New Biz: Mutt Hut

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:00pm

There's a new business to help care for our four-footed, drooling friends on Block Island.
Mutt Hut is run by Meg Vitacco and Josh Maldonado and of course their dog Radar. The idea for the business came after the humans discovered that it was difficult for them to find high quality dog food without traveling to the mainland.
Vitacco and Maldonado came to Block Island about four years ago. They researched dog friendly beaches in New England and found that the island was the only place without time restrictions on when dogs were allowed.
"We came out one time. The next time we came here, we were moving," said Maldonado.
Mutt Hut as a business spent one year at the Farmer's Market. After that summer, Vitacco and Maldonado began looking for a business space, finally finding one on Chapel St.
Unlike other dog stores, this one is for dogs, not dog owners. "If a dog can't use it or wear it," said Vitacco, "it's not for sale here."
The shop features dog food brands made without meat byproducts, as well as some grain free options. Brands include Origin, Wellness, Taste of the Wild, and Blue Wilderness. Specialty orders can also be made for locals if an owner is looking for a specific brand. There are smaller food bags for visitors.
Mutt Hut also sells homemade dog treats including a dried sweet potato chew, which is both a safer alternative to rawhide and good for dogs' coats.
On the doggy fashion side of things, all collars and leashes are American made. Mutt Hut also sells dog bowties which button onto collars for weddings and other dog-friendly special events.
The store also includes an Arf Gallery, where photos and paintings of dogs are on display. This was inspired by the Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury, VT.
"We loved the idea of commemorating the relationship with dogs," said Maldonado. Dog owners are encouraged to bring in photos of their pets to add.