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Find Dog Friendly Beaches Around Boston
From: Explore Boston, On The Beach, Where To Go, By: Jay Stebbins
“Where is a dog friendly beach near Boston where my dog can swim?”, might be the most popular question from Boston dog owners during the summer. I love going to the beach for a swim and so does my dog. Swimming is a great way to burn off extra energy and let them cool off at the same time. Besides, dogs playing in the ocean surf is fantastic to watch.
During the winter you can take your dog to just about any beach. During the summer, dogs are not allowed at many beaches or restricted to morning or evening hours and almost always need to be leashed. To make matters more confusing, much of the information elsewhere on the internet is inaccurate. So we decided to load up the car and search out first hand, dog friendly beaches in New England.
BEACH ETIQUETTE FOR DOGS
In recent years dog have been banned from many beaches primarily two reasons, bathroom habits and poor etiquette. Even though people wade out into waste deep water to admire the horizon as they relieve themselves, the idea of a dog pissing on the beach is disgusting. Poop is an issue, for a dog consider letting them go to the bathroom right before going on the beach. If nothing else, just make sure you pick up your dog’s poop.
Etiquette for beach dogs is a pretty hot topic. Usually only a dog owner appreciates a wet, sand covered dog rolling themselves on their beach blanket. Some parents go into fits of hysteria when they see a unknown dog approaching their child. Your dog might be the greatest dog in the world, but the last second yelling of “My dog is fine!” rarely consoles the other party. When on a crowded beach just make sure you have control of your dog. It also does not hurt to take a walk by the neighbors, let them meet your dog in advance in a controlled situation.
DOG FRIENDLY BEACH OPTIONS IN BOSTON
During the summer In South Boston there is a stretch of beach near L & M Street Beaches where dogs are allowed before 7 am and after 7 pm. Although, if you are looking to spend the day on the beach during the summer, Southie is not an option, unless you stay on the grass areas under the trees along the side walk that overlook the South Boston beaches.
During the winter, beaches around Pleasure Bay, and Carson Beach are very popular with dog owners. If your dog is on the beach, make sure you pick up after your dog. Particularly in “Southie”, where a locals resident will take your head off for leaving poop behind (fair warning).
If you are looking for a place to let your dog swim and cool off with out leaving Boston there are a few other options. Stay on the lookout for places along the Harborwalk where your dog can get in and out of the water. It is not the beach, but a way to let your dog cool off on a hot summer day. There is one such spot along the Harborwalk in downtown Boston where dogs are know to take a quick dip in the harbor.
Your closest option for a dog friendly beach near Boston is in North Quincy at Squantum Point Park. It takes about 15 minutes to get there and is better on a higher tide.
Also along the South Boston/Dorchester line near the large gas tank, is Victory Road Park. It is this little island right next to the highway which is very popular with dog walkers. The beach is all rocks and can be pretty dirty. Regardless it is not uncommon to see 20-30 dogs running around and swimming. The Yelp Reviews will offer a little more insight.
SOUTH SHORE DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES
Get out of town, so far we have found a number of dog friendly beaches on the South Shore, Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. On the North Shore there are a few places popping up which as soon as I can verify I will add to this article. Unfortunately you can drive right past New Hampshire as the few beaches they have dogs are not allowed during the summer months. In Maine, there are a couple of great off-leash beaches but restricted to mornings and evenings. This article will continually be updated as I verify more beaches. Right now, here are your best bets…
Plymouth Long Beach, is about an hour from Boston and offers sand beaches, calm cool water and a great town to explore nearby.
Rexhame Beach, in Marshfield on the South Shore allows dogs on the beach during the summer months. I would like to thank Kaden for introducing this dog friendly beach to me. We spent part of the day swimming and exploring Rexhame Beach with our dog and managed to forget to take more photos. This works for me as I don’t mind going back to this beautiful beach.
Brant Rock Beach, is just south of Rexhame Beach. This is a unique beach with one section of sand and the other of smooth rocks or a concrete ledge. If you love the beach but hate the sand, here is another great option for a dog friendly beach near Boston.
Make sure you check out Bare Cove in Hingham, although not a true beach, this very dog friendly park has a great community of dog owners and a perfect spot along the river to let dogs swim.
