Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Do you want to take your dog to the beach this summer? Many areas have dog-friendly beaches these days. And, with the kids on break from school, it’s a great time for a family beach day! But, some preparation is in order when you bring your pooch to the beach. You may be wondering where to go, what to bring, and even what exactly is a dog-friendly beach? Here are some handy tips for taking your dog to the beach.

Plan Ahead

Check around your area to find a beach that allows dogs, and then find out what their rules are. Some beaches will allow dogs to be off leash, while others will require them to be leashed the entire time. You will almost certainly be required to clean up after your dog. In some cases, you may even be required to present a rabies tag or vaccination records. Once you find a beach, call their management office to familiarize yourself with their rules.

Off-leash beaches are a little harder to find, so you may have to do some traveling. Plan accordingly and be prepared to take potty breaks along the way. If you have to go more than an hour from home, be sure you know how to reach an emergency vet in the area, just in case.

What to Bring

You’re probably going to want more than just your swimsuit and a towel when you take your dog to the beach. Here are some ideas on what to bring. Feel free to change it up according to your needs.

  • Bottled water and a water dish
  • A sunshade or beach umbrella
  • A folding playpen for small dogs
  • Lots of extra towels
  • Doggie safe sunscreen
  • A doggie life vest
  • Poop bags
  • Treats and/or food
  • Floating toys
  • Doggie booties to protect your pup’s feet from hot sand
  • Doggie goggles that protect eyes from salt and sun
  • A canine first aid kit
  • A collar attachable waterproof GPS tracker

Safety Tips

Follow these tips to keep your dog safe at the beach.

  1. Before you let your pooch do any exploring, check the area carefully for glass, sharp seashells, and any other litter that might be a danger to your dog.


  1. Watch for signs of thirst and offer a freshwater drink before he resorts to drinking salt water.


  1. Don’t allow him to overheat. Have him lie down in the shade and get a drink of water before that happens.


  1. Protect his feet and eyes from the sun and hot sand.


  1. Apply sunscreen to his ears, nose, and other sensitive areas. Be especially careful of sunburn with light-colored dogs.


  1. Even dogs who are excellent swimmers can get tired or run into trouble in deeper water. Have him wear a life vest with a handle on the back if he’ll be doing any swimming.


  1. Your dog should have on a collar with a tag that lists your cell phone number, just in case the two of you become separated. A GPS tracker is a great idea for dogs that might take off after other dogs or wildlife on the beach.


  1. Before you head home, rinse away the salt water from your dog’s skin at the shower station.


With a little preparation, your day at the beach will be a great time for everyone. Once you’ve done it a few times, things can be more spontaneous. Before you know it, beach days with your dog will be a summer tradition!