A City Dog on the Beach – Common Questions

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a black dog laying on the beach during a sunset

With the summer winding down, we’re all trying to make the most of it and head to the beach. Here are a few common questions (and answers) beach-goers may have when bringing their city dog to the beach. 

Is Saltwater Safe For My Dog?

For a short swim, salt water is okay for your dog. It could even be beneficial to their overall skin health depending on their breed. Long term exposure to salt water (even freshwater) could cause their fur to dull and their skin to become dry and flakey. So we recommend planning your beach trip prior to your next planned doggie bath day or their next spa day with us

What can be dangerous for your pup is excessive salt water intake. That’s why it’s important to not let them drink from the ocean, and instead keep them hydrated with the fresh water you have ready for them.

Can My Dog Get a Sunburn?

Surprisingly, yes! Some dogs are more at risk than others, but all dogs could be susceptible to developing a sunburn. Hairless dog breeds need sun protection especially when they’re outside for longer periods of time. 

But surprisingly, even dogs with thick coats who are experiencing seasonal shedding, could develop a sunburn because their coat isn’t as thick to guard their skin. This is also why a close cropping look that isn’t suggested by a groomer or vet due to matting or another condition is not recommended. Dogs without their fur won’t be able to regulate their body temperature as usual.

Most important question: are dogs allowed on beaches in Massachusetts?

Of course! Some beaches do have restrictions, so it’s always best to check the policies of the local beach you’re heading to before bringing your furry best friend. Here are some Massachusetts beaches you can visit: 

Plum Island Beach

Newburyport, MA

Since the beach has three sections, each has their own set of policies (which you can read here). 

North Point of the Beach: Dogs are allowed on the North Point from September 16th through May 14th and must be leashed at all times. 

Plum Island Center: Dogs can be on the beach all year long, but during the summer season only from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. 

Rexhame Beach 

Marshfield, MA

Dogs are allowed all-year-round, but should be on their leash at all times (like this one by Lupine).

Longnook Beach

Truro, MA 

Dogs are allowed on the beach during the summer except from the hours of 9 am to 6 pm. Would anyone like to take a sunset stroll along the beach? 

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod, MA

While your dog is allowed on the beach, in certain areas they must be on at least a 6 foot long leash. It’s important to double check before heading to the shore since the beaches can be closed due to protecting the shorebirds and their nests.  

According to the NPS.gov website, here is the current status of beaches apart of the Cape Cod National Seashore (updated in 8/4/22): 

  • Coast Guard Beach: OPEN to leashed pets to the LEFT of beach access. CLOSED to pets to right of beach access.
  • Nauset Light Beach: OPEN to leashed pets.
  • Marconi Beach: OPEN to leashed pets to the right of the stairs. CLOSED to pets to the left of the stairs.
  • Herring Cove Beach: OPEN to leashed pets. Pet closure signs are posted on the far ends of both sides of the beach. Please heed signage.

We hope you enjoy a great and safe day on the beach with your dog!