NORTH SHORE DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES
The North Shore has a few, but spectacular beaches, although during the summer options are slim. During the winter months we find ourselves taking our dog to the North Shore Beaches more often as it is an easy drive from Boston.
Just as you enter Nahant you will find Dog Beach which is popular with Kiteboarders on windy days and dog owners, even during the summer. There is no parking at Dog Beach, and right now, with the construction at Revere Beach I am not really sure where to tell you to park your car. If you do go, I beg you to pick up after your dog and be respectful to non-dog people as access at dog beach is always at risk. Across the causeway, Long Beach, is a great place to take a long walk on the beach with your dog during the winter months only.
In Salem, Cassandra mentioned Salem Willows Park as a place to let your dog cool off while swimming off of a small beach. The next time we head up to Salem for lunch we will make a point of checking this spot out.
If the Trustees of the Reservations, would expand the Green Dog program at Crane Beach in Ipswich to include the summer months, a membership would be even more valuable to me as a dog owner. But as of now, dogs are only allowed at Crane Beach during the winter months.
CAPE & THE ISLANDS DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES
The Cape Cod National Seashore, offers some of our favorite dog friendly beaches in Massachusetts. From Boston you can get to these absolutely amazing beaches. The Cape Cod National Seashore extends across Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. A large majority of the beaches allow dog on leash during the summer season.
Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod is very friendly for dogs. We were there last summer and found ourselves wading out on the sandbars while the dogs swam alongside us. P-town has a dog park on the hill, plenty of great restaurants and shops as well. You can make a day trip of P-town if you take the dog friendly high speed ferry from downtown Boston in the morning and return after an early dinner on one of the outdoor patios of fantastic Provincetown restaurant. Or better yet, spend the weekend.
Nantucket, one of the most dog friendly towns in New England. When I used to live there, we always had our dogs off-leash and with us at the beach. You still could not take your dog to a lifeguarded beach, but with over 50 miles of shoreline and white sand beaches there were plenty of other places to spend the day at the beach with family and friends, dog included. These days you need to keep your dog on a leash. And please, clean up, don’t just bury it in the sand.
Martha’s Vineyard Beaches, from my understanding all the town beaches on Martha’s Vineyard ban dogs during the summer, if anything you ight be able to take the dog on the beach for an early moring or late evening walk. We will e out on the Vineyard for an article in the next week or two.
However, I do know, as long as your dog is on a leash The Trustees of the Reservations have three areas where leashed dogs are allowed; Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Wasque Reservation, Norton Point Beach. More and more I am becoming a fan of the Trustees of the Reservations.
DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES IN MAINE
If you have not been to Maine you really need to look into some of the places we have been writing about on Fido Loves. Kennebunk has a great beach where dogs are allowed on the beach in the mornings and again in the evenings. Maine is much closer to Boston than you would imagine.
In Portland you can spend the afternoon shopping in Old Port, have lobster rolls, drink wine and listen to live music with the dog under the table at the Portland Lobster Company. Afterwards, walk across the street to Fetch and pick up dog toy that will float and head over to the Eastern Promenade to let the dog play on the beach and swim with the other dogs. This beach opens up for dog owners at 5 pm.
Several critical emergencies will be described below. If something seems wrong with your dog that does not seem to fit into any of the descriptions, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to assess the urgency of the situation.
First, check your dog’s gums. The gums give a great deal of information about circulation, blood oxygenation, shock, and hemorrhage. The gums normally should be pink and moist; when pressed gently with a finger, the pressed-upon portion should flash white and then turn pink within a second or two. Pale, blue, grey, or red gums signal trouble. It is best to check your dog’s gums regularly when he is not in distress, so that you can know what they normally look like. If your dog seems not well and you discover a difference in gum coloration, then he should receive treatment.
Second, remember that veterinarians — whether they work at emergency practices or at general practices — have telephones. If you’re wondering whether your dog needs treatment, call a vet to describe the situation. The vet should be able to help you decide whether the situation is urgent.
Third, remember that a situation doesn’t have to be life-threatening to warrant veterinary attention. Broken toenails, ear infections, bladder infections, and hot spots are all survivable, but they are also painful and are best treated sooner rather than later if possible.
Finally, if you’re in doubt, the safest course of action is always to seek veterinary attention. If your dog has a mild tummy ache and you take him to the vet, no harm will come to him. But if he’s suffering from bloat and you ignore it, he may be dead by the morning.
