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Posts Tagged ‘dog friendly beach’

Simple Seaside Safety Suggestions for Spot

Posted by Jody on April 29, 2013

Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park

My family and I recently enjoyed another lovely day trip to Quintana Beach County Park, one of our absolute favorite Texas coastal recreation areas. This 51-acre natural beachfront playground  is the ultimate dog-friendly family choice in the Lone Star State. Located in Freeport, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a wonderfully scenic and a relatively quick (1 ½ hour) drive south of Houston. Quintana Beach County Park is a much more laid back alternative to the city and beaches of Galveston, which have all of the hustle and bustle you would expect from a typical seaside tourist mecca.

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

You can feel free to bring Spot along for your day at the beach. At Quintana Beach County Park our tail-wagging companions are welcome.

“Pet Safety on the Beach” as posted at Quintana Beach County Park:

  • If the sand is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Keep fresh water available for your dog, drinking salt water will make him sick.
  • Use pet-friendly sunscreen on short hair, ears and nose.
  • Provide shade for your dog to rest.

~All very good safety tips~ Please remember that pets need to be restrained (at this beach) at all times and, of course, picking up after Spot is a must!

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

A while back we published a post on the many reasons to visit this lovely beach park: Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit. The list includes camp sites (tents, RVs, and vacation cabins), picnic tables, modern restrooms and showers, kayaking, surfing, beachcombing, fishing… and the list goes on.  Being dog-friendly simply adds one more great reason for families to plan the perfect fun-filled trip to Quintana Beach County Park!

Do you have a favorite dog-friendly beach? Please share it with us. We’d love to know!

Here are a few more helpful links:

Quintana Beach County Park

Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach

Doggie Heaven! Muir Beach, California

Have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Curious about cormorants? So is Rover!

Posted by Greg on July 11, 2012

Today’s feathered feature is the Brandt’s cormorant Jody and I met on our last trip to sunny Southern California.

The Brandt’s cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) is a sea bird common to the Pacific Coast of North America, from California to Washington. The full range, however, is from southern Alaska to Baja Mexico, wherever the food is most plentiful. This sea bird depends heavily on the California Current, which moves south along the Pacific Coast of North America, causing  upwellings of nutrients that attract the bird’s food. Its diet consists mainly of fish, along with shrimp and crabs. The Brandt’s cormorant is a great diver that descends from the water’s surface and uses its powerful webbed feet to swim masterfully. This cormorant commonly dives to depths of 40 feet, chasing prey that they grab with their hooked bill and then swallow whole.

We came across this juvenile Brandt’s cormorant on La Jolla’s beautiful coast.

Juvenile Brandt’s Cormorant enjoying the view in La Jolla, California

Brandt’s cormorants have distinctive white cheeks, making them easy to identify. According to the Channel Islands National Park, California, “Brandt’s cormorants weigh about 4.6 pounds and measure 34 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 4 feet. Sexes look similar; with short black legs, a long black body and neck, and a dark bill with a hooked tip. Breeding adults have brilliant turquoise eyes and a bright blue gular pouch-distinctive among this species of cormorant-which fades quickly after the nesting season. Their breeding plumage also includes white plumes on either side of the head, neck, and back. Like other cormorants, Brandt’s cormorants often spread their wings out to dry after a dive, as their feathers are not completely waterproof and become soaked. This helps reduce buoyancy and allows the cormorant to forage deep under water.

Juvenile Brandt’s cormorants (like the one we met) are brownish black with a lighter tan underside that forms a V-shape where the neck meets the chest.

What’s up?

The picture below shows the result of a pet owner disregarding  San Diego County beach dog laws and commonly accepted beach pet etiquette. Although the bird seemingly remained calm, cool and collected, this unexpected encounter gave Jody and me a good scare! Luckily, Rover was just curious. He didn’t get any closer to the young cormorant before his errant owner realized where he was and called him off.

Uh oh! Fido isn’t on a leash!

The inquisitive pooch was not only off-leash but was also on the beach within restricted hours. San Diego County has a very specific set of hours in which dogs are allowed on beaches, and at all times they must be kept on a leash.

Of course, our pal Rover didn’t know any better, but his human might want to consider planning a visit to one of the four special “Dog  Beaches” on the San Diego Coast. They include Dog Beach-Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island-Mission Bay, North Beach Dog Run-Coronado, and Del Mar Dog Beach-Del Mar. Each of these beaches has their own rules. Stop by the county’s Dog Beaches site for details.

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”  ~Corey Ford, American humorist

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Doggie Heaven! Muir Beach, California

Posted by Jody on January 30, 2012

Muir Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California (©Jody Diehl)

Muir Beach is just a quick and very curvy drive north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This beach is Doggie Heaven, and it’s one gorgeous setting. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Beach currently allows “voice control” dog  walking.  Granted, dogs don’t really walk here!  They run!  Back and forth, and then back again across this lovely  stretch of sand.

Muir Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

I would venture to say that the day we visited Muir Beach, there were more dogs on the beach than people.  We counted maybe eight dogs and one really brave surfer.  The water here is not suited for swimming and there are no lifeguards stationed at Muir Beach. According to Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, “Swimming is not recommended along most of the parks’ ocean coastline. Pacific currents are dangerous and the water is very cold. Even at beaches and in secluded coves, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for incoming tides and rogue waves. Drownings occur every year.” Sunbathing is a popular pastime, though. I’ve heard tell that clothing-optional sunbathers prefer the northernmost end of Muir Beach. (Sorry, no photo.)

