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The San Diego Dog Beach

Pooches Need Beach Time Too!

Driving over the Coronado bridge in San Diego, under deep turquoise skies, over glistening waters of the bay, a tail starts wagging, and panting becomes faster in anticipation of what is to come. Duke is ready for frolicking and fun on his favorite dog beach in San Diego.

Looking out of the car window we spy the rolling waves and spot several excited dogs, straining on their leashes pulling their walkers in the direction of the soft white sand, crashing waves and wide open space, eager to meet their canine friends, and run through the frothy surf.

We find a parking spot in the street and Duke jumps out excitedly, waits for his leash to be connected, and off we go. It’s a short walk from the street to the beach, and dogs must be leashed until arriving on the wide-open space of the beach. A nice walkway protects the dunes and prevents sensitive feet and paw pads from burning on the hot sand.  A water fountain is conveniently situated at the end of the pathway to fill water bottles and bowls and a hose is available for washing sandy paws and feet. Heading towards the beach, Duke’s tail wags faster and faster, and he looks up in anticipation of when the leash will be off, and he is free to run like the wind.

The air is crisp but the sun is warm and the sky clear. The beach is not busy at this time, late morning, but there are a few owners walking and playing with their beloved pets. We stop, Duke sits as well as he can on his wagging tail, waiting for his release. As soon as he is free, he bounds off towards the ocean, running into the water towards the waves, only to turn do an about turn when a large wave crashes close to his paws. He runs towards us, his expression asking ‘did you see me? I went in!’ A ball is thrown, and he runs after it, picks it up and begins to bring it back, but he lets if fall and licks his lips to clear away the briny taste of the ocean.

There are Boxers, Retrievers, Poodles, Hounds and a wide variety of mini pooches, enjoying their hour of freedom, making friends, smelling butts and chasing each other through the sand and surf. Some have tennis balls, some Frisbees and others have nothing, but manage to get in on the game as they run up and down the beach, joining in whenever there’s an opportunity. With a quarter mile of sand and open space there’s enough room for all to frolic and play, while protective owners watch, and encourage their best friends to try out the surf and make friends with others on the beach. Some take the opportunity to practice their obedience class assignments, but the distraction of the open space, splashing waves and fun with friends is just too much for some.

For humans the views across the bay to Point Loma are impressive, and the Coronado coastline stretches south towards the horizon, disappearing in the misty ocean spray. An information board provides dates of volleyball games and special events and there are numerous fire pits available for those lovely barbeques on the beach, while watching the deep orange sunsets over the distant horizon. There is a public restroom close by.

Time is ticking and all too soon it’s time to turn back. Duke obediently walks with us, running in the surf a few more times, meeting some new friends on the way back. His paws are washed, and our feet are rinsed and after a long drink of fresh water, he is happy to be back on his leash for the short walk back to the car. Hopping in, he looks longingly out the back window towards the oceanfront… until next time!

For more information regarding the dog beach go to

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