6 Things to Consider Before Going to the Beach With Your Dog

It’s beach weather in most of the country – and sweatshirt weather here in San Francisco – so if you’re off to the beach with your dog, here are a few things to think about:

  • Recall & Leave It: Most beach play is done off-leash. While this is exciting for your dog, there are bound to be many distractions like other dogs, people, maybe a few picnickers, and of course, water. Before you go, make sure your dog’s recall is good and solid. The leave it command is equally important to keeping your dog safe. You’ll appreciate the ability to keep your dog from eating trash or dead sea life, and those picnickers will appreciate your dog not eating their lunch. Shameless plug – we teach these commands in our Camper Cadet Dog Training Program.
  • Water: That is the whole reason for calling this sandy area the beach. It’s important to make sure your dog will stay out of the water or is safe when in the water. Ensuring your dog can swim or fitting your dog with a life jacket is essential, especially before going to a place like Ocean Beach which is known for its strong rip currents.
  • Dehydration in dogs: Just like us, a day at the beach can leave a dog dehydrated. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water AND do your best to stop your dog from drinking salt water – which almost always ends poorly for your dog’s Gastrointestinal tract.
  • Protect your dog from heatstroke: While this tends not to be an issue at San Francisco’s fog-covered beaches, pay attention to your dog (are they panting? gums pale?), and offer shade and chances to rest to avoid your dog overheating.
  • Your dog also needs sunscreen: Apply a pet-safe sunscreen to areas where your dog has less fur and especially to pale noses and ear tips.
  • Hot sand: If it’s too hot to put your hand on the sand then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on the sand.

Have a great and safe time with your dog this summer (and maybe even all year round) at a beach near you! 

Thanks for reading.


Pet Camp has been providing fun and safe pet care for San Francisco’s dogs and cats since 1997.  If you are a San Francisco Bay Area pet parent in need of overnight care for your dog or cat, doggie day care, bathing, dog training, or pet transportation, give us a call and chat with one our pet care professionals.