Bowie loves the beach!! Excitement level: Through the roof. Energy release: High – Bowie slept all the way home and he’s much more chilled for the rest of the day. Difficulty level: Didn’t even blink an eye – Bowie is natural in the water – he’s a Labrador. Fun level: 5 out of 5 (definitely!)
Handy tips when taking your dog to the beach
- Make sure it’s a dog-friendly beach and always check tide times before you go.
- Know your dog’s strengths and limitations! Bowie is the type who jumps paws first and thinks later, which sometimes gets him into hairy situations. And if you have one of those over-excited dogs like mine who occasionally has bursts of energy, be prepared to quickly grab him and settle him down before continuing the activity. Make sure you don’t over-exert your dog!
- Keep an eye on your pooch. Beach is full of things that might be harmful to your dog like shells, fish hooks, algae, dead fish, jellyfish, broken glass, cigarettes and litter. Teach your dog the ‘Leave it’ command.
- Beach fun can sometimes overwhelm dogs especially when there are other dogs or kids around. Make sure your dog knows the basic ‘Recall’ command and have your leash ready in case the play gets out of hand and you need to remove your dog quickly.
- Watch for signs of overheating and make sure your dog has shady area to rest in.
- Carry fresh water with you. But there’s plenty of water!! I’m sorry to tell you, salt water is not good for your pooch.
- Bring lots of towels. You want to dry your pooch as much as possible before getting back into your car to avoid that ‘funky wet dog’ smell. You might want to cover where he sits with towels and rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming.
- Bring poo bags!!
- If your dog loves play fetch like mine, bring his favourite toy with you. It’s a fun way to bond with your dog and prevent him from wandering off.
- Lastly don’t forget to have fun and use common sense.
Here are some dog-friendly beaches in Melbourne (and surroundings) to check out:
- Sandown Street Beach, Brighton – safely fenced beach where your dogs can run off lead all year round – has shallow water, flat sand and plenty of space to throw a ball around.
- P A Burns Reserve, Altona – expansive beach especially at low tide and off leash 24/7 throughout the whole year.
- Mentone Dog Beach – 450-metre sandy stretch for your dog to run around off leash.
- West Beach, St Kilda – super close to the city where your dog can run off lead, while you’re sipping latte or chai latte from nearby cafes.
- Warrandyte River Reserve, Warrandyte – okay, technically it’s not a beach, but it’s sandy and it’s a lovely walk along the river.
- Whites Beach, Torquay – your go-to dog beach in the summer holiday – long beach with beautiful sand and waves for the more adventurous dogs to jump around in.
- Narrows Beach, Queenscliff – off leash dog beach
- Beaches along the Peninsula – always check the off leash regulations.
Check out this website for travelling with your dog inspiration