It’s always nice to bring your dog with you when traveling to Florida. There’s so much joy in playing fetch with your dog in the sand or watching your pup splash happily in the water. Not to mention, a day at the beach will tire your dog out from all the exercise, swimming, and running on the sand. Bringing your dog with you to Florida also saves you money on expensive dog boarding, doggie daycare or pet sitters. There are many dog-friendly beaches in Florida all throughout the state but where are the dog friendly beaches in Florida? From Pensacola to Key West, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, you’re never more than 200 miles from a dog friendly Florida beach. Taking your dog to the beach is a cheap and even free thing to do on your Florida vacation. Some beaches allow your pets to be off leash, and others provide a fenced area for the dogs to play and roam free with other dogs. Many dog friendly beaches in Florida offer a dog bath area, and hoses to clean up your pup after a day having fun in the sun. Other amenities many dog friendly beaches offer are water fountains to keep your dog hydrated. Some dog friendly beaches require proof of rabies and vaccination records.
Tips for Taking Your Dog To The Beach
- Always bring a leash and collar for your dog. All beaches require dogs to be leashed when walking to/from the designated areas and many beaches require dogs to be leashed at all times.
- Keep a copy of vaccine / rabies shot records on you as many beaches will require it.
- Always clean up after your pet and fill in any holes in the sand your dog may have dug.
- Offer your dog plenty of water and provide your fur-baby many opportunities to cool off, rest in the shade, and hydrate as dogs can be prone to heat stroke.
- Familiarize yourself with the signs of heatstroke in dogs and monitor your four legged friend closely.
- Lather your pup with dog-approved sunscreen or cover it with UPF protective clothing as dogs can also get sunburnt.
- Be aware of the signs of heatstroke in your dog – if your dog exhibits signs of frantic panting, extreme drooling, fast, irregular heartbeat, lethargic behavior or stumbling, vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of urination, they could be experiencing heatstroke. Get your dog to a cooler area quickly and bring your pup’s temperature down as quickly as possible using cool water, fans, shade, or bring them indoors. Call your local vet if you believe your dog is experiencing signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
- Bring a towel and rinse or wash off your dog as soon as possible after playing on the beach as the salt, sand, and ocean water may irritate or damage your dog’s fur.
- Keep your dog on a 6ft leash at all times unless in a designated off-leash area.
- Monitor and maintain control of your dog at all times. Please remember to be respectful of other dogs and humans on the beach who may not want to interact with your pup.
- Check weather, water, and beach conditions before bringing your dog to the beach.
- Be aware of strong tides, currents, and undertow as well as sea life that may be harmful to your dog like sea lice and jellyfish.
- Always consult with your vet before bringing your dog to the beach.
Top Dog Friendly Beaches in Florida
Panama City Dog Beach at Pier Park – leashed pets are welcome at Panama City Beach’s sugar soft white sandy beach. Pups and humans will love the clear turquoise water to the west side of the Russell-Fields City Pier in front of Pier Park.
Pensacola Beach Dog Parks – Two on-leash, dog friendly sections of gorgeous north-west coast of Florida beach is located at the west end and east end of Pensacola Beach at parking lots 21E and 28B respectively.
St. Augustine / Flagler County Beaches – offer some of the longest stretches of beaches for your pet to enjoy. Pet friendly areas on Flagler beaches are located north of N. 10th St. or South of S. 10th St. but all dogs must be on a leash at all times.
Honeymoon Island State Park Dog Beach (Dunedin) – this state park north of Tampa offers an on-leash pet beach at the south end of Honeymoon Island. The shallow, calm water provides wading opportunities for you and your pup.
St. Petersburg (Tampa) Fort De Soto State Park Dog Beach – this is one of the most popular dog friendly beaches in Florida. Fort De Soto State Park has a dog-park play area near the beach for dogs as well as a section of the beach itself for dogs to run off-leash. Fort De Soto State Park is Disney’s closest off-leash dog beach on the west coast of Florida.
Cocoa Beach on Florida’s Space Coast– (Closest dog friendly beach to Orlando/ Walt Disney World) – dogs are allowed from 4th Street South to the north side of Murshke Park on Cocoa Beach and are allowed select hours of the day. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
Lighthouse Point Park Ponce Inlet (Daytona Beach) – dogs are permitted on the inlet shore beach area and must be leashed at all times. The Lighthouse Point Park includes restrooms, elevated wooden boardwalks and nature trails.
Bonita Springs (Fort Myers) Dog Beach Park – off-leash dog beach with secluded shoreline and shallow water where pups can run and play in the surf with free parking and doggie showers.
Sanibel Island Gulfside City Park Beach (Algiers Beach) – on leash dog friendly beach on beautiful Sanibel Island, known for its pristine beaches and unique shelling.
Fort Lauderdale Canine Beach – Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, all dogs must be kept on a leash, on this south-east beach on the Atlantic Ocean. This 100-yard section of Fort Lauderdale‘s Canine Beach is north of Sunrise Boulevard on A1A.
Miami Beach’s Bark Park Beach – open select hours on Friday, Saturday & Sunday and offers beach off leash sandy fun for your pup with an admission ticket at Miami Beach’s Bark Park Beach.
Miami’s Haulover Bark Park Beach – open 7 days a week with dog park enclosures and beach access for pups between lifeguard towers #2 and #3. Dogs must be on a leash at all times except within the designated area at Miami‘s Haulover Bark Park Beach.
Jupiter Beach in the Palm Beaches – dogs are welcome off-leash on 2.5 miles of Jupiter beach from North of the Juno Beach lifeguard area to South of the Carlin Park lifeguard area in the Palm Beaches. This is one of the top rated beaches in Florida for its beautiful scenery, wide stretch of beach, and ease of access, and respectful owners according to BringFido.
Please verify with the city’s website directly for current details, rules, regulations, and information as things may change. For other dog friendly beaches in Florida with visitor reviews and up to date information, check out BringFido. For information about other fantastic humans-only beaches, check out our see & do page.