If you are among the two-thirds of US households that own a pet, it’s likely you have a canine companion. And if you live on the NH Seacoast or Southern Maine Coast, chances are your pup’s standard of living is higher than some of your friends and distant relatives! We consulted the parents of some well-pampered pooches for the top 7 reasons why the Seacoast is a great place for dogs.
No surprises here…our beautiful, dog-friendly beaches are Fido’s favorite spot. Sandy stretches and rocky outcroppings are ideal for exploring all sorts of seaweed-tangled treasures that wash ashore. You’ll see Retrievers of all kinds springing into the ocean and jumping over waves to fetch tennis, Chuck-It and coveted Market Basket-brand bacon-scented balls…relentlessly.
“The Seacoast is a fantastic area for dog lovers! My dog, Theo, loves visiting the beaches from Hampton to Rye. Our favorite time to go is during the off-season months, more beaches are open for dogs, and the minimal crowds allow us a little more fun.”
~Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Sales Associate Sean Fellows
- Pirates Cove Beach, Rye NH
- Foss Beach, Rye NH
- Sawyers Beach, Rye NH
- Plaice Cove Beach, Hampton NH
- Seapoint Beach, Kittery ME
State-owned beaches may prohibit dogs year round (e.g. North Hampton State Beach) or restrict access seasonally (e.g. Wallis Sands State Beach and Jenness State Beach), but most town beaches allow dogs at certain times of the day. It’s important to know the rules before you go…keep your dog under control and bring bags to carry in-carry out. And please be mindful of dog beach etiquette!
2. Trails and Fields
A close runner up to beaches, wooded trails and fields are among our 7 reasons why the Seacoast is a great place for dogs. You’ll find many pet-friendly paths to explore along the coast, with trails ranging from wide, smooth routes through fields and forests to narrow tracks that wind along the edges of tidal estuaries. Again, please be a responsible dog owner: know the rules for each place and practice good etiquette!
"We are lucky to have so many dog-friendly trails in our Seacoast communities. Walking in the woods is a beautiful connection to share with our pups, and always nice to catch up with fellow neighbors on the paths. It's not only my companion's favorite part of the day but mine as well."
~ Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Sales Associate Lizzie Ferris
- Stratham Hill Park, Stratham NH
- Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth NH
- Whites Lane, Hampton NH
- Rogers Park, Kittery ME
- Vaughan Woods, South Berwick ME
Sometimes it’s nice to just leash up and take your dog for a walk on the street! In downtown areas, you’ll find sidewalks and friendly store owners who graciously set out water bowls for thirsty canine passersby. Some will even let you bring your dog inside to shop with you or sit alongside as you dine al fresco. The charming streets of downtown Portsmouth are exciting places to explore, for canines and humans alike! You’ll often see them in tandem outside The Works Café, Popovers on the Square, and Kaffee Vonsolln. Portsmouth also has some great dog parks, both in town and on the outskirts, including a newer space on Route 33 behind the Park n Ride and Portsmouth Community Gardens.
"You get to know so many people you wouldn't otherwise meet. So it's not only fun to see the dogs interact with their pals, but also catching up with everyone. You can set your clock by who is walking when."
~ Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Associate Broker John Rice
In smaller towns, there are plenty of wide road shoulders that are safe for you and your pup to power walk together…be sure to wear bright colors and face oncoming traffic. You’ll be saying hello to neighbors while your canine companion is sniffing around the mailbox posts and fire hydrants.
- South Mill Pond/South End, Portsmouth NH *Loop—from Leary field through South playground/park to Junkins Avenue to Hancock Street, pass Strawbery Banke, head to Pierce Island, loop back by Geno's & Sanders and over to the field
- The Woodlands, Portsmouth NH *Loop—
from FW Hartford Drive to TJ Gamester Avenue
- Liberty Common, Rye NH *Loop—
from Sea Glass Lane to Rand Forest Trail through Liberty Common and back
- Blackford Place to Riverwoods, Exeter NH—
from the Jolly Rand Trail to the sidewalks along Blackford Drive to the streets within Riverwoods and Ridge/Boulders trails to the Kimball Reserve at Pickpocket Road
- Downtown, Dover NH *Community Trail—
an 8-mile trail running through downtown Dover neighborhoods and along the Cocheco River
4. Medical Care
The Seacoast is home to some of the most caring and dedicated medical professionals. Veterinarians who really get to know you and your dog, make house calls when needed, and follow up personally afterward. And the talent doesn’t stop there. We have highly skilled and compassionate surgeons for orthopedic procedures like CCL repair (canine equivalent of human ACL surgery), and amazing physical therapists to ensure a complete recovery.
