Some beaches will allow dogs, but there are rules of safety and etiquette involved if you’re going to take your dog with you to the beach this summer.
Make Sure It’s a Dog-Friendly Beach
Not all beaches will allow dogs. If you’re going to the beach in New Jersey, here is information on which beaches will allow dogs and which won’t. If you’re in Florida, here’s a list of places that allow dogs. Most states will also have the information online.
Make Sure the Beach Isn’t Too Crowded
Wait for a cloudy day or a weekday to take your dog to the beach. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday with perfect weather, there’s a good chance that the beach will be completely packed.
You’ll want room for your dog to run around, and they won’t be able to do that if every square inch of sand is covered in other people’s beach towels. Plus, if your dog isn’t used to being around strangers, the next few hours on the beach could be difficult for both of you.
Make Sure It Isn’t Too Hot
This is another reason to wait for a cloudy day before you bring your dog to the beach. Some breeds may be fine in the summer heat, but others may be better off at home. Brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds, including bulldogs, boxers, or pugs, could be at an especially high risk of heatstroke.
If your dog shows signs of heatstroke, it’s important that you get them out of the sun. You can also pour cool water — but not cold — over them. However, if it’s over 80 degrees, it might be best to leave them home.
Make Sure Your Dog Can Swim
Unless your dog is on a leash, this extends to getting a spot on the beach that isn’t too close to the water. This goes double if your dog is young and still being trained, or if you know that they’re particularly impulsive.
If your dog can swim and they’re allowed to do so at that specific beach, let them in the water. Just make sure they don’t leave your sight.
As Always, Be Responsible
Having dogs on the beach is a privilege, not a right. If you’re going to bring your dog with you to the beach, it’s your responsibility to clean up after them, protect them, and make sure they don’t bark at strangers or try to steal food from someone’s cooler.
Most likely, lots of people — and their dogs — are going to be at the beach that day. Don’t ruin it for anyone.
A beach trip can be a fun experience for your dog, especially if they’ve been cooped up for a while. Be careful and plan ahead of time to make sure that they can have a safe and fun beach day.