Dog wearing sunglasses in a beach chair

A dog-earing sunglasses in a beach chair (Photo by Javier Brosch on Shutterstock)

A family beach vacation feels incomplete without all family members present, including your furry friend. Bringing your dog along makes things more enjoyable and memorable for everyone. Dogs love the sand and surf, but not every beach loves them. While many beaches welcome dogs, others don’t or have rules and regulations. Some beaches require a pet to be on a leash at all times, while others may have designated off-leash areas or specific times when your dog can frolic freely. Before planning a beach vacation, research and confirm the pet policies of the beaches you plan to visit so you can have a fun, stress-free vacation. Keep scrolling down for our list of some of the best dog-friendly beaches in the U.S.

Be sure to monitor your dogs for signs of overheating or exhaustion, and rinse saltwater and sand from your dog’s fur to prevent irritation. Also, remember to respect wildlife and natural habitats and be mindful of other beachgoers and their pets. After reviewing nine pet expert websites, we’ve sniffed out the five best dog-friendly beaches in the U.S. Did we miss one you and your dog love? Let us know in the comments below.

The List: Best Dog-Friendly Beaches In the U.S.

1. Jupiter Dog Beach, Florida

This beach on the East Coast of Florida has clear blue water and white sand for more than two miles and is very popular with dogs and pet parents, which is why it tops our list. It’s leash optional as of this writing, and there is plenty of free parking and poop bags.

A well-mannered pup will have plenty of room to roam around this beach and even meet new friends. Outside Online says everyone at this beach is “generally relaxed about free-roaming dogs.”

The Palm Beach County beach, dedicated to our furry friends, runs from Marcinski Road to the property line of Carlin Park. U.S. News & World Report says while your dog can run around leash-free, they should be “well behaved, well socialized and obedient to voice commands.” Your pet will need to be on a leash to get to and from the car.

2. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Located just 90 minutes from Portland, Oregon dogs don’t need a leash at this beach, as long as they are “under voice control.” Outside Online says the community of Cannon Beach has an annual Dog Show on the beach every October, right near the Surfsand Resort, “one of the most pet-friendly hotels on the West Coast.”

Sunsets are said to be magical at this beach and there are plenty of opportunities for family pictures. According to Top Shelf Dog, the year-round beach is “famous for its iconic Haystack Rock.”

According to Chewy.com, the best time to visit this leash-optional beach is between July and September. The four-mile-long beach has not only a beautiful backdrop but also tide pools your dog can splash in during low tide.

3. Huntington Beach, California

You will have plenty of time to play in the surf and sand at this Orange County, California dog beach along Pacific Coast Highway.  The beach, located in Surf City USA is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Huntington Beach is one of the most dog-friendly cities in America, so you’ll have plenty of hotel and dining options that will accept your pooch as well!

While most beaches in California require you to keep your dog on a leash, no leashes are needed at this beach which is 1.5 miles long! Top Shelf Dog says the beach is clean and even has doggy waste bags just in case you forget to pack some.

When your dog gets tired of the sand and sea, you’re within walking distance of the pier,. Plus, you are only a 10-minute walk to Huntington Central Park, which Outside Online says offers plenty of shaded trails and even has an off-leash area.

4. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Your dog will love exploring this dog-friendly beach along the Georgia coastline. Reader’s Digest reports most of the beach is dog-friendly, except for Glory Beach “which is a bird sanctuary.”  You must use a leash, no longer than 16 feet.

This beach is dotted with driftwood sculptures and Top Shelf Dog is convinced you and your pooch will love exploring. There is plenty of parking, beach access, and places to picnic. You can’t go wrong with 10 miles of sand to enjoy here.

5. Wildwood, New Jersey

The dog-friendly beach in this Jersey Shore town is fairly new and already gets ten paws up. Reader’s Digest says you can’t miss the doggie part of the beach. It’s marked by a 25-foot-tall fire engine red hydrant donated by a nearby amusement park.

The good news? PetsRadar says this beach is open from dawn to dusk. The bad news? All four-legged friends must be leashed at all times.

Forget to bring a poop bag? No worries here. Travel and Leisure says the beach has a “fully fenced-in sandy park area and the chance to charge into the ocean for a little swim.

Beach dog essentials:

If you’re spending the day at the beach with your dog —  don’t forget to bring some pet-friendly sunscreen. While many people lather up — a recent poll found most pet owners don’t realize their dog needs sun protection, too!  Veterinarians say while fur helps protect your dog’s skin, hotspots like ears and noses need sunscreen to prevent burns. Consider using chemical-free sunscreen made for pets.

You should also bring along other necessities for a day at the beach with your dog:

  • Fresh water and a bowl to prevent dehydration
  • Toys and flotation devices for water play
  • Waste bags for clean-up
  • A cooling mat to keep them comfortable in the hot weather

Sources used for our report:

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

 

About Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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