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How to bring your dog to Martha's Vineyard.


Tips for bringing your dog to Martha's Vineyard

Bringing your beloved canine companion to Martha's Vineyard is a fantastic way to enjoy this idyllic island with the entire family. Martha's Vineyard, known for its stunning beaches, charming towns, and relaxed atmosphere, is a great place for dogs and their owners to explore. In this guide, we'll cover the various options for transporting your dog to Martha's Vineyard, focusing on popular methods such as the Steamship Authority Ferry and air travel.

Traveling by the Steamship Authority Ferry



The Steamship Authority Ferry is one of the most popular and dog-friendly ways to get to Martha's Vineyard. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome on the Steamship Authority Ferries but must be leashed or in a pet carrier. Pets are not allowed in the food service areas and must be supervised at all times.

  2. Boarding with Your Dog: If you’re traveling by car, your dog can stay with you in your vehicle or be walked on the leash on the deck. If you’re a foot passenger, dogs must be leashed or in a carrier while on the passenger decks.

  3. Reservations and Fees: While there’s no extra fee for bringing your dog, it’s essential to make your vehicle reservation well in advance, especially during peak summer months.

  4. Comfort and Convenience: Ensure your dog has a comfortable leash and collar, and bring water and a bowl for hydration. The ferry ride can be a new experience for your pet, so keeping them calm and comfortable is key.

Traveling by Air

Flying with your dog to Martha's Vineyard is another option. The island is serviced by Martha's Vineyard Airport, which accommodates various airlines. Here's what you should consider:

  1. Airline Pet Policies: Check with your airline for their specific pet policies. Some airlines allow small dogs in the cabin, while others may require pets to travel in the cargo hold.

  2. Health and Safety: Ensure your dog is healthy and fit to fly. A visit to the vet before your trip can provide peace of mind. Also, consider the temperament of your dog and how they might react to flying.

  3. Crate Training: If your dog isn’t used to a crate, start training well in advance of your trip. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

  4. Booking and Fees: Book your dog’s spot on the plane as early as possible, as there are often limits to the number of pets allowed on each flight. Be prepared for additional fees for transporting your pet.

Preparing Your Dog for Travel

Regardless of how you choose to travel, preparation is key. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth journey:

  • Health Checks: Ensure your dog is up to date with vaccinations and has a clean bill of health from the vet.
  • Identification: Your dog should have a collar with an ID tag, and consider microchipping for added security.
  • Packing for Your Pet: Bring your dog’s food, treats, toys, a bed, and any medications they need.
  • Familiarization: If your dog is not used to traveling, short practice trips can help acclimate them to the experience.

Once You Arrive

Martha's Vineyard is very dog-friendly, with many beaches and trails where dogs are welcome. However, always check local rules regarding leash requirements and beach access for dogs. Many of the shops are also dog friendly as well - be sure to ask before you head in but a water bowl out front is always a great clue! Make sure you grab some island-made dog treats from MV Barkery that you can grab through their website or Mocha Motts (AMAZING COFFEE!)




Bringing your dog to Martha's Vineyard requires some planning, but it’s well worth the effort. Whether you choose to travel by ferry or air, the key is to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety. Once on the island, you and your furry friend can enjoy all that Martha's Vineyard has to offer together!

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