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By Dr. Jess Trimble
Summer officially starts in a couple of weeks, and we’re already planning our beach vacations. When planning a beach trip with your dog, it’s important to check the rules at the beach you’re going to. Some beaches allow dogs to run around freely, while others require all dogs to stay on a leash. Just as it’s important for humans to pack the sunscreen, there are a few essentials you should pack in your pup’s beach bag, including:
Water and water bowl
Food and food bowl (if you’re going to be out all day)
Extra leashes and collars
Doggy clean-up bags
Beach toys, such as a ball or floating toys for the water
First aid kit
Now that you’re prepared, check out our picks for the best dog-friendly beaches in the Bay Area:
You’ll find Baker Beach right here in San Francisco. This beach offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Picnic spaces come equipped with grills, which is especially enticing for a summer barbeque outing. There is also plenty of beach for humans and dogs alike.
Located in the East Bay, Buchanan Dog Beach is a calming spot to bring your dog. It’s smaller than other beaches, but dogs are permitted off-leash to play and swim with the other local canines. The trail leads to Albany Bulb, a former landfill that is now a spectacular dog-friendly area with cool metal art sculptures worth checking out.
Even with the strong Bay Area sun, Crissy Field is a fantastic beach to visit any time of the day. Arrive earlier in the day to enjoy beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, or later in the evening to catch the sunset. It’s a great dog-friendly beach in the Bay Area that is close to the city and spacious enough for your dog to get in some exercise.
About a half an hour south of San Francisco is Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. It’s a great beach for beginner surfers to try riding some waves and is very dog-friendly. Just make sure to bring doggy clean-up bags to pick up after your dog—surfers can be territorial.
Only about an hour north of San Francisco is Muir Beach, where you’ll also find the coastal trail nearby for an amazing hike. Be sure to bring your own water and bowl, because the fountains are not easily accessible. There is plenty of space for running around, playing fetch, and going for a swim.
Point Isabel Dog Park in the East Bay has open grassy fields for dogs to run and play, access to the water for splashing, and a beautiful view of the ocean. The best time of year to visit is late fall to early spring as the rest of the year is foxtail season. If your play time on the beach gets a little messy, head down to see the dog groomers at Mudpuppys for a dog wash.