Out for a morning run on Georgica Beach with your dog? Chilling in the porch swing gazing down Further Lane with your pooch? As sand and sea tempts us away from city life to our favorite Hamptons spots, we asked some of our favorite local experts how to make the most of Summer time on the East End with your pet. We’re sharing their insights, giving you the inside track on how to get there, where to stay and how to keep your pet cool and comfortable, safe, and well no matter how high the temperature rises.
Air Lift or Road Trip – Getting There With Your Pet
First of all, getting there they say is half the fun. So by train, plane or automobile (i.e. jitney) there are variations from the affordable to the sublime. Starting at the top, the fastest pet-friendly way to travel to the Hamptons is by Blade the Helicopter (blade.flyblade.com/service) that gets you out East in 35 minutes, a sure way to beat the traffic. Easily able to accommodate pets up to 25 pounds (without an additional fee), ‘coptering is quick and easy. Larger pets over 25 pounds can be accommodated with prior planning. Helicopters have weight restrictions; meaning if you are accompanied by a 125 pound Mastiff, maybe a private jet is your best choice.
Traveling with a large puppy or tiny lap dog, arriving at Teterboro from LA? or deplaning from The Bahamas? What to do to get out East? Fly private, of course. And the best choice with the least commitments, Jet Way Private Air. Geared up for spontaneous travel and pet-friendly to the max, JetWay is ready to accommodate the “one-offs” – travelers with pets who need a swift, luxurious and prompt lift to the Hamptons. No long-term contracts, a 60% savings over comparative private jet programs, no blackout days, no upfront deposits and most importantly, no restrictions on pets; that’s JetWay’s way of doing business. It’s not often that a pilot himself helms a company, but this is the case Chet Dudzik at JetWay Private Air counts on his impressive in-flight expertise to assure an extra level of safety and precaution at every altitude, from the ground up.
Of course, there is still the Jitney; affordable and convenient but prone to the pitfalls of getting stuck in traffic. Without question traffic is the most frequent topic of conversation out East…the only people not talking about it are the ones flying private or ‘coptering out. Pets are allowed on board the Jitney in carrying cases, with a 12-ride pack for reserved seating on the Jitney’s Ambassador Service costing $440. Passengers with service dogs may travel with their dog out of a carrier but be advised, a letter from your shrink is not going to qualify your pet as a true service animal. The law has been updated to narrow the definition of service animals to dogs that are trained to perform specific tasks related to the owner’s proven disability. Emotional support animals sadly no longer qualify.
If it’s likely that you or your house guests and their “fur babies,” will have a layover in NYC consider a stay at one of the Kimpton Hotels there are three, one each in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Theatre District where they have a Director of Pet Relations on staff. Not only does Kimpton offer “fetching” pet perks such as a VIP (Very Important Pet) amenity delivered to your room, pet bowls and pet bed placed in your room for use during your stay, dog leash and poop bags for walks around the city but the concierge can easily arrange for a sitter, a groomer or a walker and even pet acupuncture. With prior planning, there’s little or nothing they won’t do to pamper your pooch. Just ask.
Luxury or Less – Renter’s Resources
Once out East with your pet, where to go to find a home that’s unparalleled in luxury or even simply comfortable? Home sales are up; they jumped in the fourth quarter in a stock market-fueled rush. Purchases surged as much as 34% according to The Corcoran Group Real Estate whose record-breaking Hamptons sales are led by Susan Breitenbach (www.susanbreitenbach.com/), the #1 Hamptons Broker according to The Wall Street Journal. Renting a posh pad for the Summer could run a million dollars or more from Memorial Day to Labor Day, certainly an option if that’s considered pocket change while you’re looking to buy from the now tight supply of houses.
Looking for exceptional luxury? Jetting in from overseas? Thinking of trading your London townhouse for an oceanside manor? Quintessentially Estates (QE) has the key. According to Penny Mosgrove, CEO of Quintessentially Estates (www.quintessentiallyestates.com/), Sagaponack (close to the East Hampton Airport so a great choice for the private jet traveler and near Bridgehampton, making it closer to the city than points further East) is the preferred zip code for their exceptionally affluent clientele who demand customization, “a bespoke experience” in all aspects of their Hamptons stay. QE is global, assisting clients near and far looking for a property to sell or acquire but whether coming from Manhattan, Malibu or even Hong Kong, the Hamptons is a prime destination.
