Sun, Surf, Sand, and Your Dog | Tucker Goes to Cannon Beach

There are many dog-friendly beaches that make for a nice getaway for you and your pet. I took my yellow lab, Tucker, to Cannon Beach this week for a day trip and we both had a great time!I packed Tucker’s bag the night before we left which held his leash, head collar for added control in the strange environment, long line. portable water dish, treats, and a floatable retrieval toy.  I had even researched which dog-friendly restaurant we would visit for lunch. It pays to map out your plan is before your take your dog on an outing such as this, especially if you are not familiar with the area.

Dog Safety at the Oregon Coast


The Oregon Coast is notoriously cold and while the weather  was lovely, the water was still frigid! Dogs can develop Hypothermia in the cold water, as well as Heat Stroke if they are in the direct sunlight on the beach too long.  As well, the warm sand may feel welcoming to us who spend nine months of the year in chilly rain, but it can  become hot and burn the pads of your dog’s feat. Keep this concern in mind while shopping on the sidewalks of the small coastal towns as well.  The rule of thumb is that if the walking surface would be too warm for your bare feet then it is too hot for your dog.  Tucker was getting pretty warm when I stopped to rest on the beach so I frequently took him back to the water to cool off.

Like humans, dogs that love to swim can get themselves into trouble in the ocean.  It is helpful to become familiar with the tides and not to let your dog wander out too far so as to get swept out. To avoid any chance of a mishap, I always pack a long line so that he can exercise and have more freedom while still staying attached to me.  Another tool to assure your dog’s safety in the water would be a well fitted life vest.



dog friendly beach oregon coastAnother danger of the Pacific Northwest coastline is the debris that washes up on the shore such as broken shells, seaweed, and jellyfish. As you avoid stepping on these things it is wise to also keep your pup away from them. A dog being stung by a jellyfish would ruin the trip for both of you and a dead jellyfish can still sting! Sharp shells can cut a dog’s foot and seaweed can make your dog sick. Dogs are especially attracted to the unusual smells they find on the sand. It is imperative that you do not let them eat anything off of the beach. One tiny bite of parasitic sea life could result in your dog getting salmon disease poisoning which can be fatal if not treated.


While I kept Tucker away from the debris I couldn’t keep him away from the wildlife. He tried to eat a bee which did not turn out the way he expected as his reaction told me that he had been stung as he quickly spat it out. I’m thankful that he did not have a bad sting or at least a reaction to it the way some dogs can. I’ve seen dogs stung by bees who’s faces were swollen in similar fashion to the way we can have severe reactions to stings. While on the beach Tucker also learned of his innate desire to chase birds (he is a Labrador Retriever after all). I suppose I could have left his dog toy at home because he was interested in the seagulls and being in the water but not much else.


Dog Friendly Places To Eat At Cannon Beach

After a good romp on the beach and a little relaxing we stopped to get lunch at Lumberyard Rotisserie & Grill after having read the reviews on They had plenty of patio seating enclosed by a small fence which was perfect for the dogs to have their own space and rest. Even better was that we were given a complimentary bowl of fresh cold water for the dogs at the table as soon as we sat down. This was needed because after playing on the beach he drank some saltwater which can make dogs sick so I was trying to get him more fresh water to balance it out.


Never underestimate the power of doing your research ahead of time. We had a wonderful trip because I knew how to keep Tucker safe on the beach and where to take him for lunch. It was rewarding to see him fast asleep the entire drive home after having such a great adventure at Cannon Beach. Have you taken your dog to the beach recently?

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