How to take a beach vacation with your pet
If you’ve never visited a pet-friendly beach with your pet, we’d highly recommend adding it to your list of things to try. Not only is it enjoyable for you, but it can offer a new experience for your pet where they get to take in new smells and enjoy soothing sounds. You’ll also get the chance to play games, relax, and further strengthen your bond.
Understanding beach rules and policies
While visiting any pet-friendly beach, it’s helpful to be aware of the beach’s rules and regulations. Specific rules may differ from one location to the next, but here are some common policies that most pet-friendly beaches share.
Clean up after yourself (and your pet)
Regardless of their location, all pet-friendly beaches have strict laws against littering. If caught, you may be fined. However, you shouldn’t avoid littering just because you could be fined – keeping the beach free of trash makes for a clean and safe environment for everyone.
Swim in areas designated for swimming
Time and again, people get carried away while swimming and go past the designated swimming area. Though it may seem like no big deal at the moment, you could endanger both you and your pet by going beyond the set limits. When in doubt, keep your eyes on the shore – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In crowded areas, keep your pet leashed
Each pet-friendly beach has its own leash policies. Some require that all pets be leashed throughout their visit, while others only require leashes in higher-populated areas. Leash rules tend to be highly enforced, so it’s best to keep leashes on hand or learn the rules prior to your visit.
Be respectful of other beach-goers
Before heading to the beach, make sure you pack the right supplies – like leashes and bags to pick up after your pet – to minimize disturbing other visitors.
Before you and your pet head to the beach, do a quick run-through of what you might need for your coastal adventure. Check to make sure you brought the right toys, life jackets, first aid kit and collar with your pet’s identification details.
Keep an eye on your pet
Though mostly enjoyable, the beach can be a volatile place for your pet. Strong waves and animals that may cause distress to your pet may pop out of nowhere, so monitor them closely to avoid a harmful situation.
Find fresh water and shade
When exposed to a lot of sunlight, pets tend to get dehydrated rather quickly and as a result, become inactive. If you’d like to engage in as many activities as possible with your dog while at the beach, make sure to pack plenty of water and an umbrella for shade so that your pet can hydrate and cool down. Besides keeping your pet cool, the shade will also ensure that your pet isn’t exposed to too much sunlight.
Beach activities to do with your pet
Not a sit-on-the-beach kind of person? If you’re looking for more things to do outside of traditional beach activities like swimming, walking and playing fetch, there are other activities you can try together.
Visit a pet-friendly restaurant
If you’re tired of packing lunch, there are often pet-friendly restaurants close to the beach. Shake things up with a visit to one of the nearby restaurants to sample some of the dishes – they may even have a special section for your pup!
Just like humans, dogs can surf if well-trained. With a little research and a few how-to videos, sharing a surfboard with your pup is very much possible. if you do decide to catch some waves with your dog, it’s crucial that you both wear life vests. Even if you’ve done this before, it doesn’t hurt to protect yourself and your pet.
Go for a boat ride
If you need a break from the sand, finding a pet-friendly boat charter could be a nice way to enjoy the beach. Pet-friendly beaches with strong waves tend to have boat tours and offer the chance to experience something new with your pet. If you’re looking for something smaller scale, you can also try canoeing or kayaking with your pet – just be aware that paddling without a partner might be more of a challenge.