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The Dogs of Summer - Things to do with your dog

Updated: Mar 12

Why not spend a nice summer day with your best friend? Taking your dog to the beach, a park, a trail or even a restaurant in NJ can be a fun and memorable experience for both you and your furry friend. Here's a guide on the benefits, what to pack, where to go, where to eat, and how to do it safely.


Things to do with my dog

Why do I want to hang out with my dog:

Our Furry friends love our company as we do theirs. Suns out Guns out isn't just for humans, time to get Fido out and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it.

  • Bonding: Spending time with your dog in the great outdoors can help strengthen your bond and create a deeper connection between you and your furry friend.

  • Exercise: Many summer activities, such as hiking, swimming, and playing fetch, can provide your dog with the physical activity they need to stay healthy and fit.

  • Mental stimulation: Exploring new places and experiencing new things can provide your dog with the mental stimulation they need to stay engaged and avoid boredom.

  • Socialization: Summer activities can be a great opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs and people, which can help them develop good social skills and reduce anxiety.

  • Fun: Finally, the most obvious benefit of summer activities with your dog is that it's just plain fun! Spending time with your dog doing things you both enjoy can be a great way to create happy memories and have a good time together.

So, whether you're taking your dog to the beach, going for a hike, or just playing fetch in the backyard, there are plenty of good reasons to include your furry friend in your summer activities.


Preparing your dog for summer fun

It is important to ensure they stay safe and healthy during the warm months. Keep these on your mind appropriate to the activity you plan for your dog:

  • Visit the vet: Take your dog to the vet for a check-up before the summer season starts. Make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations, and discuss any concerns you have with your vet.

  • Protect against parasites: Use flea and tick prevention products to protect your dog from these common summer pests. Talk to your vet about the best products for your dog.

  • Protect against the sun: Dogs can get sunburned just like humans, especially on areas with little fur or exposed skin. Use dog-friendly sunscreen on these areas to protect them from the sun's harmful rays. Make sure your dog has access to shady areas. Bring a portable umbrella or set up a canopy to provide shade.

  • Monitor the area for potential hazards: Look out for dangerous things like broken glass, sharp rocks or shells, fishing hooks or trash that can be harmful to your dog. It's a good idea to keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from wandering into unsafe areas and to scan the beach for any potential hazards before allowing your dog to play.

  • Provide plenty of water: Keep your dog hydrated by providing plenty of clean drinking water, especially when you're outside in the heat. Consider bringing a portable water bowl with you on outings.

  • Keep them in sight: Always keep an eye on your dog and make sure they stay within sight. When appropriate keep them on a leash. Monitor your dog's behavior and make sure they don't eat too much sand or get too exhausted.

  • Take breaks: When you're outside with your dog, take regular breaks in the shade or air conditioning to help them cool down and rest.

  • Be mindful of hot surfaces: Hot pavement, sand, or other surfaces can burn your dog's paws. Check the temperature of the surface with your hand before allowing your dog to walk on it, and consider using dog booties to protect their paws.

  • Supervise swimming: If your dog enjoys swimming, supervise them closely to make sure they don't swim too far out or get caught in a current.

  • Follow the rules: Always clean up after your dog and dispose of waste properly.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy during the summer season and enjoys all the fun activities that come with it.

Dogs at the beach

Things to do with your dog on a Summer Day

Our best friends are not picky, they generally just enjoy our company which leaves the pick of the activity up to us. Here are a few suggestions to get you on your way.

  • Go to the beach: Many dogs love to play in the sand and water. Just be sure to check the rules of the beach before you go, as some may have restrictions on dogs.

  • Visit a dog-friendly park: Take your dog to a local dog park where they can play with other dogs and get some exercise.

  • Have a picnic: Bring a picnic lunch and find a shady spot in a park or other outdoor area. You can bring toys and games for your dog to play with while you relax and enjoy the weather.

  • Take a hike: Find a dog-friendly trail or park and go for a hike with your dog. This is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of nature together.

  • Take a swim: If your dog loves to swim, find a dog-friendly swimming hole or lake where you can both take a dip.

  • Host a playdate: Invite other dog owners and their dogs over for a fun playdate in your backyard. You can provide toys and treats, and the dogs can play and socialize together.

  • Try a new activity: Sign up for a dog-friendly activity like agility, flyball, or obedience training. These activities can be a fun way to bond with your dog and teach them new skills.

Remember to always keep your dog's safety in mind and make sure they have access to shade and water when it's hot outside. Have fun exploring new activities with your furry friend!


