What pet supplies should I bring if I want to take my dog to a pet-friendly beach?

It’s not as much a question of what to bring, but how to act. According to DogFriendly.com, the top reason for banning dogs from beaches is the disregard for leash laws. Violation of the leash law is a hot topic and park officials can be very sensitive about this issue.

Many popular beaches have banned dogs because:

• A person or a dog was bothered by someone else’s dog.
• Park officials were concerned about conflicts arising.
• Too many people are choosing to ignore the leash law, scaring other beachgoers.

If you prefer to let your dog run leash-free, there are some beaches where dogs are not required to be on leash. However, park officials are usually adamant that your dog must listen to your verbal commands and that you always pay attention to your dog so your dog will not bother other people or dogs.

There are also beaches that are specifically for dogs to run leash-free. They are known as “dog beaches” and thanks to many local dog advocates, there are more and more of these beaches opening. At a dog beach, your dog has the freedom to run off-leash, but he or she must still be well-behaved around other dogs and people, and must listen to your verbal commands. Remember you will still need to clean up after your pet.
The second most popular reason for banning dogs from beaches is because of dog waste left on the beach. Some guidelines:
• Do not let your dog shake water on someone else or invade other people’s areas
• Remove dog poop. Always bring a bag or pooper scooper and be sure to clean up after your dog. Keep in mind that most beaches can impose a fine on people who do not clean up after their pets.
• Only let dogs run leash-free when allowed.
• Try to take your dog to the beach during the morning or evening when it is not too crowded or too hot.

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