Watching a dog bound through the sand and ocean can be almost as much fun for humans as for canines. Now that summer has hit, a trip to a nearby dog beach may be the perfect way to spend a day out with the pup.
Here are a couple places to go in and around Orange County, as well as some things to keep in mind.
Huntington Dog Beach: When dog owners think of an Orange County dog beach, it’s Huntington Dog Beach that comes to mind. Though technically dogs must be leashed, according to the dog beach’s website, the ordinance has mostly been enforced over the last several years only for loose, dangerous dogs.
Many pet owners love the beach for its cleanliness and friendly vibe. The dog beach is run by the nonprofit Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach, which helps maintain the beach and provides doggie poop bags. Huntington Dog Beach is located on Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint Street and Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach and is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Metered parking is available. dogbeach.org
Rosie’s Dog Beach: Orange County pet owners looking for another nearby beach can head to Long Beach to Rosie’s Dog Beach, a 4-acre area that allows unleashed dogs in the “Dog Zone” at specific times. Parking is usually easy, and there is an overall pleasant and friendly atmosphere. Note that the area is not fenced, so it’s important to keep careful watch of your dog at all times.
Though some poop bags are available, the Long Beach website recommends bringing your own. The dog beach is located on Ocean Boulevard between Granada Avenue and Roycroft Avenue and is open to dogs from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Metered parking is available. longbeach.gov
Unofficial dog beach in Newport Beach: Earlier this year, this hidden strip near the northern part of Newport Beach – an unofficial dog beach – was closed for Santa Ana River dredging work by the county, according to Tara Finnigan, Newport Beach deputy city manager. The project removed sand that had built up in the flood control channel, including the sandy area where pet owners had been letting their dogs run off-leash, she says. The dredging project was to be completed in June, but it may create short- or long-term changes in that space, limiting access for beachgoers, both human and canine, Finnigan says.
Dogs are not actually allowed off-leash on that section of county property or on the adjacent city of Newport Beach beaches, she says, but Newport Beach does allow leashed dogs on its beaches before 10 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m.
Tips before you go
Leave aggressive or anxious dogs home: While the idea of letting your dog run free through saltwater and sand is an enticing one, not all dogs are fond of water or of other dogs. If you have a dog that is easily frightened or doesn’t like water, skip the dog beach. Dogs who can’t get along with others or are aggressive also should stay home. Since not all dogs can swim, never force your dog into water. Let him go at his own pace.
Bring supplies: A trip to the dog beach isn’t as simple as a walk around the block. Sand and ocean water are messy, so bring a few towels for your dog and for the car. Bring plenty of water, so your dog isn’t tempted to drink saltwater, and always have his leash readily available, whether or not it’s an off-leash dog area. Even if your dog is friendly, not all dogs are, and you might need a leash to move your dog out of the area quickly. Oh, and don’t forget the doggie bags.
Know the risks: Depending on the cleanliness of the dog beach, there is always a possibility of your dog ingesting fecal matter or some other less-than-appetizing substance. As with any location where dogs congregate, there’s a risk of your dog contracting fleas or a contagious disease like kennel cough from other dogs. And, of course, there’s the risk of your dog being attacked by another dog. Because of these risks, it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog and quickly remove him from a situation that seems unhealthy or unsafe.
Be considerate: Always clean up after your dog. Don’t allow your dog to bully or be pushy with other dogs. If your dog is feeling under the weather, don’t take him out to the dog beach – this is for his well-being and the well-being of other dogs as well.
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