Are you wondering whether to take your dog on vacation with you? Well if you’re planning a trip to sunny San Diego, wonder no more. There are so many fantastic pet-friendly hotels in San Diego as well as many dog-friendly restaurants, bars and San Deigo just waiting to welcome both canines and their human companions.
One of the best things about the area is the miles and miles of sandy beach where your pooch can explore and play. All you need to do is remember to pack all the essentials that they’re going to need and then decide which of San Diego’s fantastic beaches to visit.
Where to take your dog
To help you choose here are seven of best dog-friendly beaches in San Diego…
Fiesta Island, Mission Bay
Dogs are allowed off-leash on most of this beach which is more of a dog park. You and your dog can play among the sand dunes and do some wildlife spotting. If your dog is a regular wildlife chaser though you may have to keep them on the leash! The waters here are very calm so it’s perfect for nervous swimmers. Parking is free all through the island.
The Original Dog Beach, Ocean Beach
You have to visit this one right? This was one of the first dog-friendly beaches in the state and your dog can have plenty of off-leash fun providing you clean up after them. Up to date vaccinations are essential and you need to get a collar from the County Department of Animal Services before you go. This signifies that you and your pooch are fully compliant with all the regulations.
West Beach, Del Mar
Dogs are very welcome in the city of Del Mar and the most popular dog beach is in the North Beach area. Your dog can really let themselves go here but from June 15th to Labor Day on September 3rd you have to keep them on the leash. The rest of the time they can be off-leash but only under absolute voice control.
Coronado Dog Beach, Coronado
The Coronado dog beach is not only great fun for dogs but the whole area is packed full of exciting attractions for humans including boutique shopping. Remember that you must clean up after your dog (you can use the free doggy poop bags provided at the park) and keep them on-leash right up until you feel sand between your toes or risk a $500 fine!
La Jolla Shores Beach, La Jolla
La Hoya beach is open for doggy fun until 6pm or 4pm in the winter months and is one of the best beaches for canines in the whole of San Diego. Let them loose and throw that Frisbee!
San Elijo State Beach, Cardiff By The Sea
You have to keep your dog on-leash all the time here, so this maybe isn’t the ideal choice for dogs that need to run free. This place is great for leisurely walks though followed by a picnic in the nearby park to end the day.
This is a favorite party beach for young adults and college students who frequent the bars and restaurants just a stone’s throw from the beach. You won’t be allowed to take your dog onto the sand but you can walk them on-leash along the boardwalk. Although the beach itself is off-limits to your dog you’ll be happy to know that many of the restaurants are dog-friendly.
What is it that dogs love about the beach?
Could it be the open spaces where they can run around to their heart’s content or the clean fresh air? Well yes, all this and the opportunity for some off-leash chillin’ is great for your dog as well as you. Dogs love beaches for many of the same reasons we do. The feel of the sand beneath their paws and the sea breeze through their fur is something different for them and most dogs love to experience different scenes with their owners. And most dogs – but not every dog – love to get the chance to swim in the sea. But if your pooch is not a seasoned beach-goer here’s a few things you need to remember:
- Can they actually swim, and do they like it? This may sound weird but some dogs just can’t swim and this includes those breeds like pugs that have short muzzles or squashed faces. This is because they can’t breathe properly so they may struggle to keep their noses clear of the water.
- English Bulldogs, with their over-sized heads, can lose balance in the water because their head pushes them forwards.
- Short-legged, long-bodied breeds like dachshunds similarly have difficulty balancing.
Aside from this, if your dog is super-keen to dive straight into the water then let them, but just keep watch on them so they don’t get into trouble. If your pooch isn’t a natural water baby, you can have just as much fun playing games and laying in the sun.
What do you need to take with you?
Before you set off for the beach, make a list of everything you need for you and for your dog. One of the most important items should be the dog’s drinking bowl and plenty of fresh water because they’ll most likely work up a thirst especially on a hot day and the last thing you want is for them to drink seawater. Your dog’s pack should also include:
- A few tasty food treats and their regular feeding bowl
- A microfiber towel to dry them off
- A blanket for them to lay on and avoid sand getting in their fur
- A canine first aid kit which includes antiseptic, bandages, tweezers, scissors, gloves (for you) and cool pack (in case they overheat)
- A fully-charged cell phone and the number of the nearest emergency veterinarian
- Lots of poop bags
- Their leash and collar
San Diego welcomes families and their four-legged members too but remember that your dog should wear a collar with ID details. It’s also a good idea to make sure their vaccinations are up to date to protect your dog and other people’s dogs.
Wherever you choose to take your dog in San Diego, just follow the rules and you’re sure to have a fantastic day out!