There’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing your furry companion frolic in the sand and splash in the surf. Taking your pup on a beach vacation can create unforgettable memories for both of you.

However, it’s important to be prepared and knowledgeable to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 


Before embarking with your pup, it’s crucial to pack a few essentials. Here’s a checklist of items to pack in your puppy’s suitcase:

  1. Leash and Collar. A sturdy leash and properly fitted collar or harness will help keep your fur baby under control and abiding by local regulations. Pack an extra set for when the other gets wet. 
  2. Water and Food Bowls. Collapsible bowls are easy to carry and store. A doggie water bottle is great for keeping sand out of their water source. 
  3. Dog-Friendly Sunscreen. Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned. Look for a pet-safe sunscreen to protect sensitive areas like the nose, ears and belly. 
  4. Towels and Blankets. Bring extra to dry off your pup and provide them comfort on the sand. 
  5. Toys and Games. Pack your pup’s favorite toys. Balls and a Frisbee are great for playing fetch. Puzzle toys can keep them entertained. 
  6. Waste Bags. Responsible pet ownership includes picking up after your pup. Carry enough waste bags to clean up any messes they make. 
  7. Cooling Bandana. Playing on the beach can be hot. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can happen in an instant. A cooling bandana is a great way to keep them cool.
  8. Paw Cleaner. paw cleaner is great for removing sand and debris from in between their foot pads. 


First and foremost, do your research to ensure the beach you will be vacationing at is pet-friendly. In addition, some pet-friendly beaches will only allow pets certain hours of the day. 

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • It’s best to avoid peak hours. Visit the beach during non-peak hours. Typically, a visit early morning and/or late evening, minimizes crowds and ensures a peaceful environment for your pup.
  • Check the weather. You want to be sure the weather conditions are suitable for your pup. Extreme heat can be dangerous. Plan your days at the beach when the temperatures are moderate. Remember, if the sand is too hot for you, it’s TOO HOT for your pup. 
  • Consider your dog’s temperament. The beach will provide your pooch with a variety of new sights, sounds and smells. Gauge his comfort level and adjust the duration of your visit accordingly.


With proper preparation, your beach vacation with your furry friend can be an exciting experience. Here are some ways to make it fun:

  • Training and socialization. Before heading out, ensure your pup is trained to obey basic commands and is well-socialized to interact with other dogs and beachgoers. 
  • Introduce water gradually. Believe it or not, not all dogs are natural swimmers. So, take the time to introduce your pup to the water, gradually. Start with shallow areas and let them get comfortable before venturing into deeper waters. Local to Charlotte? Aqua Pups is the only indoor dog pool and is a great way to introduce your pup to the water and help them learn and love to swim!
  • Provide shade and breaks. Set up a beach umbrella or pop-up tent to allow your pup to rest and cool down. 
  • Engage in beach-friendly activities. Long walks, play fetch in the water and on the beach, and maybe even try paddle boarding.
  • Supervise closely. Always keep your eye on your pup. Waves can be unpredictable, and strong currents can pose a risk. Watch for signs of distress or overheating. In addition, be sure your pup has proper ID on their collar and/or is microchipped. 
  • Rinse and dry. After your fun-filled beach adventures, make sure to rinse off your pup to remove saltwater, sand and debris from their fur and paws. This will help to prevent irritation.


While the beach offers endless opportunities for fun, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards, such as ingesting excessive amounts of sand. When dogs ingest large quantities of sand, it can lead to:

  • Gastrointestinal blockage
  • Dehydration
  • Sand impaction

Pay attention to warning signs like, discomfort, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and/or lethargy. 

ENJOY AND HAVE FUN!A beach vacation with your pup can be a fantastic experience filled with joy, laughter and precious memories. By packing the right essentials, choosing the best times to visit, being aware of potential dangers and being prepared, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip. 

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