Oh I do like to be beside the seaside


Enjoying time at the beach is a popular choice for many of us when we’re looking for a fun day out.

And, of course, taking your beloved dog along with you is only going to enrich your experience and enhance the memories you’re making.

Let’s look at what you need to think about to make sure you all have a great time at one of the UK’s many dog-friendly beaches.


Where can you go?


The vast majority of beaches welcome responsible dog owners outside of the summer months – 1st October to 30th April. There are also quite a lot of UK beaches that allow dogs all year round.

The site thebeachguide.co.uk is a really useful place to find lots of useful information about all the dog-friendly beaches across the length and breadth of the UK’s beautiful coastline.

They also highlight which beaches have no restrictions at all which are, to all of us dog lovers, the best dog-friendly beaches of all!


Where can you not go?


This won’t happen if you already know that you are visiting a dog-friendly beach but, if you’re not sure, it’s worth checking if the beach you are visiting has a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). If you are found on a beach where these restrictions are enforced, you could face an on-the-spot £100  fixed penalty notice.

You would, however, be exempt from this fine if you are registered blind or have certain disabilities.

Latest news - keep an eye on new rules being enforced by local councils during the coming Summer months, not just the Winter months. Here's a useful article from the BBC about new restrictions on dogs allowed on beaches, dated 4th May 2023.


Beach tips for dogs


Check if your dog is happy by the sea


It’s a common misconception that all dogs like to frolic in the water and scamper in the sand, but some dogs actually don’t like the feel of sand and water at all. If you give it a try, you’ll soon find out which camp your dog is in.

And, if you’re not sure how strong a swimmer they are, they should wear a life vest.


Be mindful of dogs on the loose


As most dog-friendly beaches don’t insist that dogs are kept on a lead, there is always a risk that another dog could become an issue, which isn’t going to be relaxing for you or your dog. Hopefully this won’t happen, but it’s worth staying vigilant. If you find this is a problem, you should be able to find a secluded dog-friendly beach, or one where dogs have to stay on a lead.


Use a long leash


Think of your dog’s lead as a safety line. We recommend a long (10-foot) leash and harness to keep your dog safe during beach walks. They can swim with this equipment on and you will be able to pull them back to shore if they swim too far out, or if the sea becomes too choppy.

The lead will also help you to keep your dog safe if they get over-zealous chasing animals and birds.


Have fun


There are all kinds of fun activities you can enjoy with your furry friend on the beach – throw a frisbee (finding a safe, large space first!), bury an object in the sand for them to dig up, set up an agility course, play with other dogs… there are even surfing lessons designed especially for dogs!

Wave diving with your dog can be exhilarating for you both. Stay close to the shore if you can, and make sure your dog is wearing a life vest, however confident in the water they are.

A good old-fashioned walk along the beach can be a fun adventure for you to experience together, with your dog sniffing everything in its path. Who knows what you might find as you explore.


Keep your dog cool, fed and watered


Beaches are exposed surroundings so you’ll need to bring your own umbrella to provide shade that will give your dog a chance to escape the sun and cool down. Bringing a cooling pad that you can keep in an ice-packed cooler box is a good idea too.

Keep your dog’s water bowl in the shade and offer them water regularly – think ahead and bring as much as you can carry!

Have some tasty snacks available too. You don’t want your dog getting peckish and trying to eat seaweed, a crab or anything else they might find.

Limit your dog’s exposure to the sun and watch out for signs that your dog has overheated. If your dog is panting excessively, cool them down with cold water, leave the beach and get them to a vet as soon as possible.


Beware of hot sand


If any surface is too hot for you to stand on barefoot, it’s also going to be too hot for your dog. You could carry your dog over hot sand to the wet, cooler sand to prevent paw burns, or you could use rubber-bottomed boots to protect their paws.

Regularly check your dog’s paw pads for burns, or for irritation caused by salt water, rocks or sea creatures.


Don’t forget sunscreen


If your dog has a short coat, or has been freshly shaven, they will need a chemical-free sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. When you are applying it, pay special attention to your dog’s nose, the tips of their ears and their paws. And, if your dog swims, make sure the sunscreen is waterproof.


Wash the sand and salt off when you’re done


Sand getting embedded in your dog’s coat can irritate their skin and make them scratch, which can cause rashes. So, when you’re back at home or at your hotel, wash your dog with their usual dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Also, salt water can damage your dog’s coat so it is a good idea to wash and rinse your dog twice, plus an extra rinse for luck.


This article is brought to you by Cherish Studios, passionate dog lovers sharing helpful tips and advice with our fellow dog lovers. For medical advice, please speak to a trained vet.


Contact Cherish Studios


Experience that incredible feeling you get every time you look at your gorgeous dog, by capturing them in the most beautiful photograph that you can display on your wall and enjoy each and every day.

Our studio is in Crouch End, north London, which is where the magic happens.

Take a look at our work on this website, or find us on Instagram at @cherishstudioslondon.

You can also call us on 0207 155 9725 or email our founder, Paul Toeman. We would love the opportunity to talk through your ideas and answer any questions you may have.


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