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

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

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 risning

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