Of course, heated pools and air conditioning are a norm but it’s not infrequent to have renters arrive with staff including dog nannies. Of course, the more high maintenance Hamptons summer visitors may even require Fido-friendly organic landscaping along with an art collection and, naturally, a golf cart to better navigate the grounds.
But, for the more typical renter, go to BringFido.com for complete listings of pet-friendly destinations – hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, restaurants, beaches, parks, shopping and pet events. Though cheaper than the million-dollar listings, a one-night room rental in East Hampton starts at $300 for two adults and one pet in high season. Pet fees may be an additional expense. Regarding Pet-Friendly Airbnb properties, note that each property will have a different pet policy; it’s very important to be clear with the owner that you are bringing a pet and ask relevant questions like if there is a fenced-in yard, how much they charge for the pet to stay, cleaning fees, if dogs are allowed on furniture, if the pet can be left unattended, etc.
The Maidstone Inn (www.themaidstone.com/) in East Hampton, considered the most pet friendly hotel on the South Fork, has Yappy Hour for pets and people nightly (except Saturday) from 5:00 pm to 6:30 p.m. Indeed, it’s as much a happening as coffee post-morning beach runs with your dog at The Golden Pear – the destination du jour in South, Bridge and East Hampton as well as Sag Harbor.
Dogs are allowed on East Hampton’s Main Beach before 9:00 am or after 6:00 pm (these are standard hours during the season for most of the Hamptons beaches). But what to do when in search of an outdoor adventure with your dog? Head over to Cedar Point County Park the 5.6 mile hike to the lighthouse provides incredible views of Gardiner’s Bay and there is a mile long stretch of rocky coastline where your dog can swim in the ocean. Of course, BringFido.com has lots of great suggestions but this was our favorite.
Lauren’s Dog House (www.facebook.com/laurensdoghouse) for grooming is the first choice for locals like career coach, author: The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide and advisory board member for Men’s Fitness, Roy Cohen who is out and about in East Hampton all year round. His cinnamon-colored mini Labradoodle, Oskar is a regular at Lauren’s. Perfect for a post-swim pick me up for your pooch pre-Yappy Hour as Lauren is in Springs, not too far away from the Maidstone so the nightmare of Hamptons Summer traffic may not be unbearable. In fact, there’s a fenced in dog park nearby, Springs Park Dog Park, so a pre-bath play session may be just what your pooch needs to get happily exhausted pre-grooming for him or her and pre-cocktails for you.
Luxury is not always over the top. It can be down to earth as well. Sit. Stay. Forever. makes (sitstayforever.com/) organic cotton beds with toxin-free Eco-fill, as dogs sleep 10 to 12 hours a day, best to assure that they are napping on a bed that puts their health first. Why such conscientiousness when it comes to natural materials for our furry friends? Says Steve Whitney who created Sit. Stay. Forever. to assure the health and well-being of pets of all shapes and sizes: “If the FDA regulates the chemical safety of human bedding and linen, we owe our pets the same.”
These natural beds and more healthy pet accessories are available at The Dog Store in Wainscott (www.facebook.com/Dog-Store-Hamptons-744187972331724/) , the go-to destination for every pet parent out East from the BringFido.com crowd to the high maintenance tenants of million dollar listings, Jennifer Lopez is among the bold face names who patronize this Hamptons pet haven. Sit. Stay. Forever. is a natural this season with coordinated carriers perfect for toting your pet to a Polo match or jumping on the Jitney, a Hamptons fave in chic prints like Mecox, for the famed bay on the Water Mill/Bridgehampton border.
For those who find that their pet has made a mess on their posh Frette sheets there is Sarah De Havenon’s French Presse (french-presse-linens.myshopify.com/) which offers a selection of luxury linens – and dog beds too – at the Amagansett Square location. If your pet has ruined your favorite duvet cover beyond repair, no worries. Sarah has a selection to choose from; she will even help you revamp your bedroom or re-style your home, with a new fur baby in the family such steps may indeed be necessary.
