Beaches, california, Dog, dogs, Family, outdoors, Pets, Travel, Uncategorized

Dog Days at the Beach

Owen’s leash drags behind him as he plays in the Pacific.

In these golden years of our Golden’s life, we’ve been adventuring more with him and trying to make the most of the time. He’s been a part of our family since his adoption at the Pasadena Humane Society over eight years ago, and although he’s an estimated eleven years old- definitely a senior dog- he’s still fairly active. He loves to adventure with his family, and enjoys meeting people and other dogs when on hikes or at the dog park.

For a new experience, we recently took Owen to the Dog Beach at Huntington Beach in northern Orange County. A friend of ours from church told us about it a few years ago after taking her dog, and for some reason we’ve never taken Owen. I wish we had done this sooner because Owen had a blast!

We visited Huntington Dog Beach in the late afternoon on December 31, 2020. As the sun was getting ready to set on what had been an extraordinarily difficult year, it was good to spend the last golden hour of 2020 basking in the delight of our Golden retriever. The drive from Los Angeles County to Huntington Beach was relatively easy. We hit pockets of traffic on Interstates 605 and 405, but it was nothing compared to pre-Covid traffic. Parking once we got down there was another matter. The beach was busy with visitors human and canine alike, so we had a brief wait for a spot. Patience paid off, and we were able to park within a few minutes. And good thing too, our boy was getting anxious sitting in the back of the car. He was ready to explore!

The experience was pleasant. While there were many dogs on the sunny December day, the beach was actually pretty clean. The humans were friendly, and from what we saw, responsible dog people. Owen loved greeting the other dogs. He seemed to enjoy running through the soft sand whether on or off leash. He did look to us for cues as to whether or not he should venture into the water. He didn’t approach the ocean until we went in with him, then he was happy splashing among the waves. We followed him as he played, and when it was time to go, he had no problem coming back when called and allowing us to leash him up again. I’ll admit that I was a little worried about him drifting too far, especially in the water, but he was just fine. It was a perfect afternoon for our boy.

Some things to consider:

The parking lot at the Dog Beach is relatively small and is a paid lot off Pacific Coast Highway. The cost is a reasonable $2 per hour.

Your canine pal must be leashed while entering and exiting the beach. They are permitted off-leash only once on the sand. Leash laws are enforced. Also, please be sure that your fluffy buddy is up to date on their vaccinations for their protection as well as that of the other dogs.

The Dog Beach is very popular with So Cal dog lovers. If your dog has a tendency to be aggressive toward people or other dogs, the Dog Beach is not recommended.

The beach is not fenced off. Please use discretion when allowing your pup off leash. Our boy didn’t have consistent recall with other members of the family in his youthful years, so the Dog Beach probably wouldn’t have been the best place for him back then. After obedience training and some maturation, he’s become much better at listening when it’s time to go home.

We had a wonderful time with Owen playing at the Dog Beach and meeting other families. I hope he gets the chance to go again, especially as the weather warms up. We finished the outing at Starbucks in Seal Beach and got Owen his pup cup to enjoy on the drive home. It was the perfect So Cal excursion for a truly So Cal dog. Happy tails!

For more information, check out dogbeach.org.

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