The beach is so much more fun with someone to play ball with – and to watch them run around with their dog pals, leaping into the water to cool off and frolic in the waves. Having your dog with you will also encourage you to explore new areas and appreciate the outstanding beauty this region has to offer.
There are many official and a lot more unofficial dog-friendly beaches in Croatia, however compared to the countless beaches there are, this percentage is actually small. Many more beaches allowed dogs at one time, but due to careless owners are not dog-friendly anymore. So just follow these simple guidelines (in addition to the beach's rules), and you and your four-legged friend will be welcome back as many times as you like:
• Do make sure your dog's vaccinations are current and that he's wearing the proper ID.
• Do check the sea for jellyfish and urchins. A sting can end your dog’s fun pretty quickly.
• Do stay alert for potential hazards in the water – sharp rocks, shells or discarded fishing hooks can certainly ruin both his and your experience. Watch for any limping as your pup comes out of the water.
• Do set a time limit for your beach trip. A couple hours might be just the right amount of time at the beach, depending on your dog's activity level.
• Do watch for signs of overheating. If your dog starts panting rapidly (more so than usual), drooling, vomiting, pooping uncontrollably, or collapses, get them cooled down with some wet towels and take them to a vet.
• Do follow the rules set by the beach. You don't want to be the reason that dogs aren't allowed at that particular beach anymore.
• Do follow good dog etiquette. Fill in any holes your dog may have dug. Remove them if they’re barking too much or getting overly friendly with other dogs or people.
• Do bring his favourite toys and balls to throw and fetch. This is exactly why you are both there: to have fun!
• Don't let your dogs go into areas of the beach where they're not allowed. You’re much less likely to get frowns if you demonstrate that you’re following the rules. Also, many beaches have environmentally sensitive spots that can be damaged by an enthusiastically romping dog.
• Don't leave your dog unattended. Even the best-behaved pups get distracted and forget their manners. Paying attention and being proactive will go a long way in protecting you and your dog.
• Don't forget to bring the leash, beach towels and a sun umbrella since you can't guarantee that you will have access to a shady area. Dogs can overheat rapidly if left in the sun without any shelter.
• Don’t allow your dog to drink seawater. Keep your dog well hydrated and always bring lots of fresh water. Also, a spray bottle with cool water can help in temperature regulation and you can clean the sand and salt water from the dog's paws, which can cause irritation and dry out those sensitive pads.
• Don't force your dog into the water if he or she is being timid, and maybe even bring a swim vest if your pet is not an expert swimmer.
• Don't leave a mess behind - and burying the poop in the sand doesn’t count. Bring your own doggie poop bags and be diligent about picking up after your pooch.
Planning a beach tour is so much nicer from the comforts of your perfect holiday villa. So just bring your furry friend along on a great holiday and book a stay in one of our many dog-friendly villas in Croatia
p.s. these are Nina and Bepo, My Istria’s special stars and good connoisseurs of Croatian beaches :)