Dog-Friendly Vacationing Around Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut, is the capital of the state, with over 100,000 people. Its nickname is the “Insurance Capital of the World,” as a few major insurance companies are headquartered there. It is one of the oldest cities in the country with several historic sites, and its downtown area is undergoing revitalization.

Though there are not many dog-friendly activities in the city proper, the surrounding suburbs offer many great outdoor hiking, dining and shopping opportunities, as well as off-leash dog parks.


Talcott Mountain

Talcott Mountain is a 557 acre state park that is located in Bloomfield, Connecticut. There is a nice 1.5 mile hike that humans and leashed dogs can walk, where they can reach Heublein Tower and get a beautiful view of the Farmington River Valley. This park also has a picnic shelter and restrooms. Dogs are not allowed to enter any of the buildings, but are free to roam outdoors.

Metacomet-Monadock Trail

The Metacomet-Monadock Trail can be accessed through Rising Corner Road in West Suffield, Connecticut. It is a very long trail that goes from Connecticut to New Hampshire, and is maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you plan on going far on this trail, it is recommended to buy a book or map. Leashed dogs are allowed to hike on this trail with their owners.

Off-Leash Dog Parks

Granby Dog Park

Granby Dog Park is a fenced-in, off-leash area for dogs in the greater Salmon Brook Park in Granby, Connecticut. This park is run by volunteers, but is open to the public. They sometimes hold dog events in the park as well. Make sure to follow the Granby Dog Park Rules.

Wethersfield Dog Park

Wethersfield Dog Park is located in the greater Mill Woods Park in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It is one acre of fenced-in space where dogs are allowed to run without leashes. It is divided into large and small dog areas, and there are also picnic tables, benches, waste bags, garbage cans, watering stations and message boards. People who bring their dogs to this park should make sure to follow its rules. They also throw seasonal events.

Shopping Center

The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk

This shopping center is located in South Windsor, Connecticut. Leashed dogs, or carried small dogs, are welcome to be in the common areas of this mall, as well as many of the listed stores and restaurants.

Outdoor Restaurants

Elbow Room

Located in West Hartford, Elbow Room serves American style foods, beers and wines. Leashed dogs may sit at the outdoor tables.


Murasaki is a Japanese restaurant in West Hartford, and they serve an assortment of sushi, meats and vegetarian options. Leashed dogs may sit outside with their owners.

East Coast Ferret Clubs

Lots of local ferret clubs exist all over the East Coast. Most of them have rescue services and provide education to the public, and some hold meetings and other fun events for members and ferrets.

Ferret Association of Connecticut, Inc

The Ferret Association of Connecticut is commited to providing information about ferrets to their owners in order to improve their lives and their inter-species bond. They have lots of information and advice regarding ferret behavior, including biting, nipping and other habits. They also provide facts about general care, such as in possible emergency situations and safe food handling. For those interested in adopting, they maintain a ferret shelter.

Maryland Ferret PAWS, Inc

Maryland Ferret PAWS is a group that cares to educate the public on ferrets and encourage people to have and keep them as pets. They have a multitude of literature available on ferret care, and they also conduct workshops and display information at events around Maryland. Their site has a ton of information for ferret owners, ranging from toys to shedding to elder care to annual exams.

Click here to read about joining this ferret club and the benefits.

Massachusetts Ferret Friends

Massachusetts Ferret Friends is dedicated to ferret shelter, education and outreach. They put on events like adoption days, educational seminars, picnics and parties. They also publish newsletters. This club is open to new members joining this group.

The Educated Ferret Association

The Educated Ferret Association is based out of South Hadley, Massachusetts. Members of this club own and care deeply about pet ferrets, and they are committed to ferret education, health and well-being. They offer free classes on ferret care at their shelter, and do education seminars for boy and girl scout groups, as well as at schools and libraries. They also organize events for their members.

Joining this club has a number of benefits, such as discounts on ferret food and supplies.

Triangle Ferret Lovers

Triangle Ferret Lovers is based out of North Carolina. They are invoved in ferret educaton and rescue, and occasionally put on events.

Pennsylvania Ferret Club and Shelter

The Pennsylvania Ferret Club and Shelter has members who own and shelter ferrets, as well as provide information to new and current ferret owners. They also occasionally organize events. Those who are interested in joining this club should apply on their website.

Three Rivers Ferret Council, Inc

The Three Rivers Ferret Council is based around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They hold monthly meetings, annual picnic fun matches and other activities like sewing workshops, Halloween parties and different fun and educational events. They also have references for ferret sitters. People who want to join this club have the option of applying online.

