry friend has an encounter with a skunk.

The noxious smell alone is so unpleasant you may even contemplate not letting him back in the house – at least not until the odor is gone. But we all know how impossible it is to leave our babies abandoned. So here is what you can do to solve the dog and skunk problem you’re encountering.

Clean Them Up Immediately

Because the smell can spread to surfaces, it is critical to keep your dog outdoors until you can hose him down and wash him up. The last thing you want is for the dog to come inside and rub against furniture where the odors will stick and reside. You want to do this as quickly as possible before it has time to set into your pet’s fur. Start by spraying them down with an –oil-based, soapy cleaner made to de-skunk or that you create at home missing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dishwashing soap. Scrub the soap in and rinse it thoroughly to remove residue. After the rinse, you should follow up with your pup’s usually shampoo and conditioner treatment to ensure the hair is clean and fluffy again once it’s dried.

Get a Hidden Fence

There’s no better way to protect your dog from mischief and wandering out into other areas outdoors that he shouldn’t be, than with a hidden fence. While skunks can make their way into the yard regardless, this will still be a great resource to give you peace of mind that your dog won’t wander into the skunk’s territory and risk being sprayed.

Our new SmartFence™ Containment System is the world’s first connected outdoor hidden pet fence to keep your dog safe while they enjoy the backyard. With SmartFence you can check remotely and get texts and emails for total peace of mind.

Why Perimeter Training for Your Pet Is Essential

A dog that spends most of its time cooped up indoors needs opportunities to exercise to protect its physical and mental health. Taking your dog for walks on a leash may allow it to get some exercise, but it won’t let your dog run, jump, play, and explore in a way that can promote optimal overall health.

Your dog may be much healthier and happier if you give it chances to run and play unencumbered by a leash. Setting up a hidden dog fence on your property can give your dog the freedom to exercise in its own way while keeping your pet in your yard and away from potential dangers. For a hidden dog fence to be successful, your dog will have to undergo perimeter training.

How a Hidden Dog Fence Works

A hidden fence can be either wireless or in-ground. Though the two types work differently, either can allow you to designate a specific area where your dog is permitted to go and keep it from venturing into places where it may face cars and other dangers. If your dog tries to cross the predefined boundary, it will receive a shock from its collar letting it know that it has ventured too far.

Why Perimeter Training Is Necessary When Using a Hidden Dog Fence

Since a hidden fence isn’t visible, your dog will have to learn where the boundaries are located so it can understand where it is and is not permitted to go. Perimeter training can use a series of voice commands and flags to teach your dog where the boundary lines lie so your pet will learn to stay within them.

Training takes just minutes per day, and most dogs are fully trained in a week to ten days. Once your pet has learned where the boundaries are and understands that it must respect them, you will be able to set your dog loose in the yard without having to worry that it might go somewhere it shouldn’t.

Get a Quote for a Hidden Dog Fence

DogWatch sells several models of hidden dog fences that are designed to suit the needs of specific pets, pet owners, and properties. With a hidden fence, you will be able to define the boundary to suit the design of your yard and your needs and preferences. For example, if you want your dog to have the freedom to run around the backyard, but you want to keep it out of a garden, the boundary lines can be set accordingly.

One of our experienced trainers can work with you and your pet to teach your dog to respect the boundary. Our trainers have experience working with dogs of many breeds and personality types. Contact us today to learn more.

Perimeter Training and Wireless Fencing Go Hand-in-Hand

We talk a lot on the blog about the ways you can make living with your pet a more pleasing and comfortable experience for both. We care about your dog’s health and safety and want to help make that process a smooth and seamless one for you.

With our DogWatch hidden dog fence, you can keep pets out of dangerous situations and those areas indoors or outside that you’d prefer they keep away from.

Anytime your pet gets close to a boundary they receive a warning signal – either an audible warning or a vibration – so they know to stop the action.

Our transmitters and receivers come with a lifetime equipment warranty when you choose DogWatch of Western MA for hidden dog fence installation and our patented FM radio signal protects your pet from unintentional correction.

In addition to electric dog containment systems for both indoors and outdoors we also offer professional perimeter training services that help dogs and cats feel more confident about their new boundaries and freedoms. We believe these elements go hand-in-hand for long term success.

As your pet learns the warning needs corrective action to be taken (turning back away from the boundary) over time they will adjust to their new space.

In the training sessions, we work with dogs on an individual level to teach them based on their unique personalities. Working through voice commands and visual flags a few minutes each day over the course of a week can help build the confidence your dog needs to run and play safely.

Take the next step to peace of mind and comfort. Contact us today!

Celebrate Halloween with your Dog

Halloween has become a giant commercial holiday today. It’s not just a chance to get into some spooky, fun and dress-up, but it’s also become an event that entire households and neighborhoods partake in over the month.

If you’re planning this year’s ghoulish agenda and thinking about how you can incorporate your four-legged family member in the festivities, we have some important things you’ll want to consider for their safety and also some tips for having fun with your pup this Halloween.

Can’t Go Wrong with Costumes

Nothing warms the heart of passersby and guests more than seeing what creative Halloween costumes the kids are wearing for the night. You can carry this tradition with your dog too. There’s a wide variety of pet costumes available on the market today that range from simple elastic top hats to entire intricate outfits. Feel free to go as wild and crazy as you’d like as long as your dog is cooperative with these shenanigans.

Stay in for the Night

If your dog isn’t a fan of scary costumes and neighborhood kids running about to grab candy for the night, it makes sense to plan a night in. Keep the Halloween spirit going and make it a night of scary movies together on the couch instead. You can even bake some dog-friendly Halloween cupcakes with peanut butter, cream cheese, and whole wheat flour as a special treat for the day.