What to Pack for your Dog

Before hitting the beach, or any extended outing, consider bringing these things to ensure that your furry friend is comfortable, safe, and entertained. You can acquire any of these items on Amazon.com

  • Water and a water bowl: Playing on the beach can be exhausting and dehydrating, so make sure to bring plenty of fresh water and a bowl for your dog to drink from.

  • Leash and collar: Even if the beach allows dogs to be off-leash, it's a good idea to bring a leash and collar for your dog in case of an emergency or if your dog becomes over-excited.

  • Sunscreen: Dogs can get sunburned, especially on their noses and ears, so consider applying a pet-safe sunscreen to protect their skin.

  • Towels: Bring towels to dry off your dog after playing in the water or to provide a comfortable spot for them to rest.

  • Poop bags: Always bring poop bags to clean up after your dog and keep the beach clean for everyone to enjoy.

  • Toys: Bringing toys like a frisbee, ball or other beach toys can keep your dog entertained and provide a fun activity to enjoy together.

  • Pack a doggy first aid kit: Bring a first aid kit that includes items like bandages, tweezers, and antiseptic wipes in case of minor injuries.

By bringing these essential items, you can ensure that your dog has a safe and enjoyable time playing on the beach.

Day on beach with dog

Dog Friendly Beaches on the NJ Shore

New Jersey is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast, and it's no wonder that many dog owners want to take their furry friends with them to enjoy a day in the sun and sand. Many beaches in NJ have designated areas for dogs, and it's important to follow the rules and regulations to keep everyone safe. Make sure to check each town's local website for the rules regarding dogs on the beach or bay. You can look here for each town's website. Here are some known places on the Jersey Shore that love dogs and treat your fido like their own.


Monmouth County NJ Dog Friendly Beaches

  • Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook - Dogs are allowed on the bay side beach, near Area B, from October 1 to April 30.

  • Asbury Park 8th Ave Dog Beach - 1740 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ. The beach is open year-round. A designated area on the beach where dogs are allowed to run and play off-leash. During the off-season, you can bring your dog anywhere on the beach (except the boardwalk). During Peak season, (May 2nd – September 29th) dogs are only allowed on the beach during early morning hours.

  • Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area - A bay beach in Manasquan that allows dogs on the beach before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the summer season, and all day during the off-season.

  • Belmar Beach: Dogs are allowed on leash from October 1 through April 30th.

  • Bradley Beach: Dogs are allowed on the beach from September 16 – April 30th.

  • Long Branch Beaches - Dogs are allowed on the beaches before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the summer season, and all day during the off-season.

Ocean County Dog Friendly beaches

  • Mantoloking Beaches: Mantoloking, NJ 08738. Dogs are welcome from September 15th through June 15th.

  • Island Beach State Park - Dogs are allowed on the bay side of the park, from October 1 to April 30. Dogs are permitted on this beach but must be kept on a six foot leash. Swimming with your dog is year-round south of the swimming beach. Dogs are not allowed on the swimming beach from Memorial Day to the first weekend of October.

  • Long Beach Island - Beaches include: Beach Haven Crest, Beach Haven Gardens, Beach Haven Inlet, Beach Haven Park, Beach Haven Terrace, Brant Beach, Brighton Beach, Haven Beach, High Bar Harbour, Holgate, Loveladies, North Beach, North Beach Haven, Peahala Park, South Beach Haven, Sparay Beach, and the Dunes. During the off-season (October 1 – April 30th.), dogs are allowed on leash on all of the beaches. During the summer season, some beaches allow dogs during restricted hours or in designated areas. For example, in Ship Bottom, dogs are allowed on the beach during the summer season before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. in designated areas.

  • Barnegat Light - Dogs are allowed on the bay beach at 25th street and the beach at Poplar Street, but only before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. during the summer season.

  • Harvey Cedars: Dogs are allowed on-leash from September 16th – May 29th.


Dogs on the boardwalk

Atlantic County NJ Dog Beaches

  • Barnegat Light Beach: 29 E. 11th Street, Barnegat Light, NJ. Dogs allowed on the beaches from October 1 – April 15. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

  • William Morrow Beach / Dog Beach: At William Morrow Beach, dogs are allowed to run and play off-leash in the designated dog area. The beach is open year-round, but during the summer season (from Memorial Day through Labor Day), dogs are only allowed on the beach before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. There is a daily fee to access the beach during the summer season, but the beach is free to access during the rest of the year.

  • Brigantine Beach: Dogs are allowed on Brigantine Beach during the off-season (September 15th through May 15th) but are not permitted during the summer months.