Star City Ferret Club

The Star City Ferret Club is a group of ferret enthusiasts based in the Ronoake area in Virginia, who specialize in education and ferret/human conflict resolution. They hold monthly meetings for their members, and support the ferret shelter in Ronoake.

Boston Terrier Clubs in the US

There are many Boston Terrier clubs around the United States. Some of them have rescue resources if you are looking to adopt. Most of them are dedicated to the purity and upkeep of the breed, and are involved in meetings and specialty shows.

Boston Terrier Club of America

The Boston Terrier Club of America was formed in 1893, after the breed of Boston Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC in 1891. Ever since, this club has been dedicated to the upkeep and betterment of this breed, as well as the dogs’ overall health and temperament.

This club works with 25 affiliate breed clubs throughout the country with sanctioned matches, specialty shows and performance trials. They hold the BTCA National Specialty once a year, which lasts a few days and is held in different locations when it happens. Their website has lots of great information and resources about Boston Terriers, like health and education.

Boston Terrier Club of San Diego

This club is run by people who have years of Boston Terrier experience and has many resources to familiarize people with the breed. They are always looking for new members who love this breed so that there can be more events, gatherings and fun! They do events like the Fun Day (which will be April 24, 2010), which will have lots of members’ Boston Terriers doing tricks and contests, as well as human food and an off-leash play area.

North Texas Boston Terrier Club, Inc.

This club is dedicated to preserving the BT standard, as well as promoting their health and educating the public about caring for these dogs responsibly. They hold some fun events like speakers, fun matches, picnics and more.

Those who wish to join must fill out the membership application, sign the code of ethics and pay member fees.

Minnesota Boston Terrier Club

This Midwestern club is an affiliate of the Boston Terrier Club of America. They have many members, some of which just love their dogs, while others are more involved with things like conformation rings, obedience rings and agility trials. They hold several events throughout the year, like membership meetings, charity walks, specialty dog shows and more. Those who are interested in membership should attend a meeting and apply.

Boston Terrier Club of Connecticut

This New England club dates back to its formation in 1931. Their monthly meetings sometimes have potluck lunches; there is also an annual Stroll and Picnic event. Some of the club members work with rescuing, fostering and re-homing Boston Terriers. Those interested in joining this club can attend events or meetings to get membership sponsorship and then apply. Many of the members are long-term Boston Terrier owners who have lots of valuable information to share.

Boston Terrier Club of Western Washington

This Northwestern Club is dedicated to encouraging and assisting the betterment of the breed, urging the upkeep of the breed’s standard, encouraging these traits at dog shows and hosting several events under the rules of the AKC. They are affiliated with the Boston Terrier Club of America. They hold two Sanctioned “B” Matches per year, as well as two specialty shows in August with conformation and sometimes obedience trials. There are also two All Breed agility trials each year.

Most members are from Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and some are even from Canada. They have monthly meetings in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Those interested in joining must get member sponsorship.

Boston Terrier Club of Greater Cincinnati

People around Ohio should check out this club, which holds some specialty shows for Boston Terriers.

Boston Terrier Club of Maryland, Inc.

This club is a not for profit rescue group, dedicated to saving Boston Terriers who have been abandoned or neglected, and transferring them to loving homes. They accept BTs from those who must relinquish them. They provide temporary foster care, necessary medical treatment, and then research their potential new homes. This club operates around Maryland, Washington DC and Northern Virginia.

Boston Terrier Club of Milwaukee

This club has been in action for over 30 years, and is operated by local Boston Terrier owners. They are a local affiliate of the Boston Terrier Club of America. The club provides resources such as general information, breeder referral, stud service referral, information on breeding and rescue and placement services. It does not charge or solicit for such services. Members of this club do an annual licensed specialty show, held the first week in August each year.

Click here for information on applying for membership.

Boston Terrier Club of New York

The Boston Terrier Club of New York is an affiliate of the Boston Terrier Club of America, and has been active since 1906. Its mission is to protect, preserve and improve the breed in the present and for the future. They also have resources to educate the public in this breed. They hold specialty shows as well.

Boston Terrier Club of Western Pennsylvania

This club has been around since 1991, and is committed to the preservation and the betterment of this breed. They hold monthly meetings that are open to the public, and are involved in specialty shows and demonstrations throughout the year. They are also linked to rescue resources.

