A dog at the beach

Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels

From time to time my mum and her dog come to visit me. And what better to do than spend a day at the beach? Her dog even stayed with me for a month, so I want to share some of the experiences I had while being at the beach with a dog. 
If your visit Rostock out of season, so during autumn, winter or early spring, you can mostly take your dog to any beach you like. Just make sure to clean up after your dog. But during the spring and summer, many beach areas don’t allow dogs. In Warnemünde, you can even get kicked off the beach if you take your dog with you. Which happened do us one time. We took a twenty minute car drive to the beach, even though the dog doesn’t like being in car, only to get kicked off the beach. So overall it was a really frustrating day. Luckily the dog was also happy with walking beside the beach, so it wasn’t all bad. But we would have been better to know from the start which beach we could visit. So, don’t worry, there is another option: the Hundestrand (dog-beach). This area of the beach is designated to people and their dogs. If your dog is well-behaved, you are also allowed to untie it here. I personally prefer the beach at Markgrafenheide.

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It’s a bit outside of Rostock, so you probably need a car to get there. Which isn’t possible for everybody but if you have the option, definitely go there. It’s totally worth it. 

Here are some reasons for you to go to the Hundestrand (even if you don’t have a dog). 

  1. Usually, they are not as overcrowded as other parts of the beach. I sometimes think that germans believe you are not allowed on the Hundestrand if you don’t have a dog; which, by the way, isn’t true. It’d be like having to having to take kids to the swimming pool, just because there is a kids-area.
    But of course there are other reasons why people don’t like to go to this part, maybe they don’t like dogs or are even scared of them. I guess some people also think that this part of the beach is dirty. It is not! Most dog owners are very responsible and clean up after their dog (as everyone should certainly do). At some beaches, there are also dispensers for plastic bags, so you can clean up after your dog.  Overall, this part if the beach is just like any other (apart from the dogs), it’s just less overcrowded. You get more space for yourself and don’t have to lie down towel to towel with strangers. It’s just more quiet and therefore more relaxing. So maybe you should consider going there even if you don’t have dog. 
  2. Generally, I’ve made the experience that people with dogs are very friendly. I think at the Hundestrand  it’s easier to start a conversation with someone because you already have something in common: a dog. I had some really nice conversations in Markgrafenheide with people I didn’t even know. So if you are traveling alone (apart from your dog) this might also be a good option to come in to contract with someone. Maybe you can make a date to walk your dogs together. And even if you are not on your own, talking to other dog owners might give you some useful tips, e.g. which are good places to visit with your dog.  
  3. As already mentioned, as long as your dog is (mostly) well-behaved, you are also allowed to unleash it. I guess your dog will enjoy running around freely for some time. Image being on a leash all the time and not being able to go to all those interesting smelling places. It must feel quite freeing to run around without a leash for some time. Generally, people only unleash there dogs at the beach when they are well-behaved, meaning they don’t bite or hurt anybody and normally (or mostly) follow the commands of their owner.  So you also don’t have to be afraid about your own dog. Some of them might be a bit over-enthusiastic ; but I have never met an aggressive dog at the Hundestrand. 
  4. This also brings me to my last reason: your dog. I have the impression that generally dogs like to be at the beach. They like to run around in the sand and some of them also like to go for a swim. Perhaps they feel like cooling down or trying to catch some waves. So this can also be a great day for your dog and maybe he/she will even find a playmate.Even though my mum’s dog seems to be more of a people’s dog, she definitely loves to be at the beach. She really loves to chase the seagulls; even though she will never catch one. I think it’s just fun to see them fly away.

 

Those are the reasons to visit a Hundestrand. Here are no some tips or things to consider before spending a day at the beach with your dog. 

  1. My mom’s dog can be kind of strange. Somedays it won’t drink a single drop of water, no matter in what kind of bowl or at what temperature you offer it. But as soon as we are at the sea, she starts to drink the salt water.  Of course this isn’t good. Salt water will make a dog even more thirsty and can even lead to dehydration. That’s why we try to stop her dog from drinking it at all. But sometimes it just can’t be avoided. And that’s why we always take some fresh water and a bowl with us to protect her from dehydration. You should definitely consider doing the same, especially on really hot summer days. Taking just another bottle of tap water and a bowl with you isn’t much of an effort. 
  2. Hot summer days lead me to my next point. If it is too hot for you in the sun, it’s probably also to hot for your dog. Dog’s can overheat, which can be quite dangerous or even fatal. Dogs with a lot of fur are even more likely to overheat. That’s why you should maybe think about not going to the beach during the hottest hours of the day.  Or, if you have the option, take a sunshade with you.If you get the impression that your dog might need to cool down, the easiest thing you can do is to take him into the water. If he doesn’t like swimming, take an extra towel with you, wet it and cover your dog with it. 
  3. Another important thing is sand. If the sand is too hot for you to walk in it barefoot, it is probably also too hot for your dog, if not for walking than for laying down in it. The easiest thing to do in this case is just to take and extra towel or a blanket with you for your dog. 

So as long as you remember to take some water and a maybe a towel with you for the dog, you should be fine. 
When my mum’s dog is with us, we usually spend days with 27/28° C or above at home or take a long walk through a forest. This really seems to be the better option. On days we spend at the beach we do a mixture of walking and laying down. Her dog really seems to enjoy walking along the water and meeting other dogs and their owners. Unfortunately, it doesn’t like swimming in the sea, just drinking from it. While we are laying down the dog is usually happy with digging holes or also relaxing in the sun. But we also take some toys with us, to have some sort of entertainment for it. And it’s mostly a lot of fun throwing a ball and seeing the dog chasing it.
So next time you are in or around Rostock, definitely check out the Hundestrand in Markgrafenheide, with or without a dog.

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