  • Brigantine North End Beach: 1500 E. Brigantine Avenue, Brigantine, NJ. Dogs are allowed year round on this beautiful beach. Dogs must remain on leash at all times.

  • Longport Dog Beach: Route 152 and Ocean Drive Bridge, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08244. This beach is an off leash beach all year!

  • Margate Beach: Dogs are allowed on Margate Beach during the off-season (September 30th through May 15th) but are not permitted during the summer months.

  • Somers Point Beach: Dogs are allowed on Somers Point Beach during the off-season (September 16th through May 14th) but are not permitted during the summer months.

  • Ventnor City Beach: Dogs are allowed on leash from October 1 through May 14th in the area washed by the high tideline.


Cape May County NJ Dog Beaches

  • Stone Harbor Beach, 94th Street, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247. Dogs are allowed on the beach during peak season from 7:00pm to sunset.Dogs are allowed on the beach all day in the off season.

  • Wildwood Dog Beach: The beach is situated on the southern end of the island, at Glenwood Avenue and the beach. It is also known as "Poplar Avenue Dog Beach". It is a fenced-in, off-leash beach area that is dedicated to dogs and their owners. Wildwood Dog Beach is open all year-round and is a popular destination for dog owners who want to let their dogs play, swim and socialize in a safe and controlled environment. Longport Dog Beach - A small, secluded beach that allows dogs all year round.

  • North Wildwood Dog Park and Beach: 2401-2499 Boardwalk, North Wildwood, NJ 08260. To access the beach, walk under the boardwalk at Maple Avenue. 25-foot hydrant sculpture makes for fun photos. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Dog park nearby allows dogs to be off-leash.

  • Ocean City Dog Park: A designated area on the beach where dogs are allowed to run and play, located at the end of Bay Avenue.

  • Ocean City Beach: Ocean City NJ. Dogs are permitted on the beach or boardwalk between October 1st and April 30th.

  • Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area: New England Road, Cape May, NJ. A secluded beach located in Lower Township that allows dogs to run and play off-leash. Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round.

  • Sea Isle City: Dogs can be on leash from October 31st through April 30th.

  • Sunset Beach: 502 Sunset Blvd. Cape May, NJ 08212. Dogs on leash are permitted on this beach from September 15th – April 15th

  • Cape May Beaches: During the off-season (from Labor Day through Memorial Day), dogs are allowed on all of the beaches. During the summer season, dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. in designated areas.

Dogs on the beach

Dog Friendly Restaurants on the NJ Shore

After a long day at the beach, you and your dog might be hungry. Here are some pet-friendly restaurants in NJ, by county, that you can visit. Their staff are friendly to dogs and will often bring water and treats for them. You can find others by visiting TripAdvisor or Yelp.


Monmouth County NJ Dog Friendly Restaurants

  • The Parker House - Located in Sea Girt, The Parker House is a popular restaurant and bar with a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while enjoying fresh seafood and ocean views.

  • The Turning Point - This breakfast and lunch spot has multiple locations throughout Monmouth County, and all of them are dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio while they enjoy the restaurant's delicious breakfast and lunch options.

  • The Mill - This restaurant in Spring Lake Heights is housed in a historic mill building and features a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's seasonal American cuisine.

  • The Downtown - This restaurant in Red Bank has a dog-friendly outdoor patio where dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's New American cuisine.

  • McLoone's Pier House - Located in Long Branch, McLoone's Pier House is a popular seafood restaurant with a dog-friendly outdoor patio that overlooks the ocean. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while enjoying fresh seafood and ocean views.

  • Woody's Ocean Grille - This restaurant in Sea Bright features a dog-friendly outdoor patio with ocean views. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's casual seafood and American cuisine.

  • Ruffino's - This Italian restaurant in Long Branch has a dog-friendly outdoor seating area where dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's classic Italian cuisine.

  • Talula's - This restaurant in Asbury Park features a dog-friendly outdoor patio with a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's farm-to-table American cuisine.


Ocean County NJ Dog Friendly Restaurants

  • The Chicken or the Egg - This popular restaurant in Beach Haven is known for its all-day breakfast and creative chicken dishes. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which is covered and shaded.

  • Shore Fire Grille - With locations in both Barnegat and Manahawkin, Shore Fire Grille is a popular spot for burgers, sandwiches, and craft beer. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which has a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

  • The Greenhouse Cafe - Located in Ship Bottom, The Greenhouse Cafe is a popular breakfast and lunch spot with a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's creative dishes and fresh smoothies.

  • The Arlington - This restaurant and bar in Ship Bottom has a dog-friendly outdoor seating area where dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's creative American cuisine.