Pet Stores Around Mystic, Connecticut

If you are headed to Mystic, Connecticut or to Rhode Island, there are plenty of fun pet shops to explore. Some are cute boutiques, some have obedience classes and others offer awesome grooming services.

My Dog’s Place

My Dog’s Place offers lots of dog services, such as daycare, training and other activities. They also offer private, in-home cosultation for dog behavioral issues. For fun, this place holds puppy playgroups, adolescent social and adult social sessions. This spring, they are even holding some flyball and scenting classes.

Stonington Feed

This is a pet store that offers assorted pet foods and products. They also offer some gardening supplies.

Fin and Feather Pets

This pet store is located in Groton, Connecticut, and is great for all kinds of animals. They sell assorted breeds of puppies, as well as dog and cat food and supplies. There are also some breeds of birds and bird food for sale, as well as reptiles and reptile supplies. There are a few small animals for sale and products for them. They have a developed aquarium section, full of fresh and saltwater fish, supplies and saltwater corals.

Dockside Dogs

This store is located in Stonington, Connecticut, and calls itself “a proper pet boutique.” Their products are on the indulgent side, such as stylish dog raincoats, eco-friendly toys and fancy dog soaps. They have many interesting products as well, like Pez for Pets and waste bag accessories. There are also a few things for cats.

Must Love Dogs!

This is a pet store located in Niantic, Connecticut, which is a boutique and bakery. They sell things like treats, clothing, harnesses, socks, beds, toys, collars and leashes.


This chain store is located in Waterford, Connecticut. They sell all sorts of products for cats, dogs, reptiles, fish, birds and small animals. This particular location offers affordable vaccinations, full-service grooming, dog training and pet photography.

Pets Plus

Pets Plus is a store and grooming salon that is located in Westerly, Rhode Island. They have assorted pets for sale, including puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, rats, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, reptiles, turtles, snakes and frogs. In terms of supplies, they sell food for dogs, birds and fish, toys for puppies and kittens, dog houses and terranium supplies.

Sables Salon

Sables Salon is a grooming boutique and shop for cats and dogs that is located in Westerly, Rhode Island. They also offer boarding services.

Pet Stores Around Hartford, Connecticut

If you are headed in the direction of Hartford, Connecticut, there are many places to buy pets or stock up on pet supplies. The stores carry anything from healthy pet foods to hand-crafted human products. Others offer services like grooming, obedience and aquarium set-up.


Exotic Fin and Feather

This pet store is a very stocked place to shop. It carries one of the largest selections of tropical fish in Connecticut, from all over the world in every ocean. They have corals for sale as well. Apart from the water creatures, they also have a fine selection of hand-fed baby birds, such as parrots, finches, canaries, cockatiels and parakeets. There are even small animals and reptiles for sale. They sell different aquariums, and offer installation services. For cats and dogs, they carry flea and tick products.

Hartford Pet & Feed Store

This pet store has been open for over 25 years. They carry aquarium supplies, food by the pound, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, tropical fish, turtles, tortoises, rats, mice and more.

Reigning Cats and Dogs

This store is located in West Hartford, Connecticut, and is a very cute shop where pets are welcome. They have a selection of pet products, natural health foods, books, and custom made pet-themed crafts for humans like mugs and key chains. They have gifts for every breed and size of dog, such as collars, leashes, clothes, beds and bowls.

West Hartford Puppy Center and Aquarium

This store in West Hartford was created in 1966, and it focuses on livestock, especially puppies. They also sell some kittens, birds, corals, invertebrates, saltwater fish, freshwater fish, small animals and reptiles. They also have a wide variety of pet supplies for sale, for dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, fish and small animals.



PetSpa is a place that offers assorted services, such as grooming, bathing, styling, obedience training, cat supplies, dog supplies and other gifts. Their store specializes in natural foods, treats, supplements and remedies. They are located in Newington, Connecticut.

Simon Sez Pets

This store is located in Newington, Connecticut, and calls itself “The biggest little pet shop in Newington.” It carries assorted supplies for cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters, reptiles and exotic pets. They also have a selection of healthy pet foods that are free of corn, wheat, preservatives and artificial ingredients. There are also some gifts for animal lovers, like cards, jewelery and toys.

Pet Stores Around Danbury, Connecticut

If you’re headed to Danbury, Connecticut, there are many great pet services and stores in the area. There are several places to buy dogs, cats, birds and fish. The types of stores range from practical to frivolous. There is even a mobile grooming service!

Puppy Love

Interested in buying a dog in Connecticut?