As for Muir Beach Overlook, just up the road, reports, “Muir Beach Overlook is one of the many spots along the parks’ coast where whale lovers can watch these giant marine mammals swim by during their winter migrations. The Gulf of the Farallones sweeps between the overlook and the Farallon Islands, an ocean region full of dolphins, porpoises, seals, and whales. These sea creatures are under federal protection in the form of the 948-square-nautical-mile Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.”

If you’ll be bringing Rover to the beach, you might also want to check out Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach.

*If you enjoyed this article, please share us with your friends.  We’d appreciate it if you would “Like” us on Facebook, too!* Have a great day at the beach!

Posted in Northern California Beaches, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach

Posted by alainaflute on January 17, 2012

I wrote a post previously on the best dog beaches in the US, and today I give you (drumroll, please) Cesar’s dog beach tips!

Although a day at the beach with your BFF should be full of fun in the sun, you should be well prepared before you let your dog loose on the sand, the surf, and the other beach-goers.

Cesar Millan (aka The Dog Whisperer) shares his tips for taking your dog to the beach on his official website,

* His first tip is to know the beach laws before you go! Are dogs allowed? Do they have to be on a leash at all times?

A Perfect Day at the Beach (©Jody Diehl)

* Hopefully you’ve packed sunblock for yourself, but have you considered that dogs need protection from the sun, as well? Talk to your vet about your dog’s skin care needs.

* If you know Cesar, then you know that he couldn’t have a list without mentioning pack leadership. If you want to have a fun and safe day at the beach, you should be very confident in your pack leadership. Otherwise, you may risk losing your dog to the lures of the beach.

* Beware of sand fleas! These are a bit of a nuisance to your beach-going canine. Ask your vet for advice on how to keep these pests at bay on the bay.

* The next tip is a fun one! “Let your dog dig! This is the perfect spot to let your dog try to make that tunnel to China he’s been dreaming of.” As compared to, let’s say, your newly planted flower garden.

* The next thing you should do is check the beach conditions. Many human beach threats may also put your doggy in danger (jellyfish, rip tides, sharks, and the like). Check in with a lifeguard to see if it’s a safe day to let your dog run free.

* Don’t forget fresh drinking water for your dog! Although your four-legged friend might be tempted, don’t let her drink sea water because it can make her sick.

* Keep an eye on your doggy. Your buddy might be enjoying himself to the point that he doesn’t realize he is tired or thirsty. If your dog doesn’t seem right, call him back to rest a while in the shade.

* Fido might be King of the Castle in your home, but the beach belongs to everyone. Keep your dog in check because, “whether canine or human, other visitors to the beach may not appreciate your dog’s company.”

* Keep careful watch of what your dog tries to pick up off the beach. There are many things like dead fish and litter that he shouldn’t have in his mouth.

* This one is my personal favorite: Pick up after your dog! This keeps the waves and sand safe and clean for everyone.

* After the fun has ended, all that’s left is to clean up Rover! If you can, rinse him off with fresh water before leaving the beach, and after you get home, wash him right away.

At the beach, it’s a dog’s life!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top Ten Dog Beaches in the US

Posted by Jody on September 6, 2011

Today’s Featured Writer: Alaina Diehl

We love beaches, we love dogs! Although the family Chihuahuas are probably too small to enjoy the pleasures that an ocean beach has to offer (think shark hors d’oeuvres), we know many people out there want to spend their beach vacation with their lovable 4-legged friends.

Below we have a list of the Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches in the United States from
Maybe you will plan to hit one of these beaches on your next vacation with Rover.

Dog prints in the sand by Leah Strickland

Dog Prints in Sand by Leah Strickland

10. Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon
9. Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area, North Carolina
8. St. George Island, Florida
7. Fort Funston State Park, California
6. Hunting Island, South Carolina
5. Carmel City Beach, California
4. Cape San Blas, Florida
3. Dog Beach, California
2. Fort DeSoto Beach, Florida
1. Del Mar Beach San Diego, California

Honorable Mention:  Beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands

Read more at PetVR to find out why these beaches are the friendliest places to bring your pooch(es).

Dog on the Beach by Vera Kratochvil

Dogs aren’t allowed on all beaches, so know before you go! Many state beaches will have rules available on their websites, or you can find out at if the beach you want to visit is one of the 200 + dog friendly coastal beaches!

Beach Dreamer (©Jody Diehl)

Here are two simple tips on how to “share the beach” with non-dog owners, so we can help keep beaches pet friendly:

– Always follow leash laws!

Although some beaches have off leash areas, please respect other beach visitors by keeping your dog on a leash where required. When you are in off leash areas, make sure your dog is well-behaved and responds to voice commands. Be sure to pay attention to your dog.

– Always remember to clean up after your dog by removing pet waste. This keeps the beach a clean place for everyone.

Please remember to share us with your friends and Like us on Facebook. Thank you!

*Alaina, Thanks for the great post!  Let’s head to those Top Ten Dog Friendly Beaches soon!!

Love, Chica and Paco*

Posted in Beaches of North America, Tallies & Tips, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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