Life’s a beach
When the heatwave finally arrives, UK summers are far from ideal for dogs, thanks to hot homes, hot pavements and even hotter cars. What most dogs crave is a refreshing run on the beach and a cooling swim or splash in the sea.
However, some councils don’t allow dogs to step a paw on their beaches during summer. Although the vast majority of beaches welcome responsible dog owners outside of the summer (1 October to 30 April), dogs aren’t always welcome to chase sticks in the surf, dally in the dunes or show off in the sand over the summer months.
For some dog owners, a summer holiday or day trip wouldn’t be complete without their canine companion. And what better place to do this than along the beautiful sandy beaches of our stunning coastline? So before you head off to the sandy shores only to find that ‘no dogs allowed’, here are our pick of the best and closest to Manchester beaches with no canine restrictions – all year round!
Pack up your picnics and poo bags, balls and launchers then head these top 3 North-West, dog friendly beaches to enjoy a summer sizzler.
- Formby, Merseyside
One of the only beaches on the Sefton Coast without seasonal restrictions on dog access, Formby has three self-filling water bowls, dog bags on request and woodland picnic areas to stop for a spot of lunch.
Head over the dunes down onto the expanse of sand – in the evening, the sunset is spectacular and you can walk for miles when the tide is out. Coastal pinewoods surround this lovely beach, just be aware of wildlife (including rare red squirrels) and livestock, so keep your pooch under control.
- Drigg Beach, Cumbria
Take a relaxing stroll along this tranquil beach from Ravenglass to Drigg – a great place to let your dog stretch his paws. Early morning walks are best for the solitary pooch – you are unlikely to see anyone for miles.
Look inland and you will enjoy beautiful views of the Lake District mountains and fells, the Isle of Man to the west on a clear day, and the cliffs of St. Bees Head to the north.
- Hest Bank, Lancashire
The village of Hest Bank near Morecambe has a grassy foreshore and a sandy beach but walkers should not venture out onto the mudflats or salt marshes without an experienced local guide.
Hest Bank is a great place to look out to views towards the Furness peninsula with the fells of the Lake District across the Bay. There is also a small dogs-welcome cafe serving afternoon teas, light meals and beverages.
Oh dogs do like to be beside the seaside
Dogs love days on the beach as much as we do – dips in the sea, rolling in the sand and ice-creams on tap. But there is so much more you can do to keep your pooch entertained day in, day out at the beach. And they’ll help you keep fit too! Here are our favourites:
Like an advanced game of fetch because it encourages your dog to run very long distances. A game of frisbee is a lot of fun for dogs that have a natural inclination to chase.
- A DIY agility course
Using an agility course for your dog is a fun way to give them mental & physical exercise – even more tiring than a 2 mile walk! Use a hula hoop to jump through, piles of blankets or coats to jump over and some sticks or stones to weave through.
- Find the treats
Start by putting some treats on the ground while your dog is in the stay position. Give your dog their release command and encourage them along the way by praising them each time they find one. Make the hiding places harder, the better they get – under buckets or picnic blankets where they have to use their sense of smell to hunt the snacks!
- Swim and fetch
Play fair – make sure any toys you throw into the sea can float! You’ll keep your family friend entertained for hours with this one. Just remember a towel – you will undoubtedly get as wet as they are!
Before you go here’s a quick reminder about pooch beach etiquette:
- Do NOT leave dogs in cars, however cool you think the weather is
- Hot days and hot dogs do not mix – go for walks early morning and evening
- Familiarise yourself with tides times
- Cliff edges are nearer than you think when dogs are running around – keep canines on leads
- Only allow dogs to swim in shallow waters – currents can be deceiving
- Do not follow your dogs into rough water, they generally get out of trouble more easily than us humans
- Be aware of palm oil spills off the coast, always check when planning a trip to the beach with your dog, palm oil is toxic to dogs and can be lethal if ingested.
Roll on summer!