8 Best Dog-friendly Beaches in Florida

dog-friendly beaches florida

Stopping by some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Florida isn’t only a good way to take a break with your fur baby. It’s also an excellent (and fun) form of exercise.

So if you’re feeling up for a trip with your canine, here’s a list of some of the best dog-friendly Florida beaches you should check out. 

Off-leash dog-friendly beaches in Florida

1) Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach has two off-leash areas: Bonita Beach Dog Park and Woof-A-Hatchee Dog Park (at Wa-Ke Hatchee Park).

Your dogs will love running around this beautiful beach. However, you have to make sure that you keep a close watch on your dog. 

You can help keep this dog-friendly beach in Florida in good condition by cleaning up after your pet. 

Bring poop bags and dispose of used poop bags in designated waste bins around the park. 

There are also dog shower stations on-site where you can wash your dog before you head home.

Meanwhile, the Woof-A-Hatchee Dog Park also has water and shower stations for your pet. There are also separate off-leash areas for big and small dogs.

2) Bayview Dog Park and Beach

Bayview Park in Pensacola is popular for its ball courts and access to the water.

Those who have been there say they love that they can launch canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards from the park’s sloping shore.

Apart from this beautiful feature, local dog lovers also flock to Bayview Park’s 1-acre dog park. 

It has separate off-leash areas for big and small dogs. Your fur baby can also go down the shore and go for a swim.

3) Atlantic Beach Dog Park

You’ll find Atlantic Beach Dog Park along Aquatic Drive. You must apply for membership before using the beach with your dog.

You also need to make sure you bring all documents necessary to prove your pet has been vaccinated. 

Atlantic Beach Dog Park has separate fenced areas for big and small dogs. Drinking water, poop bag dispensers, benches, and a rinsing station are available on-site. 

But perhaps the best part of this dog-friendly Florida beach is the dogs’ swimming pond. Visit the park’s website to learn more about applying for membership.

4) Fort De Soto Park Paw Playground

Fur parents who have been to Fort de Soto Park Paw Playground say it’s one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Florida as it allows for several recreational activities. 

For one, it’s an excellent place to have a picnic. Dogs are also allowed off-leash on the dog beach. You can also swim or play fetch in the water. 

You’ll find it south of St. Petersburg. It has separate spaces for big and small dogs. 

Drinking water, poop bags, and a wash station are available on-site.

5) Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park

Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park is the only dog-friendly beach in St. Lucie County. You’ll find it along South Ocean Drive.

Dogs are allowed to run and swim off-leash, but you have to make sure they stay away from the dunes on the beach.

After swimming with your dog, you can hang out on-site at the picnic areas and pavilions. Clean restrooms are also available.

On-leash dog-friendly beaches in Florida

1) Canova Beach Park

Canova Beach Park is a 9.1-acre community beach park open for dogs.

However, your fur babies must be on a leash and wear tags showing their current licenses and vaccinations. 

Using the dog beach is free. Just make sure you clean up after your dog.

You’ll find poop bags and waste bins around the park, but you can bring your supply in case the park runs out. 

Clean restrooms and pavilions are available on-site.

2) Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park is the best place to be if you’re looking to escape from your hectic city life. 

This dog-friendly beach in Florida features four miles of white sand beach and three miles of nature trail amidst pine forests. 

Dogs can explore the beach and trail but must be on a leash. The leash must be at least six feet long.

You also need to clean up after your pet, so pack poop bags and dispose of used ones in designated trash cans around the park.

3) Dog Beach at Pier Park

Dog Beach at Pier Park is located just across Pier Park on the west side of Russel-Fields Pier. 

The dog beach is on a 400-foot stretch of white sand. Your fur baby needs to be on a leash to be able to explore the beach area. 

It’s open from sunrise to sunset. Make sure you know the temperature before heading out to the beach, as the sand can get very hot.

Before visiting dog-friendly beaches in Florida

Before heading to dog-friendly beaches in Florida, you must remember and prepare a few things. 

Sink or swim?

For one, you need to make sure your dog knows how to swim. Some dogs are ready, while some need more convincing.

Never assume that your canine automatically knows (or wants) how to swim. 

Pack a shade.

One of the things you need to prepare before you head to the beach with Fido is a tent or something to use for shade. 

You need somewhere where you can get out of the sun to rehydrate. 

Watch what your dog drinks.

Some dogs will drink salt water. However, it’s not good for them, so you have to make sure they don’t do it. 

Pack your dog’s bowl or a collapsible water dish before you head out. 

Be mindful of high temperatures.

If you find it difficult to walk on hot sand, imagine what it would be like for your dog. Make sure you check that the sand is not too hot for your dog’s paws.

Why you should stop by dog-friendly beaches in Florida

Swimming is a great exercise. Much like hanging out with your dog in hiking trails and forests.

It’s also joint-friendly, which makes it a good activity for overweight and senior dogs.

Swimming can also help improve cardiovascular fitness. It also helps relieve stress and improve sleep.

Which Florida beach is your favorite?

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