If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching your dog frolic at the beach, you’ll know just how much they love this type of outing.
Understandably though, taking your pooch with you for an ocean side adventure might leave you with a bit of hesitation when compared to something like the local dog park.
The beach presents plenty of fun activities for dogs and their owners including swimming, chasing sticks, and running freely on the sand.
However, we also have to be respectful of the other visitors and dogs that might be there, so you may need to do a little planning.
Taking your dog to the beach can be done, but it requires some preparation.
You’ll need to have the right gear and make yourself familiar with local laws and rules that might be in place.
With this helpful guide, you’ll get to enjoy all of the best parts of having your four-legged friend at the beach and make it a part of your regular weekend routine.
Do Dogs Really Love the Beach?
It’s pretty clear by looking at the many dogs you see visiting the beach just how much they enjoy it.
While it’s true some dogs might be hesitant when they first arrive, mainly due to the large open body of water that awaits them, within minutes they’ll usually be pretty stoked to be paying the ocean side a visit.
What makes the beach so attractive to dogs is the huge open space, having something new to explore, and the chance to experience things like sand and saltwater that they might never have seen before.
Dogs are also just as happy relaxing by your side as you lay down and read a book and checking out all of the other people and pets that walk along the sand.
The key to a good trip to the beach with your dog is being prepared, and you can make sure that the trip is a success with a few simple things in mind. It may take a few attempts before you feel comfortable taking your canine to the beach but you’ll soon come up with a routine that works, and probably even find a favorite spot to visit.
What to Take With You to the Beach
Just as you’d pack up a beach bag if you were going for a day of fun with your friend, so too should you bring some essential supplies to take your dog along.
Consider these items to make a trip to the beach with your dog more comfortable, safer, and enjoyable for everyone.
Dog lead: Some dog-friendly beaches require your pet to be on their lead at all times so you should always have it handy. Also you can take your dog crate just in case.
Sun protection: Humans don’t just need sun protection, dogs do as well.
Breeds with short hair are more prone to sunburn so choose a crème protection and maybe even eyewear to help them out.
Ball/throwing toy: You can search for a stick while you’re there or bring your dog’s favorite toy to chase up and down the beach.
Water bowl: Most beaches have access to tap water that you can fill a bowl with, and regardless of how long you intend to visit you’ll need to supply them with a drink.
Old towels: When you get back into the car with a wet dog, it’s going to cause a stench. Give them a dry with some old towels and wash the towels as soon as you get home, or let your dog dry out in the sun first.
How to Find Dog-Friendly Beaches
Finding a suitable beach in your area that caters to dogs shouldn’t be that hard to do.
There are dedicated websites like Go Fido that show you dog-friendly parks, beaches, and hotels, or you could reach out to local dog owner groups on social media to see what’s recommended.
Usually, you can see what a beach’s guidelines are when you arrive and they should have signage up about restrictions and allowances for dogs.
It’s imperative to follow the rules so that your beach experience is safe and comfortable for everyone involved, and so that you don’t end up breaking any laws.
Dogs and Leads: When Are They Needed?
Before choosing what beach to go to, do some research on suitable ones in your local area. Some beaches may allow dogs to roam without their leads on and others will require them to wear a lead at all times.
Understand when and where they need to be on their lead and always stick to the rules.
When you’re swimming in the water, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe for your dogs. Pay attention to any warning signs and avoid high waves or choppy conditions, especially if it’s their first time in such a setting.
You don’t want to leave their leash on while they’re swimming as it presents a drowning or choking hazard so ensure it’s safe to remove it before you go in.
A Fun Day Out With Some Careful Planning
The beach is something that humans and dogs can get a lot of joy from, and for a dog especially it’s an exciting new experience.
By following the rules and choosing beaches that are friendly to canines you’ll be ensuring a successful trip that runs smoothly and making the beach a safe and fun place for all.
Dogs love wide open spaces like the ocean and with the added bonus of getting their fur wet, you can’t go wrong.
Just be sure your dog is catered to properly and you respect others at the beach, including their dogs, and you’ll be starting a lifelong tradition that you and your pet will enjoy for years to come.