Where can I find dog-friendly beaches?

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Petside.Com and Dogfriendly.com are good online sources if you want to find them out on a national level. If, however, you want to check your local beaches, you should check with your city or county. It seems only natural that you’d take your dog to the beach but, because of disregard for leash and dog waste laws, many have stopped allowing dogs.

Alternatively, you can always call the beach or park you had in mind to ask if they will allow you to bring dogs.

Your local ASPCA or Humane Society might also be able to advise you.

Pros:

• Exercise: Your dog can zoom around, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.
• Socialization: Many dogs enjoy spending time with their own species. Your dog gets to read other dogs’ body language. She can use her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression.
• Fun: People can exercise their dogs, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs.

Cons:
• Health risks: There are health risks any time your dog interacts with other dogs, just as there are for us when we interact with other people. Talk to your veterinarian about the risks.
• Dog problems: Some dogs are naturally shy or easily overwhelmed, and it may not be fun for her but, rather, cause stress. If your dog has unpleasant experiences with other dogs, she could start growling, barking, snarling, snapping and lunging to drive other dogs away, and even biting if they approach.
• People problems: Pet parents don’t always agree about what’s normal dog behavior, what’s acceptable during play, what kind of behavior is truly aggressive, which dog behaviors are obnoxious, whether or not one dog is bullying another or who’s at fault in an altercation. .

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