This is a privately owned store that sells puppies, and claims to be puppy experts. They have an educated staff that can give you advice as to what type of puppy suits your lifestyle and family. They also have large open crates in a large room, so puppies are easy to see, as well as puppy playrooms. If you are just headed there because you want to see cute puppies while you’re away from your dog at home, you can also shop around for treats, toys, teething bones, beds, training supplies and grooming supplies.

Bird Haven

This Danbury store is specialized in everything bird. They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and they sell a selection of birds, cages, food, toys and more. They an also assist you in any questions you may have about owning a bird.

Pawsitively Pretty Pets

This is a mobile grooming service by an experienced groomer who has gone mobile since 2002. This groomer can offer service to cats and dogs around the greater Danbury area with high quality shampoos and conditioners. She also offers a variety of retail items like food, treats, toys and stylish accessories.


Located in Brookfield, Connecticut, this chain store has a branch that contains most of what you’d need. Vaccinated, well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to join you at Petco. They also offer supplies for cats, fish, reptiles, amphibians, small animals and birds.


Statewide Pets

Located in Orange, Connecticut, this store has been open since 1972. They sell many breeds of puppies, some kittens, fish and aquariums. They offer professional dog and cat grooming, along with a full line of dog, cat, bird and reptile supplies.

Click here for coupons!

Shaggy Little Pooch

This is a cute pet boutique located in Bethel, Connecticut. They specialize in many designer cat and dog beds and other furniture. They offer things like orthopedic dog beds, if you deem that necessary for your dog. They also offer an interesting selection of cat scratching items in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They also offer dog clothes, accessories, bowls, feeders, toys, leashes, collars, treats and foods; for cats, they also offer toys, food, bowls and placemats. They have a selection of eco-friendly products if you and your pet are going green!

Agway of Bethel

This chain store offers many different wellness products, pet products, foods and supplies. They also offer extensive hardware and gardening equipment.

Upcoming Connecticut Pet Events

It’s autumn time in Connecticut, meaning it’s full of foliage and fun. This month is also packed with dog events! Make sure to grab a costume for your dog for all of the upcoming dog parades and costume contests going on!

dog-costumeFourth Annual Dog Walk and Festival

Main Street-Paradise Green

Stratford, Connecticut

October 10 (rain date: October 11)

This is an event which begins with a one-mile walk on Main Street. It will continue at the the Green, with music, food, vendors, crafts, microchip clinic, face painting, as well as dog contests such as best costume or best tail wagger. Dogs are welcome but have to be friendly, on leash and have up-to-date vaccinations. Make sure to read the guidelines for dogs. Registration starts at 10, the walk begins at 11 and contests begin at 12.

Second Annual Barktoberfest

Connecticut Humane Society

Newington, Connecticut

October 17, 2009

This is a family and pet friendly event, from 12:00-4:00 PM. Activities include a Haunted Trail for kids ($5 donation), pet portraits ($5 donation), flea market with pet supplies, baked goods and cider sale, reiki and vendors. Also costume contests for pets and pumpkin drawing contests for children. Pet adoptions as well. All proceeds go to the CT Humane Society.

Puttin On the Dog

Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

Greenwich, Connecticut

October 18

This is the 22nd annual run of this event, which is put on by Adopt-a-Dog. It goes from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, and is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children under 5. It is attended by over 5,000 people each year, and is probably the biggest CT dog event. There will be 17 different dog contests, as well as cats and dogs for adoption, clowns, food and a children’s play area.

pitThird Annual National Pitbull Awareness Day

Edgerton Park

New Haven, Connecticut

October 24

This event is meant for the appreciation of Pitbulls, and will take place from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM. It was created by Jodi Preis, who has dedicated her life to the rescue of all bully breeds. This day is meant to show skeptics how beautiful Pitbulls are, despite their reputation.

Second Annual “Howl and Prowl” Costume Parade for Pets and People

Island Beach Commuter Parking Lot

Greenwich, Connecticut

October 31, 2009

The perfect Halloween Event! This parade will gather at 1, and then start at 1:30. It is sponsored by the local specialty pet store, Pet Pantry Warehouse and Adopt-a-Dog. All proceeds will go to Adopt-a-Dog. The parade will go down Greenwich Avenue, a main strip in the town full of extravagant luxury shopping, so all of the dogs in costumes will sure make a funny contrast! The parade terminates at the Delamar Hotel, and there will be a dog costume contest, prizes, and refreshments. Registration fee is $20/entry.