12 Best Beach Activities for Dogs UK (Get Games Going)

top-rated activities to try with dogs at the beach

Heading to the beach with your canine companion in tow is more than just a day out – it’s a wonderful way to get some fresh air and enjoy fun activities such as playing fetch.

1. Frisbee Fetch on the Shoreline

Some tips for playing frisbee safely:

  • Use a dog-specific frisbee that’s softer on their mouth to play with, not the hard plastic ones meant for humans.
  • Play fetch in short bursts, especially in hot weather; older dogs and brachycephalic breeds can quickly get heatstroke.

2. Swimming and Diving with Your Furry Friend

Golden retriever standing in the sea after a swim

Here’s how to make a splash safely:

  • Start Slow: If your dog’s not a strong swimmer or new to swimming, ease them into it. Shallow water and calm conditions are essential.
  • Safety First: A life vest is a must. It’s an extra layer of protection for all dogs, especially in deeper waters. Choose an appropriately sized life vest with a grab handle and leash attachment.
  • Watchful Eye: Always keep a close eye on your swimming dog. Waves, currents, and fatigue can quickly turn a fun outing into a risky situation.

3. Digging and Burying Toys in the Sand

4. Tidal Pool Exploration

Woman and dog looking into a rock pool
  • Gentle Introduction: It is a good idea to keep Fido on a leash initially. Let your dog approach the tidal pools at their own pace, ensuring they’re comfortable and curious.
  • Environmental Awareness: Teach your dog to explore without disrupting the habitat. Avoiding sensitive areas can help preserve these ecosystems for future enjoyment.

5. Beachside Agility Training

  • Get Creative: Use natural beach features like dunes or driftwood, or bring along portable agility equipment to set up your course. You can even make your own obstacles with some PVC pipe.
  • Mix It Up: Incorporate jumps, weave poles, and tunnels to keep the training diverse and exciting for your furry friend.

6. Fetch in the Water with Dog Owners

Jack Russell reaching for a tennis ball in the sea
  • Safety First: Always choose floating toys that are visible and easy for your dog to grab in the water.
  • Stay Shallow: Keep the game in shallow waters to ensure your dog’s safety, especially if they’re still gaining confidence in swimming. A good idea is to have the family spread out in the shallows and take turns calling your pup.

7. Dog Surfing - Not All Dogs Will Be Good!

  • Special Gear: Invest in a dog-specific surfboard with plenty of grip and crucially, don’t forget a doggy life jacket for safety.
  • Expert Guidance: Start with lessons if possible, to ensure you and your dog know the ropes – or waves, in this case.

8. Relaxing and Sunbathing

Jack Russell lying on a blue blanket next to toys on a beach
  • Shade is a Must: Ensure a cool, shaded spot on the beach to help your dog stay comfortable.
  • Hydration Station: Keep fresh water accessible for your pet at all times to prevent dehydration.

9. Beach Picnic

  • Dog-Friendly Fare: Pack snacks that are safe and healthy for your dog alongside plenty of fresh water.
  • Comfort Matters: Bring a blanket or mat for your dog to rest on when you head to the beach, and keep them off the hot sand while they eat and drink.

10. Stand Up Paddleboard with Your Pooch

Dog on paddleboard next to a woman in a blue top and cap
  • Ease Into It: Start by getting your dog used to the paddleboard on dry land before you head to shallow waters.
  • Safety Gear: A life jacket for your dog is a must, even if they’re good swimmers.

11. Sand Castle Building

  • Supervision is Key: Keep an eye on your dog to ensure they don’t ingest sand as they play, which can be harmful to their health.
  • Encourage and Guide: Show your dog where to dig to help with your castle, turning it into a game that rewards their efforts.

12. Evening Strolls Along the Shore

Silhouette of a man and French Bulldog enjoying a sunset beach stroll
  • Savour the Moment: Take this time to connect with your dog, letting them sniff and explore at their own pace.
  • Safety in the Twilight: Ensure your dog is visible with reflective gear or a light-up collar as visibility decreases.

Last Word

Family with German Shepherd walking along the beach
  • Local Regulations: Always check the rules for dog-friendly beaches to ensure your chosen spot welcomes your four-legged friend, especially during the summer months, and whether or not they are allowed off-leash.
  • Safety First: Following safety guidelines as you play with your dog in the sun is non-negotiable to guarantee a joyful and secure beach experience for all.



John Devlin

A lifelong dog enthusiast from Newcastle, John combines his love for pets with discovering the UK’s hidden travel treasures. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his experiences from family-friendly staycations, helping others find perfect dog-friendly getaways.

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