  • Bum Rogers - This restaurant in Seaside Park features a dog-friendly outdoor patio with a casual, beachy atmosphere. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's seafood and American cuisine.

  • Shut Up and Eat - Located in Toms River, Shut Up and Eat is a popular breakfast and lunch spot with a dog-friendly outdoor seating area. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's creative sandwiches and breakfast dishes.

  • The Crab's Claw Inn - Located in Lavallette, The Crab's Claw Inn is a popular seafood restaurant with a dog-friendly outdoor patio that overlooks the bay. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy fresh seafood in a casual atmosphere.


Atlantic County Dog Friendly Restaurants

  • The Crab Trap - Located in Somers Point, The Crab Trap is a popular seafood restaurant with a spacious outdoor patio that is dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while enjoying fresh seafood and ocean views.

  • Gilchrist Offshore - This breakfast and lunch spot in Atlantic City is known for its delicious pancakes and egg dishes. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which is covered and shaded.

  • Charlie's Bar and Restaurant - This popular pub in Somers Point has a dog-friendly outdoor patio where dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while enjoying casual pub fare and drinks.

  • Galloway Grille - This restaurant in Galloway serves American fare in a casual setting. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which is covered and shaded. The staff is dog-friendly and will often bring water and treats for them.

  • Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House - Located in Atlantic City, this restaurant and bar is a popular spot for craft beer and creative American cuisine. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, which has comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Bungalow Restaurant and Bar - This restaurant in Atlantic City has a dog-friendly outdoor seating area that overlooks the bay. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while enjoying the restaurant's classic American cuisine.

  • Sweetwater Marina and Riverdeck - Located in Hammonton, this restaurant and bar is situated on the Mullica River and features outdoor seating with scenic views. Dogs are welcome on the deck, which is covered and heated during cooler months. The staff is dog-friendly and will often bring water and treats for them.

  • Wonder Bar - This restaurant and bar in Atlantic City is known for its lively atmosphere and dog-friendly outdoor seating area. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the patio, which has a casual, laid-back vibe.


Cape May County NJ Dog Friendly Restaurants

  • The Rusty Nail - This restaurant is located in Cape May and is known for its casual, beachy atmosphere. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the spacious outdoor patio. The Rusty Nail even has a dog menu, with items like grilled chicken and a beef burger just for dogs.

  • Harbor View - This seafood restaurant is situated on the water in Cape May and offers stunning views of the harbor. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor deck, which is covered and heated during the cooler months.

  • La Vecchia Fontana - Located in Avalon, this Italian restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Dogs are welcome to dine with their owners on the outdoor patio, which is surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. The staff is accommodating to dogs and will bring water and treats for them.

  • The Lobster House - This iconic seafood restaurant in Cape May is known for its fresh seafood and harbor views. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor deck, which is covered and heated during the cooler months. The staff is dog-friendly and will often bring water and treats for dogs.

  • The Red Store - This farm-to-table restaurant in Cape May Point is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which overlooks a beautiful garden. Additionally, the restaurant is located near a dog-friendly beach, so it's the perfect spot to stop for a meal after a day at the beach with your furry friend.

  • Lucky Bones - This popular restaurant in Cape May has a dog-friendly outdoor patio that's shaded and spacious. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy Lucky Bones' creative American cuisine, burgers, and craft beer.

  • Tisha's - This restaurant in Cape May offers outdoor seating that's dog-friendly. The menu features a mix of American and Mediterranean cuisine, and dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy their meals.

  • The Ugly Mug - This popular bar and grill in Cape May has a dog-friendly outdoor patio that's shaded and casual. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they enjoy the restaurant's creative American cuisine, burgers, and craft beer.

  • The Blue Pig Tavern - Located in Cape May, The Blue Pig Tavern is a popular restaurant that's housed in the historic Congress Hall hotel. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which has a charming, colonial atmosphere.

  • Exit Zero Filling Station - This restaurant in Cape May has a dog-friendly outdoor patio that's shaded and spacious. Dogs are welcome to sit with their owners while they enjoy creative American cuisine, burgers, and craft beer.

  • Beach Plum Farm - This farm-to-table restaurant in West Cape May is surrounded by a beautiful farm where dogs are welcome to take a stroll. Dogs are also welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio, which has a relaxed, rustic atmosphere.

I bet your Dog is tired now

In summary, there are plenty of fun and safe activities to do with your furry friend during the summer months. From exploring hiking trails to relaxing on dog-friendly beaches, these experiences not only allow you to spend quality time with your pet but also create unforgettable memories that you'll cherish for years to come.


Dogs on the beach

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