Your pet is welcome to join you during a private yoga session on the beach with Claudia Matles (www.claudiamatles.com/). Her “assistant” Julian (one dog who’s perfected his downward dog pose!) goes with Claudia everywhere including her inspirational yoga classes. Surely Julian shares the consensus that Claudia’s yoga teaching is a rewarding, gentle but still demanding way to renew mind and body.
When gazing out a picture window of a Hamptons home we see an expanse of grass, but we don’t think about the dangers of synthetic lawn and garden chemicals particularly to our pets. After all, pets spend more time running on, rolling around on—and occasionally nibbling on—grass than people so they run a higher risk of poisoning due to pesticide exposure. Perfect Earth (perfectearthproject.org/) , a rapidly expanding non-profit organization founded in East Hampton by Edwina Von Gal, offers education about natural, PRFCT (toxin-free) techniques for maintaining a pet-healthy perfect lawn. So be aware if your pet’s paws become red and itchy it could well be from the pesticides and herbicides used on the grass. Be sure to prevent your pet from licking their paws and ingesting the toxic chemicals.
Watch your pet carefully and monitor their paws and fur, in fact keeping a portable lint roller handy is a great way to snag fleas and ticks after a walk in the woods or even a stroll down a grassy lane. Just run it over your pet’s coat without too much pressure, paying close attention to the belly and legs; it may just pick up some of these nasty critters before they can do too much damage. Evercare (evercare.cleanerhomeliving.com/) makes a colorful, easy to put in your pocket lint roller that does the trick; pick up a few to last the summer before you leave town, they are an affordable $3.99 each. You can find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond or on Amazon.
When a pet arrives out East it’s a field day! New smells abound, rabbits, foxes, deer, squirrels and more. What’s a dog to do? Chase is the first response. Lisa Hartman, Lisa The Dog Trainer, (www.lisathedogtrainer.com/) trains city dogs who spend time in the Hamptons, working with them so they don’t forget all their good behavior, creating a structure that helps pet and owner have a worry-free season.
Royal Animals puts safety first with their line of LED harnesses, raincoats and leashes. Their bright light technology makes your pet easy to see in the dark, helpful especially if your pet is off leash in an unfamiliar or unenclosed place. You can find their essential pet gear at The Dog Store in Wainscott or at www.royalanimals.com.
The Hamptons serves as a beautiful backdrop in the summer with its gorgeous beaches and striking landscapes. With the beauty of these surroundings also comes a set of safety concerns for our pets, explains Hamptons’ Vet Dr. Cindy Bressler (www.drcindybressler.com/) who is available 24/7 for the pet emergencies that may demand a housecall. She cautions against the kind of exposure and activities a human can sustain but can be harmful to a pet. She cautions, “Don’t assume your pet can swim without lessons. Don’t allow your pet to stay in the sun too long; pets get sunburned too. Every pet owner out East should realize that the Hamptons summer life of long beach days, sand, salt water and rustic terrain can add up to a need for extra care for their pet.”
Pet rescue is of course a priority out East and there are benefits chaired by notables and quotables that draw a dedicated, caring crowd every season. The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons’ (ARF) summer events are a must attend. Save Saturday, August 18 for the BOW WOW MEOW BALL which this year will honor David Monn, known as the Architect of Style, a creative force who superbly defines modern living. arfhamptons.org/events/bow-wow-meow-ball Says Alex Papachristidis (alexpapachristidis.com/) , decorator to the Hamptons elite (and yes, he designs practical rooms for pets too!) and board member of ARF as well as a devoted pet parent to his Yorkie, Teddy, “ARF is a no kill shelter helping dogs and cats find loving homes regardless of how long it takes. ARF has implemented a mobile neuter and spay program helping those who can’t afford it as well as bringing down the numbers of stray animals. ARF is, and I cannot say this strongly enough, very important to the Hamptons. But I don’t know if people realize that ARF even plays a role in helping animals in other parts of the world; we recently rescued five dogs from the Yulin Dog Festival in China. I cannot say enough about the great work this amazing organization does. I am so proud to be involved.”
With a Final Woof – A Puurfect Ending
Life in the Hamptons may indeed be blissful but there are still precautions to take to assure that the magical moments with our pets are about wonderful memories. We are lucky to have our furry friends in our lives so let’s treasure the time together especially on vacation and be watchful as well as playful when it comes to having fun in the sun on the South Fork of Long Island.
By Lori Zelenko