Better yet, the store offers an opportunity for a little canine socialization. On Friday nights, it's "pooch pizza," where dogs can stop in for a complimentary slice. Sunday mornings it's "pooch pancakes."

"Dogs drag their owners up the ramp," says clerk Deborah Moore, laughing. "It's a lot of fun."

In Rehoboth, if you have a dog and don't stop at Critter Beach, you had better not tell him. It would be like stopping by Orlando, Fla., with your kids and not hitting Disney World. Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but Critter Beach is a huge, well-stocked store with practically every dog toy known to man. Just the selection of water toys is worth a trip, but equally worth a visit is a chance to say hello to Izzy, Critter Beach's unofficial mascot who likes to hang out near the cash register. At just three pounds, Izzy's got about the same heft as a pocketful of coins.

Around Lewes and Rehoboth, there are a number of casual eateries with patios or outdoor space where people can eat with their dogs in tow. You can hit a crab shack like the Lazy Susan in Lewes, grab a sandwich at Arena's, which has a Lewes and a Rehoboth location, enjoy something from the grill at Rehoboth's Cafe Sole.

It's a little harder to bring along the pooch if you want to go upscale. If a more ambitious cuisine is your thing, you'll want to seek out FishOn!, the rare restaurant with a wine list and a foodie-pleasing menu where people and dogs can dine together.

The hostess will escort you and your furry date to a table on the patio. While the server quenches your thirst with a glass of ice water, le chien will be served a bowl of water, too, as well as some crunchy doggie biscuits to whet the appetite.

While you consider the menu -- maybe the grilled salmon with shaved apple and fennel slaw, maybe the pan seared scallops with sweet corn, soybean and cherry tomato succotash -- the dog gets his own menu to look over. Will it be the barkers dozen of mini chicken treats? Or, maybe a cup of the Yoghund ice cream?

Manager Frederick Mazzeo opened his upscale eatery to dogs in March. The owner of Puck, 130 pounds of what Mazzeo calls "half-Lab, half-shepherd and half-wolf," he knows how important dogs are to people.

In fact, most of the people who work at FishOn! have dogs, including the chef, who has a golden retriever named Babbo, after Mario Batali's famed New York City restaurant.

As word has spread about the service, people with dogs -- both locals and tourists -- have crowded the patio, Mazzeo says.

"They don't want to leave their dogs at home," Mazzeo says. "They want to take their dog to dinner."

If you go

Lodging Lazy L Bed & Breakfast, 1601 Willow Creek, Lewes. 302-644-7220. A B&B where your dogs are more-than-welcome. Rooms $175 to $215 in season, plus a cottage on the dog run that starts at $190 a night.

Dining FishOn!, Village of Five Points, Lewes. 302-645-9790. An upscale eatery that also has a menu for dogs. Entrees $10 to $23.

Lazy Susan's Seafood Deli, 1420 Highway One, Lewes. 302-645-5115. A no-frills crab house. Call for prices.

Arena's Deli & Bar, 4113 Highway One, Rehoboth Beach, 302-226-CAFE. A comfortable spot for lunch or dinner with a large selection of sandwiches and salads. Almost everything is under $10.

Dog attractions Critter Beach, 156 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach. 302-226-2690.

Yuppy Puppy, 123 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach. 302-537-0171.

Dog beaches Broadkill Beach, Lewes: Dogs allowed all the time, everywhere.

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes: Dogs allowed in non-swimming beaches.

Delaware Seashore Park, south of Dewey Beach: Dogs allowed in non-swimming beaches.

Dewey Beach: Dogs allowed if they are leashed and have a city license before 9:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m.

Lewes Beach: Dogs allowed before 8 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. between May 1 and Sept. 30.

Rehoboth Beach: Dogs not allowed on beach or boardwalk between April 1 and Oct. 31.