Hi friends, and Yappy Christmas!
It’s been a slow start to Summer in Melbourne, but now that it’s finally begun, there’s two words that most dog owners have on their mind: DOG BEACH!
The beach is a great place to take water-loving canines for a change of scenery, and we’re especially lucky in Melbourne, as our coastline provides ample selection of suitable dog-friendly swimming destinations for you and your hound.
Before we get started, a few of our most important tips to remember when it comes to visiting the beach with your dog:
Limit your dog's time on the beach - we know it's easy to lose track of time on the beach as your dog is having so much fun, but chances are if your dog loves the beach (like most) they will easily overdo it without realising. Also, if your dog drinks salt-water whilst swimming, be mindful this can have a seriously dehydrating and laxative effect. Your dog is more likely to ingest water if they are fetching toys whilst swimming, as their mouth will be open as they move through the sea.
Bring your own water and portable dog bowl - although some beaches have these amenities, they can't be guaranteed, and your dog will be extra thirsty around all that sun and salt water! It's important they still drink fresh water just as they would at the park.
BYO poopscooping bags - more than you would normally need. They aren't always supplied at beaches, and even if they are, they can run out on popular days.
Remember your dog will be on their "worst" behaviour at the beach. Think of a kid in a candy store. The beach is full of excitement and distraction, so unless you are the most interesting thing in the general vicinity, your dog may not pay attention to you. Bring EXTRA tasty treats and/or an EXTRA interesting toy to keep your dog focused on you, and don't hesitate to go for an on-lead wander periodically in between off-lead spurts.
Be aware that other people's dogs may also be on their "worst" behaviour at the beach. The environment and atmosphere can be overstimulating for some, and this can lead to arguments over things like toys and food where they may not normally happen. There is a subtle but very discernible difference we notice between excitement and mania, which you can pick up from dogs' body language. As you would in a park, monitor the social dynamics and be sure to give your dog (and other people's dogs) enough space so that they feel comfortable and relaxed. Always watch your dog and remember it's much easier to prevent a dog fight than to stop one that has already started.
Keep a really close eye on the sand temperature as well as the air temperature. While you may be wearing shoes, your dog is not, and the sand can be so scorching hot that it burns their paw pads on a sunny day. Before you start walking, and every so often afterwards, either place the back of your hand onto the sand, or test the sand with your own feet. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog!
Watch out for "visitors" - snakes have been reported on Melbourne's Bayside beaches, particularly around rocks and brushy areas (such as long grass or bushes). Minimise your dog's time sniffing around the outskirts of the beach, and direct them to the shoreline or into the water to minimise the chances of a snake bite.
It's worth checking the Yarra and Bay website for swimming conditions before visiting the beach, particularly if you plan to dive in with your dog.
And now without further ado, let’s tell you about our favourite 24 Hour Dog Beaches in Melbourne!
Brighton Dog Beach (fully fenced)
Located at the end of Sandown St in Brighton, this beach provides a triangular stretch of sand and a mix of shallow and deeper areas in the water. This beach is one of the most popular in Melbourne year-round, so be prepared for a busy and exciting atmosphere here! On a pleasant day it’s lovely to go for a walk along Brighton Pier (on leash) and grab a coffee or a snack at the Brighton Baths café just nearby, which is dog friendly out the front.
Mentone Dog Beach
A 450m stretch of beach between Charman Rd and Plummer Rd in Mentone, with parking on Beach Rd or limited paid parking in a carpark above the beach (opposite Plummer Rd). A fairly steep, paved walk down to the beach, however this does provide protection from the busy road above. There’s also a great on-leash walk heading south, which can involve a trip to the coffee window at the nearby Parkdale Beach Café & Kiosk!
St Kilda Dog Beaches
St Kilda provides two of the largest spaces of beach available to dogs in the Port Phillip region, with parking available on Beaconsfield Parade, or for more shelter from the road, on Pier Rd behind Catani Gardens. Usually plenty of ice cream trucks in this vicinity!
Beaumaris Yacht Club Beach
Located next to the Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary (where dogs are prohibited), the beach at Beaumaris Yacht Club is one of our favourites as it provides a very long dog-friendly beach walk which is protected from the road by a vegetated hillside. Lots of rockpools to go exploring in! This beach is also very close to the gigantic dog-friendly Cheltenham Park (enter off Park Rd).
Sandringham Harbour Dog Beach
Adjacent to the Sandringham Yacht Club, the Sandringham Harbour Dog Beach can be accessed by entering through Jetty Rd. Parking is paid and limited, however it’s a fairly long walk down to the beach from Beach Rd (particularly on a hot day) so the paid parking is worth it. Get in early on Summer days to avoid disappointment. There’s an old-school dog-friendly kiosk at the bottom of the carpark which historically sells take away coffee, milkshakes, and simple, uncomplicated food.
We hope your Summer is packed with exciting visits to these beaches, and let us know if you discover any more we should know about.
In the meantime, if you're a dedicated pet parent and you liked this post, you should also Like Our Facebook Page where we share dog-related tips, tricks, photos, videos, and funny memes with our dog-loving community.
And if you'd love to take your dog on more exciting adventures in Summer but you simply don't have time... we can help! We have private and social group adventures available so your dog can party all Summer long no matter what you've got on. Simply send us an email - it's easy and free to get started!