How to Vacation With Your Pet

Pet Beaches

So you like long walks on the beach … with your pet. No problem. There are tons of beaches that allow pets. You just need to keep a few cardinal rules in mind. Never leave your pet unattended. Always keep your pet on a leash or under voice control. And the most important of all is always clean up after your pet. You aren't going to make any friends by letting your pet relieve itself where an unsuspecting surfer or sunbather could make the unfortunate mistake of stepping in it.

The number of beaches in the world that allow pets has been shrinking due to the simple fact that most people don't follow the rules listed above. So which state has the best pet-friendly beaches? It's California. The state currently has four of the top 10 pet beaches in the U.S., according to America's Best Online [source: Pet VR]. That's surprising considering the fact that in Los Angeles County, out of 70 miles (112 kilometers) of coastline, there is only one small beach that allows pets on a regular basis.

The number one reason that most beaches end up banning pets is that owners ignore the leash law. We all like to think that our pets are well-behaved, but the truth is that we just don't know what they'll do in a public setting with a lot of commotion. A dog that's not on a leash can get into loads of trouble, so the safe bet is to keep it nearby on a leash or in a harness that it can't wiggle out of.

A day at the beach can be incredibly fun for you and your pet, but keep in mind that you're completely responsible for its actions. Other people don't know your pet like you do. If your cat or dog runs at another animal out of excitement, the owner of the other animal may think your pet is dangerous and means harm. We've all heard horror stories about one dog attacking another dog.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of beaches you can enjoy with your pet. You just need to be considerate of the other beachgoers and keep an eye on your animal at all times. This will keep everyone happy.