Tips for planning a beach day with your pup.
Here in Southern California, we're lucky to have an abundance of picturesque, sandy beaches. It's only natural that you would want to experience the beauty of the shore with your best four-legged friend. Here's how to make your beach excursion enjoyable and safe for both your dog and you.
Find dog-friendly beaches near you.
Unfortunately, not all beaches are dog friendly. On the bright side, San Diego has four widely-beloved dog beaches.
- Dog Beach at Ocean Beach - This stretch of sand can be found at the west end of the San Diego River Floodway. Many consider it the best spot to let your pup frolic in the waves.
- Del Mar Dog Beach - Del Mar's North Beach is the only place in Del Mar where dogs can be unleashed on the beach, making it a popular choice for pups and their people.
- Fiesta Island - A (almost) whole island for your dog and you? Sounds like a dream. Fiesta Island offers not only beautiful views, but also ample space for dogs to socialize and play.
- Coronado Dog Beach - Dogs have the time of their life at the scenic Coronado Dog Beach, which is adjacent to the U.S. Naval Station and the iconic Hotel del Coronado
Pack a pup-approved beach bag.
Check off these items before leaving the house:
- Tent or umbrella - Beach days mean long hours in the sun. and dogs are just as susceptible to exhaustion and (in serious cases) heat stroke as humans are. A tent or umbrella can provide a relaxing patch of shade for rest.
- Dog sunscreen - Some dogs, especially those with lighter coloring, are prone to sunburn. Dog sunscreen can offer an additional layer of protection when applied to exposed skin, like their nose, ears, paws, and belly.
- Fresh water - Don't forget plenty of fresh water to keep you and your dog hydrated. A collapsible dog water bowl is an excellent addition to any beach bag.
- Doggie bags - Just like at the dog park, you're required to pick up after your pup at the beach so it stays nice and clean for everyone!
Make sure your pup is comfortable in the water.
Some dogs are natural-born swimmers (we see you, labs). Others much prefer life on solid ground. Therefore it's important to make sure your pet is a comfortable swimmer before letting them loose in the waves. A doggie life jacket can be a good investment to bring you peace of mind.
With that said, avoid particularly rough water or rip tides, even if your pup is a confident swimmer!
Check the sand.
On a sunny day, the sand might be hotter than you realize. Test it out with your bare foot first. You can protect your pup's paws with stylish dog booties (like these mini wellies or why not a pair of crocs?) You'll also want to keep an eye out for sharp objects, trash, or any other sort of unpleasantries your dog might dig up.
At the end of the day, rinse off!
When you're ready to head home, just make sure to wash your dog's coat well. Not only will this important step keep your dog smelling fresh and your car/home clean, but it will also prevent sand, saltwater or other germs they pick up outside from irritating their skin.
A beach day is always a treat and it's even better when you bring your dog along. It's the perfect opportunity for them to get outside, interact with other pups, and build confidence. With a little preparation, the beach will quickly become your dog's favorite place to be. Best case scenario: they're totally tuckered out for the ride home.
Looking for more veterinary-approved tips and advice for life with dogs? We've got you covered.