San Diego is known for its gorgeous beaches year-round; it is such an amazing environment and our canine companions love it and deserve to have fun and enjoy the beauty and fun, living life to their fullest extent! There are many nearby dog friendly beaches that are great ways to expose your dog to other dogs, people, attractions, water sports and new environments. However, before you decide to take your pup to their first beach trip, there are many things to consider. Even if your dog is well-behaved off leash, you want to ensure that everyone is having fun, being safe, and need to still make sure they are being respectful and minding their manners to make sure your beach day is ideal!

Most dog-friendly beaches have rules and it’s important to understand and follow the rules no matter if your dog is leashed, off-leash, or in the water. First here are some things you will need to pack for your pup: a reusable water bowl, extra water, first aid kit, life vest, dog bags, toys that only float, and a collar and leash. You’ll also want to be aware of your surroundings and especially the weather. If the sand is too hot near the street, you’ll need to carry your pup and watch for signs of possible heatstroke.

You’ll need to expect a lot of action on the beach: running dogs, running kids, toys, birds, etc. Knowing how your dog behaves in public around people and animals and especially off leash as well as their commands is a priority. You want to have a great grasp on your dog’s level of sociability in busy outings. If your dog is not good in busy environments, you should not expose them and put them in a situation that will make them overly anxious and uncomfortable. As well as understanding their level of energy and temperament, you need to keep an eye on your pup at all times before anything leads to an accident or disaster. You want to make sure that your dog is comfortable and confident enough in busy, open-play environments. Some things to practice with your dog before any outings and especially off- leash is recall and coming back to you quickly, and also the “leave it” command.

When it comes to going into the water, take it slow and cautiously and gauge your dog’s comfort level so they are not pushed, uncomfortable or scared. Also pay attention to how much sea water your dog may be drinking or taking in. Make sure to give them fresh water and monitor any diarrhea later on. If your dog loves swimming, they can overexert themselves and there is a possibility that they can sprain their tail muscle, causing their tail to be limp or at hang at angle which may take 1 to 2 days to recover. Before heading to the car or relaxing for the day, make sure to rinse off your pup really well!

Lastly, taking care of your environment is extremely crucial to ensure everyone’s safety and always leave a clean and healthy beach. Be aware of the surroundings you and your dog are in; don’t disturb any wildlife and marine life areas. In addition, clean up all waste, as well as other’s waste so other dogs or other marine life aren’t ingesting anything and putting their lives in danger.

Taking your pup out in public and to the beach is such a pleasure and privilege. We can enjoy the beautiful scenery, new friends, and good vibes together as companions. We need to make sure that our pups are minding their manners and that we as pet parents are doing our best to make sure they are healthy, safe and having the best day ever!