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A Guide for Going to Dog Beach, Your Dog's New Happy Place

Updated: May 21

Happy woman walking her pup at dog beach

At Fetch the Sun, we love doggy adventures, and going to the beach with our pups is one of our favorites! Taking your dog to the beach can be a great way to spend quality time together and provide them with fun, healthy activities. Playing in the surf is an excellent source of exercise for dogs and provides important mental stimulation, allowing them to explore and experience new sights and smells. A trip to the beach can also give your pup valuable socialization opportunities if you choose a safe, open area where they can interact with other animals.

DISCLAIMER: Getting in, or near the water with your dog is an inherently risky activity that has the potential to result in serious injury or death. We take no responsibility for any safety risks or issues arising from participating in activities discussed in this article and recommend consulting a qualified veterinarian before starting any activity with your pet. You should always practice water sports safety measures, closely monitor your pet during all activities, and never leave your pet unsupervised in or near water. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only, and we recommend seeking professional advice from a qualified veterinarian before engaging in any activity with your pet. We are not liable for any injury or death that results from following the advice described in this article. This content is not medical advice and should not replace consultation with a physician or veterinarian.


Benefits of Going to Dog Beach

Man walking his dog at the tide line on the beach

Going to dog beach gives your pup a chance to run around, play with other dogs, and just have some good old-fashioned fun. It's also a great opportunity for socialization so your pup can learn how to interact with other dogs. Additionally, it can help burn off excess energy which may reduce behavioral problems inside the home.

Woman getting kissed by a dog at the beach

Provides an Open Play Space

Man giving treats to a dog at the beach

Breathe in Fresh Air

Aerial view of a man walking his dog on the beach

Soak Up Vitamin D

Sand is a Natural Exfoliant for Your Dog's Paws

Swimming in the Ocean can be a Low Impact Exercise

Provides an Excellent Outlet for High Energy Pups

Woman holding a surfboard and petting her dog

Perfect Bonding Opportunity

Man kneeling down on the beach next to his white dog

Lots of New Scents to Sniff

Man running with his dog in the water

Keep Your Dog's Mind Active

Not only will your dog have a great time, but numerous health benefits come with it as well! Spending time at the beach gives your pup plenty of fresh air and vitamin D from all that sunshine. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a happy pup running around, chasing the waves and making incredible memories?


Preparing to Go to Your Local Dog Beach

Big fluffy dog sitting in the sand at the beach

Before you and your pup head to dog beach, there are a few things you'll need to do to prepare. Make sure you have all the right gear. Do some research to find the dog friendly beaches in your area (we'll cover this a bit more in depth below). Once there, obey any rules or regulations, stay a good distance away from other people to avoid potential conflicts, be aware of any potential hazards like sharp objects buried in the sand, check with lifeguards for any current conditions such as riptides or strong currents, abide by local leash laws and protect both you and your pup from extreme temperatures.

Essential Gear for Going to Dog Beach

Every dog (and human) has different needs, so this list is not meant to be exhaustive or filled with must-haves. Rather, we've put it together to give you a starting idea of what you might need bring:

Identification for your dog

Leash and Harness

Plenty of food, snacks, treats, and water

Collapsible dog bowls for food and water

Blankets and or towels

Sun protection

Poop bags

Water for rinsing

Dog safe insect repellant

Lifejackets (if getting in the water)


Dog brush

Finding a Dog-Friendly Beach

Man walking his dog on the beach

There are dog-friendly beaches all over the world and there are plenty of online resources to help you find ones near you. Websites such as BringFido, DogTrekker, and Petswelcome allow you to search for pet-friendly beaches and filter by location, amenities, and restrictions. There are also many local government websites that'll have information on their parks and beaches where dogs are allowed.

If you're traveling to, or live in Southern California, check out our Dog-Friendly SOCAL Blog where we review all sorts of dog-friendly locations in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. We currently have a couple of blogs (links below) written specifically on San Diego dog-friendly beaches. If you're planning a vacation, make sure to research the beaches at your destination beforehand and plan accordingly. And don't forget to check in with local laws and regulations regarding dogs on the beach. Some popular tourist beaches may not allow dogs, so it's always good to have a backup plan just in case.

When searching for a dog-friendly beach, you'll want to consider the specific needs and preferences of your dog. Some beaches may be more suitable for smaller dogs, while others may have rougher waves that might not be ideal for any dog. It's also important to take into account any potential hazards on the beach, such as sharp rocks or strong currents.

Golden Doodle sitting in the sand at a dog beach

If your dog is not a strong swimmer, it might be wise to find a beach with calmer waters where they can still enjoy playing in the water without any danger. You'll also want to look for beaches that have plenty of shady spots and access to fresh drinking water to keep your pup hydrated. And if you plan on staying for an extended period, make sure there are pet-friendly restrooms nearby for any necessary breaks.

Another important factor to consider is the season and time of day. Some beaches may have certain restrictions or limitations based on the time of year, so make sure to research before heading out. And, during peak hours, dog-friendly beaches can get quite crowded, so finding a less busy beach or visiting during off-peak times might be more enjoyable.

Petition for a Local Dog Friendly Beach

Keep in mind that a beach doesn't necessarily have to be adjacent to an ocean. I've been to dog beaches on lakes and ponds and they're just as fun! If you live in an area with these beaches and if they are not dog-friendly, I encourage you to begin a petition imploring your town/city council to establish dog-friendly beaches. There are many reasons to advocate for more dog-friendly beaches. The benefits include allowing dogs and their humans to exercise, socialize with other dogs/owners, and strengthen the bond you have with your pet. If you are going to start a petition, please feel free to plagiarize this guide for your petition and use the benefits I've listed as talking points.