Safety First

As tempting as it is to take your dog out on the town for the night with you, it can be traumatic for some dogs to be walking their usual block and suddenly seeing costumed creatures moving towards them. If your dog has any apprehensions about the night, safety comes first. Keep them safely indoors and away from the constantly opening front door and especially out of any candy.

Need help with perimeter training or indoor and outdoor hidden fences? DogWatch of Western Mass is your go-to source for everything pet safety. We want you to have an amazing Trick or Treat experience with the family and keep your dog’s best interest in mind too.

Happy Halloween!

Pet Products Industry Heats Up: Top Must-Haves and Splurge Items

There’s no doubt that we live in a consumer’s world. Today with easy access to just about anything we can think of, it’s become important for brands to be innovative and offer the “next best thing.” The pet product industry is the latest market to see some steam in the way of new fun things you can buy for your four-legged friends and other pets.

Our pets have always kept a special place in our homes, but lately, they are becoming even more incorporated into families – many even taking them along on vacations, eating meals at the same time and admitting to letting them share snuggling time in their beds at night.

It’s no surprise that products targeted at pets are also on the rise. From fresh, healthy food options to tech gadgets – there are start-ups and longtime pet brands all vying for a piece of the emerging market.

According to one estimate from the American Pet Products Association, U.S. consumers spend about $72 million on their pets in 2018. Here are some of the latest trends. We’ll let you decide if they’re a must or just a splurge.

Pet Subscription Boxes

Why not let pets get in on the fun everyone else in the house is having to get a monthly curated subscription box sent to them with fun things like new toys and treats to try out. There are companies emerging each targeting a specific need. From fun themes to boxes for the big, rough chewers.

Activity Tracker for Your Dog

And what would new product development be for dogs without the ability to track and manage their daily activity levels? Much like humans, dogs are required a certain amount of exercise each day. Now you’ll never be left wondering if your pet has had enough of the requirement when retiring for the day.

CBD Products for Pets

This is still a new emerging market even for the rest of consumers, but it’s taken off in just about every avenue. Naturally, there are companies developing products for the market that they claim help dogs and cats relax and keep a more, “normalized”, “healthy” state.

Nothing beats allowing your pet to have the freedom to run around and enjoy themselves. This doesn’t have to come at a cost to their safety. With DogWatch pet containment systems we help you set-up pre-determined perimeters indoors and outside.

Give your pet the ultimate freedom and let one of our experts at DogWatch of Western Massachusetts guide you through the process.

CONTACT US TODAY!

Beware These Toxic Household Cleaners When Spring Cleaning

With the spring season and warmer weather finally making its way to New England, now’s the time when most homeowners are taking the opportunity to open the windows, let in the fresh air and finally clean up some of the dust and clutter that’s settled indoors over the winter months.

While doing some deep cleaning each season is beneficial there are things to be aware of when it comes to the types of cleaning products you use. Both for your family and your pet’s safety.

Harsh chemicals used in many cleaners actually do more harm than good when they’re released into the air. Everything from asthma to other respiratory conditions and even some cancers has been linked to these toxins.

When it comes time to clean your house, be sure to do your research and use environmentally safe products so you’re still cleaning the house without putting yourself or your pets at risk. For this post, we’re specifically looking at those products that pose risks to your four-legged friends in your home and that, while safe for humans, can be poisonous to pets.

Swap to Natural Alternatives

Thanks to the power of the Internet today it’s only a search away to locate the natural, DIY alternatives for all kinds of cleaners for the home. From polishing pastes, to shower cleaners and even fragrances for the home, there is a way to mix common and safe household items to create a product that will work and is much healthier for everyone who comes in contact with it. Doing this will also lessen the incidences of residue causing allergic reactions or illnesses.

Keep Everything Locked Away

Like children, pets can be curious and get into anything within their reach. It’s important in a home with pets or children that these dangerous chemicals are always tucked away in a safe and locked cabinet where they won’t mistakenly be ingested.

Even with everything locked away, it’s important to set-up safe perimeters around your home for your dog or cat that you feel comfortable with them having access to and blocking from traveling to other hazardous areas of the house. This is achieved by setting up a wireless containment system for your pet.

If you’re in Massachusetts and surrounding areas let DogWatch of Western Mass come help you gain peace of mind while giving your pet freedom.

Contact us today!

3 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Western Massachusetts

a dog eating off of a plate with human hands
Image Credit: Georgie Pauwels via Flickr/(CC BY 2.0)

If you’re a dog-owner, you know you’d never trade it for the world. But as much as you love your dog, there’s no denying that he or she can make things a little more difficult at times.

Case in point: looking for a place to go out to eat. If you’re out and about with your dog, finding somewhere to stop for a bite can be a headache.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the best dog-friendly restaurants in the Western Massachusetts area.

Remember, restaurants change policies all the time, so be sure to phone ahead to confirm dog-friendliness before you head to any of these places with Rover in tow. Continue reading “3 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Western Massachusetts”

The Best Dog Parks in Western Massachusetts

dog running in a dog park

All dogs are different, but most have at least one thing in common—they love to run around and play off-leash.

Unfortunately, opportunities for dogs to play off-leash may be minimal in many areas, including here in Western Massachusetts. Most cities and towns have leash laws in place, and heavy road traffic can make even private yards risky in the case of a dog running out and into the street.

But this doesn’t mean our dogs are doomed to lives spent cooped up indoors or stuck on a leash. Western Massachusetts is home to plenty of dog parks, where pooches can run and play unrestrained to their heart’s content.

If you’re looking for a dog park near you, here’s our list of the best dog parks in Western Massachusetts. Take a look and find the one closest to you—your pup will appreciate it! Continue reading “The Best Dog Parks in Western Massachusetts”