Now, let’s get on with the big-time emergencies that require immediate veterinary attention in dogs.
1. Difficulty Breathing
This is the mother of all veterinary emergencies. After three minutes without breathing it’s all over. If your dog is having trouble breathing, or is “breathing funny,” making alarming noises when he breathes, or is puffing his lips when he breathes, you need to get to the vet immediately.
2. Restlessness, panting, inability to lie down comfortably, unsuccessfully attempting to vomit, and abdominal distention
These are all symptoms of gastric dilatation with volvulus, known colloquially as “bloat.” Bloat is one of the most urgently life threatening situations a dog can face. Some dogs will exhibit all of these symptoms, but others may only pant and act restless. Because of its urgency, dogs exhibiting any symptoms suspicious for bloat should be rushed to the nearest veterinarian.
Although a solitary seizure is not likely to be life threatening, seizures often come in clusters, which can become progressive. And sometimes seizures are caused by toxins that can cause fatal reactions.
4. Collapse or profound weakness
These can be symptoms of major problems such as internal bleeding (particularly a syndrome called hemoabdomen), cardiac compromise due to a condition called pericardial effusion, anaphylactic shock, certain poisonings, a glandular condition called Addison’s disease, and some types of organ failure. All of these problems require urgent veterinary attention.
5. Profuse Hemorrhage or Major Trauma
These are veterinary emergencies. Profuse hemorrhage is a no brainer. However, dogs who have fallen from height, have been struck by cars, or have been in altercations with much larger dogs can appear unharmed at first, despite suffering major internal injuries.
6. Protracted vomiting and/or diarrhea
This is a veterinary emergency, especially if the liquid produced is significantly bloody. A dog who vomits once or has a single loose bowel movement may not require any treatment other than a few hours of resting the stomach and a day or two of bland food. However, repeated vomiting and diarrhea can rapidly lead to life-threatening dehydration; they also can be symptoms of major problems such as gastrointestinal obstruction.
7. Struggling to urinate
This may simply signify a bladder infection. Bladder infections are painful but not life threatening. However, this symptom could also represent obstruction of the urinary tract by bladder stones — a situation that is very urgent indeed. Either way, your pet will be best off by seeing the vet since bladder infections, as mentioned above, are painful.
8. Not eating or drinking
This varies, depending on how your dog normally eats. If your dog is a food hound and is suddenly not interested in food, you know something is wrong. Other dogs may intermittently pass up a meal here or there. However, dogs who go a day or longer without eating almost always are sick. And they usually won’t drink enough water to cover their needs, so dehydration can set in as well.
This may or may not be a veterinary emergency. It can be caused by something as simple and (relatively) harmless as kennel cough. Or it can be caused by pneumonia or exposure to rat bait. When in doubt, the safest course of action is to go to the vet.
10. Loss of use of rear legs
This is especially common in Dachshunds, Corgis, and other so-called chondrodysplastic (think short legs and long backs) breeds, and can be a sign of injury to the spinal cord. This paralysis or partial paralysis is usually very painful, and rapid treatment can make a big difference in outcome.
11. Severe pain
This is always an emergency. If your dog is vocalizing, panting, profoundly limping, or exhibiting other symptoms of agony, don’t let him suffer. Get to a vet for treatment.
12. Known exposure to dangerous poisons
This should precipitate an immediate veterinary visit. If you catch your dog munching on snail bait, don’t wait for the seizures to start before you go to the vet. Although there are too many dangerous poisons out there to list them all, some of the more common exposures include chocolate, rodent bait, grapes and raisins, human medications, and overdoses of flavored canine medications such as Rimadyl.
The 12 situations listed above are some of the most common emergency situations that dogs face. However, this list is not exhaustive. And if you can’t tell whether your dog needs emergency attention, it’s always safest to take him in.
Who is the Rover Reporter This Week?
Yea! It’s Sundance! He might not have a lot to say, but he LOVES the sun (which has nothing to do with his name; or it didn’t when he was adopted…. ) Sunny is a 7lb chihuahua who firmly commands her place in the Hastings pack. Even mastiff Hilda backs away when Sunny barks at her. This photo of her is a beautiful comment to her prior life- she was rescued from a hoarder. Now look! She gets the whole chaise to herself! Ah, vacation! Ernie, Emmitt and Hildy say HI!