Safety Tips and Considerations When Going to Dog Beach

Warning sign at Del Mar dog beach cautioning of strong currents and to control your pets

It's important to keep safety in mind when you're out with your pup at the beach. Make sure you obey any rules or regulations that may be in place, and always keep an eye on your pet.

Abide by local regulations such as leash laws, time of day restrictions, etc...

Be aware of any potential hazards like sharp objects buried in the sand

Be mindful of other people and their pets at the beach - keep your pet away from other animals if they don’t get along or take too much interest in them

Check with the lifeguards for current conditions such as riptides, strong currents, undertows, or other potential risks to prevent any accidents or injuries

Protect your dog and yourself from extreme temperatures and bring plenty of water

Be aware of the local wildlife and sea life, as some can be dangerous

Always keep an eye on your dog; watch for signs of fatigue or overheating and make sure that they don’t wander off into deeper waters than they can swim in

If your dog is wearing a life jacket, make sure it fits properly and that they are comfortable wearing it before entering the water

Training Tips for Going to Dog Beach

Man at the beach giving his dog a treat
  • Recall: Training your dog to come when called is essential – especially in an open environment like the beach

  • Leave-It: To prevent any unwanted confrontations with other dogs, practice the “Leave-It” command

  • Recognize cues: Be aware of any signs of stress or anxiety so you can take appropriate measures

  • Praise good behavior: Reinforce positive behaviors every time your dog does something right with treats and verbal praise

  • Socialization: While they'll be able to really work on this at the beach, it's important to properly socialize your pup with other dogs and people before taking them to a busy and potentially overwhelming environment like the beach

Consistency is key when it comes to training your dog for the beach. Practice commands and behaviors at home before heading to the beach, and continue reinforcing them while at the beach. This will help your pup understand what is expected of them in this new environment.

Things to Do at Dog Beach

Happy dog playing in the surf at Del Mar dog beach in San Diego California
One of the BEST ways to make the most of your time together at dog beach is to explore all the different activities you and your pup can try out!

Go for a walk

Play fetch by the water

Dig for treasures

Go swimming

Go Surfing

Go paddle boarding or kayaking

Enjoy the sunset


Head to Dog Beach Today!

A couple and their dogs walking on the beach

No matter how often you visit the beach, taking your dog along for the adventure is always a great idea. Hopefully, this guide's given you some tips for planning a fun day at the beach! With the right prep, you’re sure to have an incredible time creating lasting memories with your best friend.

Learn More

San Diego Dog Beach Reviews

Del Mar Dog Beach

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Matching Shirts for Your Beach Adventure

Couple with their pups on the beach wearing matching dog and owner beach shirts

Be the best dressed duo at dog beach with our matching No Ruff Waves beach shirts. Made from organic cotton, available in popular men's/women's sizes, and seven dog shirt sizes to fit most breeds. The dog shirt can pull over like a regular top, or be taken apart and snapped up along the sides - perfect for adding a layer to help minimize sand in the fur.

Frequently Asked Questions About Going to Dog Beach

Q: What beach can I take my dog to?

A: There are many beaches that allow dogs, but it's important to check the specific rules and regulations for each one before heading there with your pup. Some beaches may have restrictions on certain areas or times, so it's always best to do some research beforehand.

Q: What activities can I do with my dog at the beach?

A: There are plenty of activities you and your pup can enjoy at the beach, such as playing fetch, swimming in the ocean, going for a walk, and even trying out water sports like surfing or paddle boarding. Just be sure to keep your pup's safety in mind and follow any rules set by the beach.

Q: How can I train my dog for going to the beach?

A: It's important to teach your dog basic commands like recall and leave-it, as well as properly socializing them with other dogs and people.

Q: Can I bring my dog to the beach if they're not good with other dogs?

A: It's best to avoid bringing your dog to a busy dog beach if they are not comfortable or well-behaved around other dogs. This can lead to stressful situations for both your pup and other dogs at the beach. Instead, consider finding a quieter or less crowded beach where your dog can still enjoy the sand and water without feeling overwhelmed.  

Q: Can I bring my puppy to the beach?

A: Puppies can be taken to the beach, but it's important to consider their age and level of training. Make sure your puppy is properly vaccinated before bringing them to a public place like the beach, and be prepared to closely supervise them and keep them on a leash at all times. It's also important to note that puppies may tire easily in the sun and heat, so be mindful of their energy levels and take breaks as needed.  Overall, it's best to wait until your puppy is a bit older and has had some basic training before bringing them to a busy dog beach. 

Q: Can I still go to the beach with my dog if they are not allowed off-leash?

A: Yes, there are many beaches that require dogs to be on a leash at all times for safety reasons. You can still have a great time at the beach with your pup on leash by playing fetch, going for walks, and enjoying the scenery together. Just be sure to follow any rules set by the beach to ensure a positive experience for everyone.  Overall, it's important to always prioritize your dog's safety and respect others at the beach.


Read Our Adventure Guide for More

We hope you enjoyed this chapter on visiting a dog beach. Be sure to browse our Adventure Guide for more ideas on outdoor adventures you can have with your dogs.


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