Sweet Meadow Farm is not just a kid-friendly equestrian center. Sure, their experienced instructors lead private and group horseback-riding lessons year-round, but the farm also houses an interactive barnyard zoo. Their menagerie of domestic and exotic animals ranges from miniature horses and potbelly pigs to peacocks and kangaroos. Sweet Meadow Farm hosts birthday parties, too, during which kids can meet new critter friends inside the air-conditioned barn and make up secret handshakes that do not require opposable thumbs.
For more than three decades, Hawkswood Farm has designed its leafy 45-acre parcel of land to be not just a place to ride horses, but also a calming escape from the bustle of daily life. There, riding enthusiasts of all skill levels can pair up with a friendly horse from the herd of more than 30, and enjoy their lessons in a private, semi-private, or group setting far away from hassles such as traffic on interstate highways or interstate horse trails. Lessons can cover both English and Western styles and take place on the farm's indoor ring, outdoor lighted rings, or, for more seasoned riders, the cross-country jump course.
Dogs romp around 7,500 square feet of cushioned rubber flooring, nuzzling with new friends and learning off-leash etiquette like every toddler eventually must. This is the scene at Performance Plus K9 Activity Center during its Perfect Pups pet obedience course, a seven-week program that teaches pooches aged 8–18 weeks how to respond to easy commands and respect owners' homes. It's just one of the obedience courses that the dog-loving staff at Performance Plus offer—they also provide classes in competition obedience and agility. Plus, they recently added new services including grooming and boarding, so pups can stay all day.
All posh dogs love shopping along Newbury Street – or at least their owners do. But when the pooches get dirty, it’s time to book an appointment at Pawsh Dog Boutique & Salon. Located in the Back Bay, just steps from Newbury Street’s glitz, the trained professionals on staff carefully trim each dog’s nails, clean their ears and even brush their teeth following the full-service grooming. This by-appointment-only salon also sells carry-on bags for small pups, haute collars, stylish jackets, comfortable dog beds, conditioning shampoo and a selection of natural foods, which is helpful for owners with finicky or allergic pets. After all that, your dog will still love the doggie treats on the counter most of all.
The staff at Abba’s Place Dog Grooming sees pets just as their owners do: as members of the family. As such, they perform a slew of services to keep up with pawed companions, including feeding, walks, litter-box cleaning, and boarding. They accompany their pet care with home-sitting services, such as watering plants, carrying trash out, and bringing in mail.
Coated in eco-friendly and hygienic astro turf and dotted with jungle gyms and mini pools, Camp Canine’s yard stays open to dogs no matter the season or weather. That’s because Camp Canine’s believe that dogs thrive on fresh air regardless of temperature, and strive to make their playground hospitable even in the winter. Dogs that aren’t interested in tromping through the snow can cavort indoors, in Camp Canine’s climate-controlled play spaces supervised by dog caretakers who are trained in all size and demeanor of dog. These experts separate dogs based on size to ensure teacup poodle gangs leave the big breeds in peace, and encourage as much exercise as possible. During overnight boarding sessions, dogs spend their nights in cozy kennels, drifting off as classical music plays and owners gaze lovingly at their sleeping hound from the password-protected Snout Cam.