Best Pet-Friendly Beaches
Can dogs get sunburned? Are doggie sunglasses a yuppie perversion or genuinely helpful? Are all pooches natural swimmers? These are the kinds of questions that keep beach-loving dog owners up at night. (In case you were wondering, the answers are: definitely, genuinely helpful, and not necessarily.) Check with your vet or a website such as DogFriendly.com for more info on keeping your pet safe on the shore and in the water.
Luckily, the question of where to find pet-friendly beaches is much easier. They're becoming increasingly common as coastal communities realize it's a win-win -- as long as the human half of the equation does their homework. That means training your dog to obey your voice commands, making sure her license and vaccinations are up to date (bring proof), observing leash laws and, it should go without saying but we'll say it anyway, scooping the poop. If you and your 4-legged buddy are traveling to a beach away from home, remember to attach your vacation address and contact info to her collar.
Here are 6 of the country's best beaches for pets. Since rules can change without warning, be sure to check with the beach before you and your dog visit. And don't forget the sunscreen -- for both of you.
Huntington Dog Beach is canine heaven, where dogs can run leash-free over a 1-mile expanse of sand and surf. Dog Beach is maintained by a nonprofit organization, so consider volunteering for an hour or 2, donating some cash or, at the very least, buying a T-shirt.
free, you need a $5 tag to get in the dog-friendly areas. The beach is open to all, but volunteers from MonDog -- the Montrose Dog Owners Group -- maintain it, so consider donating a few bucks.