Are you heading to the beach with your dog? Wondering what dog beach accessories to bring along to make your dog’s adventure a ridiculously happy one? We’re glad you’re here!
My bestie Chloe, a red Goldendoodle dog, has always been up for traveling since she was just a pup. She’s part of the pack when going to dog-friendly restaurants, for drives in the car, stays in hotels, etc. But going to the beach adds an extra layer of sand, sun, heat, and outdoor elements.
So after returning from a beach vacation to Dauphin Island, I learned a thing or two about which dog beach accessories I wished I’d brought, which were nice-to-haves, and which one the dogs (and I) absolutely ❤️ love. We’re breaking it all down for you here.
Dog beach accessories: The must-haves list
Which dog beach accessories are our dogs are counting on us to bring? Obviously, our dogs can’t talk to tell us when they are hot or thirsty or tired. They are counting on us to protect them and provide for them and keep them safe. That’s why our list starts with dog beach accessories that are the essentials.
1. Water and a collapsible water bowl
Bringing water and a water bowl tops this list of dog beach accessories because not only is keeping your dog hydrated critical, but also drinking saltwater is unsafe for dogs. The best way to prevent dogs from drinking or lapping up saltwater is to offer fresh water very frequently.
For more information about the hazards of dogs ingesting saltwater, AKC.org’s article on saltwater toxicity is comprehensive.
I slipped a collapsible water bowl in our beach bag, and it served the purpose. However, you’ll see further down on this list, a reusable water bottle that doubles as a water bottle would be ideal.
2. A comfortable dog harness with leash
I don’t know how many times we said, “So glad we got this harness” while we were on our beach vacation. The Labrador Retriever in our life is a typical puppy—about 80 pounds of bounding curiosity. If you’re going to be walking your dog on the beach, a comfortable harness is important.
The one Bear is wearing is sturdy and doesn’t rub or chafe, especially under the sensitve armpits. Plus, it doubles as a car safety harness. Bear wears an XL.
3. Life vest
If you’re going to the ocean or any large body of water and your dog is going to be in the water or off leash, for your dog’s own safety, have your dog wear a doggy life vest. We love the ones with the handles on top. It provides extra security because you can grab your dog quickly and safely if needed.
Goldendoodle Chloe is wearing one with two easy-to-grab handles in the photo below. She had fun trying it out on our dog-friendly trip to Eureka Springs.
4. Dog tags
If our dogs could talk, I think they’d ask us to make sure they don’t get separated from their pack. If the worst does happen and your dog gets lost while at the beach or on vacation, dog tags will improve your dog’s chance of getting back to you quickly and safely.
5. Poopy sacks
Yes, dogs poop in the sand on the beach! Fortunately, the sand makes it super easy to pick it up! Not only is picking up poo polite, it’s part of the rules for every dog-friendly beach I’ve ever seen.
6. High value treats
High value or high reward treats (ones that your dog absolutely loves) are great In new situations where there may be new sights and more distractions than usual. For example, if you’re trying to set up beach chairs while holding your dog’s leash and your dog’s distracted by all the seagulls, a favorite dog treat can help you keep it all together. (Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience. 🤣)
7. First aid kit and veterinary information
It’s easy to toss a dog first aid kit in your beach bag. If you’re traveling super light, another alternative is downloading a dog first aid app onto your cell phone. While you’re on your phone, why not make sure your contact list includes your veterinarian’s phone number.
8. Dog sunscreen
You’re probably wondering where sunscreen fits on the list? From our research, it’s best to ask your veterinarian about sunscreen products for dogs, including what’s safe and what’s not. According to PetMD’s article, Can Dogs Get Sunburned, Dr. Rosales says, “…the safest and most effective sunscreen to put on your dogs is one that is specifically designed for canine use.”
From my research, most experts say that the safest method to prevent sunburn is simply to keep dogs inside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
From our family’s experience taking dogs to the beach, it was obvious that our dogs loved the cooler times of the day—enjoying early morning walks and late afternoon beach time. And even the cloudy, rainy days were their favorites. During sunny days when the sun was high in the sky, lounging on the deck was more their style.
9. Dog beach towel
Oh my Goldendoodle! With a fluffy Muppet dog, the sand gets everywhere. Having a beach towel for drying wet paws makes dealing with the sand and ocean water easier.
We love beach towels that are microfiber. They roll up super small, which makes them great as a dog beach accessory or even for traveling in general. Plus, the microfiber means faster drying time.
Dog beach accessories: The nice-to-haves list
I was skeptical that my smart red Goldendoodle dog would even put on a pair of Doggles, but I went ahead and purchased a pair before our trip to Dauphin Island, a dog-friendly beach in Alabama.
I was prepared to give her plenty of time to warm up to her Doggles, but was shocked when she let me slip them on with one treat in one hand and the Doggles in the other. She didn’t mind them at all! In fact, I think she appeciated them! (Curious? Read our product review on Doggles dog goggles.)
11. Water bottle and bowl combo
Carrying around both a reusable water bottle and a reusable water bowl worked for the dogs, but was mildly annoying for me. While we were sitting out on the beach, I could definitely see the advantage of having an all-in-one water bottle. That’s why it makes my nice-to-have list of dog beach accessories.
Dog beach accessories: Wish list
11. Dog hip pack or waist pack
Having a waist pack to hold the essentials for our dogs (a few treats and a poopy bag) along with my cell phone, would have made leashed walks on the beach so much more enjoyable. Next time, I’m bringing a waist pack so my hands are free to simply hold my dog’s leash and enjoy the ocean breeze.
13. Extra large beach blanket
With so much fluff, the sand gets everywhere! My muppet dog had sand in her furry muzzle immediately. While I loved the microfiber beach towel for wiping paws and getting salt water off her fur, I quickly realized that a giant beach blanket to cover more sand would be on our list for future trips.
Dog beach accessories: The fun-to-have list
14. Play list of music
Make a play list of your favorite island or dog-themed songs for you and your bestie to listen to on the beach.
Remember to bring a dog bandana for all the photo ops you’ll be taking while you’re beaching it.
16. Dog Toys
What dog toys won’t you see on our dog beach accessories list? The ones that absorb water aren’t part of this list. Due to the hazards of dogs ingesting saltwater, dog toys that absorb water like tennis balls or squishy balls don’t go in our beach bag. It’s just not worth the risk.
However, I did pack toys that you can fill with peanut butter and give as a treat. Also, if you’re taking a cooler filled with your own refreshments, why not pack a cold treat for your doggo? Our dogs love easy, two-ingredient frozen yogurt dog treats.
So now that you have a list of beach accessories, where will you go?
Check out our stories on dog-friendly things to do on Amelia Island and Dauphin Island: a dog-friendly beach in Alabama.
What dog beach accessories would you add to the list?
We’d love to hear. Please comment below.