“During the life of our last dog, we met the most incredible canine medical professionals. Jack had two successful knee surgeries and physical therapy which enabled him to live a long, active life. He loved his PT, Dimitra Kofitsas of Tails of Rye…she was wonderful! When it was time to consider end of life care, his amazing Veterinarian, Mike Schaefer of Sagamore Animal Hospital, came to our house so we could say goodbye privately and peacefully. He sent us a beautiful card afterward…I’ll always remember his kindness.”
~Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Associate Broker Lynne Joyce
- Sagamore Animal Hospital, Rye NH
- Veterinary Emergency & Surgery Hospital, Brentwood NH
- Tails of Rye Canine Physical Therapy, Rye NH
- Broadview Animal Hospital, Dover NH (ask for Dr. Fish!)
- North Hampton Animal Hospital, North Hampton NH
If a well-coiffed canine is high on your list of priorities, you’ll be pleased to see grooming specialists among our top 7 reasons why the Seacoast is a great place for dogs. Whether your pup needs a clean ‘everyday’ look, a specialty trim (think toy poodle) or extra care because of their age or personality quirks, you’ll find wonderful local groomers who go above and beyond. Some even send your dog home wearing a tie!
- Mac and Coppers, Portsmouth NH (ask for Kaylee)
- Whole Pet Grooming Academy, Portsmouth NH
- Paws ‘n Claws, Greenland NH (ask for Diana)
- The Beauty Pawlor, Hampton NH
- Earthwise Pet, Seabrook NH (ask for Michelle)
6. Activities and Wellbeing
We reached out to community members to find out who they rely on to exercise and entertain their dogs. A majority commented they don’t outsource…in other words, their best friends tag along with them wherever they go, and they make time for 1:1 walks and group playdates.
For others, time may be a limited resource and bringing their pets to work may not be an option. Thus, their dog walkers, sitters, daycares, and boarding facilities are essential services to keep their lives running smoothly. When it comes to training, most feel a topnotch specialist is crucial.
Insider Recommendations—Daycare & Boarding:
Many noted having trusted sitters who stay with their pups in the comfort of their homes when traveling.
“Our dog is an important part of our family…Beau is our ‘kid’ and with us nearly all the time, whether we’re working or doing something fun. When we need to travel without him, we have a wonderful person, Amy Fate of In Home Comforts Pet Sitting, who comes to our house to make sure he is well cared for. We always feel a little guilty leaving him, but when she texts pictures and updates, it is so comforting to know he is in great hands!”
~ Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Associate Broker Lynne Joyce
7. Food and Toys
While Chewy and Amazon offer uber-convenient, one-click shopping with next-day delivery, and big box stores like Petco and PetSmart sell everything under the sun, we feel it’s important to support truly local businesses that offer a face-to-face, personalized experience. And if they don’t carry your favorite products, just ask…most will be happy to order them for you. The Seacoast area is full of lovely little shops catering to all your pets’ needs!
- Mac and Coppers, Portsmouth NH
- Dog Land, Portsmouth NH
- Canine Cupboard, Portsmouth NH
- Woof Pet Supply, Hampton NH
- Friendly Pets, Exeter NH
Despite the many images of photogenic purebreds peppered throughout this post, our team and the Seacoast community love dogs of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Headquartered here in Stratham NH, New Hampshire SPCA is a wonderful place to explore adoption possibilities or get involved as a volunteer. We appreciate all our neighbors who are dedicated to canine rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming!
For more insight on why the Seacoast is a great place for dogs, please contact a member of our real estate sales team. At Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty, we pride ourselves on having in-depth knowledge of our market area. We'd like to share that insight with you.