Dogs aren’t welcome at every Jersey Shore town during the summer. While many beaches open up for dogs after October 1 (formally or informally), August is still a no go in most places.
But not everywhere. Here are my top two dog beach choices:
Higbee Beach. Dogs are allowed on the beaches that line the Delaware Bay, with the exception of part of Cape May Point. Higbee is a beach often chosen by dog lovers because of its relative seclusion and type of sand (Sunset Beach is lovely, but its coarse sand hurts the paws of many kinds of dogs). This is where I first took my Jack Russell Terrier, Emily, to the beach. She’s a rescue, so I didn’t know if she could swim. Since Higbee is along the Delaware, it doesn’t have real waves, and the water stays relatively shallow. This gave my dog the time to acclimate herself to the water without worry about dodging waves. Three days in, she was out paddling on her own, using her little tail as a propeller.
Strathmere. Dogs technically aren’t allowed on this slip of a beach that lies north of Sea Isle. But with no lifeguards (except at Strathmere’s northern most beaches), and no police, no one’s going to stop you. Dogs are just another beach goer here. After getting used to Higbee, I’ve taken Emily here, too. She’s no longer shy. As soon as we hit the sand, she’s pulling on her leash to get into the ocean.
No matter which beach you chose, bring plenty of extra poop bags (dogs swallow salt water, which can disrupt their system) and fresh water specifically for your dog. Also, keep your dog on a leash. You might love your mutt, but a strange might not appreciate a wet dog jumping all over them during their walk down the beach.