Puppy Palaces and Kitty Kingdoms
On a bright, sunny day on Rehoboth Avenue, it’s practically impossible to walk a block without seeing a dog being petted by a swarm of awestruck kids (and, let’s face it, adults) with the proud and very patient owner standing by. Rehoboth is incredibly pet-friendly, where well-behaved dogs are regulars at local outdoor eateries, and pets are treated like customers at local pet hangouts.
Pet shop owners tell tales of visitors such as potbelly pigs, parrots, and even a chicken showing up to sample a treat or escape the heat for a few minutes. Witness the annual Sea Witch Halloween Festival (this year October 26-28), where thousands of people gather to see, among other fun events, a costumed pet promenade. Rehoboth might be the most pet-friendly town on the planet.
And, the pet shop owners and staff members are soooo nice. Whether lending an ear to concerned pet owners, treating puppies like princes and princesses, or taking time to welcome an inquisitive reporter, they are funny, friendly, knowledgeable, and animal-loving folks.
Alert!!! Cutest Facebook pic ever! Owner Tracy Rossetto and his lovely store offer gourmet treats and gifts for pets and the people that love them. Critter Beach has been pampering pets for 24 years and was the first shop of its kind in Rehoboth Beach. Tracy laughingly says, “We accept all dogs and cats; we only turn away humans!”
Critter Beach sees pets as loyal, stress-relievers, and tremendous companions. For Tracy, the animals are why he owns the store. Seeing animals, especially those that return often over the years, “never gets old.” Whether it’s the pet-themed pillows, the fun Christmas toys, or the clever puppy/kitty T-shirts, Critter Beach is a great stop on your way to the boardwalk. Find the store at 156 Rehoboth Avenue.
Pet Wants, Rehoboth Beach
Local owner Chad Miller has a goal in mind: help pets live their best lives with nutritious, human-grade food. He actually lowered his shelves so the pets could do their own shopping.
Chad points out that many of his customers are sophisticated pet owners who have researched their pets’ health problems and are looking for access to a fresh, high-quality pet food option. His shop provides samples to customers so that they can find the right solutions for their furry-footed friends.
The shop offers a variety of food blends for dogs and cats as well as healing salve, calming balm, anti-itch spray, paw wax, and more. In addition to its in-store service, Pet Wants also offers free delivery to Rehoboth and various other towns in the area. 146 Rehoboth Avenue.
P.U.P.S. of Lewes
P.U.P.S. calls itself a “Pawsitively Unique Pet Shop,” and that it is. This boutique in Lewes is a must-see for local pet owners. Owner Linda Madrid and her staff are known for their excellent customer service and the shop’s all-around positive atmosphere.
P.U.P.S. has gifts and treats for dogs and cats and gifts for their humans too. There are clothes for pets and owners alike. There is an excellent selection of collars, leashes, and toys, and the inventory is always refreshed with new and unique items.
When a dog walks into P.U.P.S., he or she is met with an enticing treat. These delicious morsels are all natural and hail from America, and pups of all ages love them. This is a must visit for all canine visitors to downtown Lewes. 117 Second Street.
Salty Paws Ice Cream Bar and Bakery
An ice cream shop for dogs. How cool is that!
Salty Paws is actually two shops in one. On one side, owner Suzanne Tretowicz and crew sell healthy alternatives to the usual treats offered for pets. This half of the shop, All Dried Out, provides pets with grain-free, dehydrated treats and other contributions to a raw and healthy diet.
But it’s the ice cream parlor side that is jaw dropping. The idea of healthy ice cream formulated for dogs is not a new one, but a parlor catering to doggie customers is. And in this place, the dog is just that…the customer.
Open for a few months now, the bar offers pet versions of our favorite treats. Bring the pets and watch them have fun. They deserve it! 149 Rehoboth Avenue, Suite 6A.
The Ruff Life
The Ruff Life is a “New Dog-Art Beach Boutique,” opened this spring by accomplished artist and dog lover Sara England. The shop features her fun, whimsical designs on dozens of unique products like license plates, sandstone coasters, cheese platters, cutting boards, and personalized T-shirts. Sara’s sense of humor shines through her creations as she mingles her happy style with the essence of the dog breeds to create lively art.
Sara opened The Ruff Life to focus on customizing art for pet lovers and working with local animal welfare organizations to further their missions of hope and a future for neglected dogs and cats. She creates one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Stop in for a visit; the shop is open year-round. 46 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth.
Yarn and Bone
Yarn and Bone is a niche store off of Rehoboth Avenue specializing in nutrition. Their pet foods are all natural, minimally processed, and biologically appropriate. They offer health consultations and free samples to customers.
Owners Matthew Moorefield and Michael Morris opened their Rehoboth shop in 2017. They feature food and treats made only in North America, and most of their toys are made in America. They also sell leashes and other items on consignment from Delaware providers.
The Rehoboth shop has a fun feature…canine doorbells. Open the door and be announced not by bells but by two tiny doggie greeters, whose wagging tails and high-pitched yips bring the owner to the front. It is a charming feature of this small neighborhood shop. 3 North First Street, Rehoboth. ▼
156 Rehoboth Ave
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 9 AM–10 PM Fri-Sat: 9 AM–11 PM
149 Rehoboth Avenue, Suite 6A
Hours: Mon-Sun: 9:00 am–10:00 pm
The Ruff Life
46 Baltimore Avenue
Hours:Mon-Sun: 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Yarn and Bone
3 N. 1st Street
Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 am–8:00 pm
P.U.P.S. of Lewes
117 2nd Street
Hours: Wed-Sat: 10 AM–8 PM Sun-Tues: 10 AM–5 PM