So, what’s the picture when it comes to dogs allowed on Clearwater Beach? Does it see itself as dog friendly, or do they have a blanket ban on whether or not you can take your dog there?
Taking your dog to the beach to watch them run and play in the sand equates to a lot of fun. You just see the happiness pouring out of your dog, especially if they manage to make it into the water.
But there’s a problem. Not every beach in the United States allows dogs. On other occasions, you can access the beach, but under some strict restrictions, and often linked to the time of day.
But some people make the mistake of thinking that all beaches are open to everyone. Well, that’s not actually the case across the country.
Also, there’s every possibility you could run into problems if you venture onto the wrong part.
But anyway, back to what happens when it comes to Clearwater Beach.
The answer here comes across as pretty mixed. You see, the rules state you cannot venture onto the public beach with your dog. However, they then have special dog parks, so you can at least visit the area.
But then the picture becomes even more confusing when you move to other stretches of beach. What you then see is that signs exist telling you that your dog must remain on its leash at all times.
That then opens up the question of what the exact rules or laws are because surely they would not need a sign talking about a leash if no dogs were allowed?
So, that’s what we need to investigate on your behalf. After all, we certainly do not want you to find yourself caught out and getting into trouble with your dog.
The sad part is that this is something that is very easy to do, so we need to help you out.
Your Dog Cannot Go Here
Let’s sort one thing out first, and that’s the areas where dogs cannot venture onto the beach. Under no circumstances can you take your dog onto the public bathing section of Clearwater Beach.
This law is always strictly enforced, and the local authorities make it clear as to the sections where they then apply these laws.
Also, Clearwater Beach does react differently to other beaches around the country in that they do not even determine you can take your dog there outwith busy times.
Instead, they provide a blanket ban. That means they do not allow dogs there at any point even if it’s early in the morning in the midst of winter.
For some, this could end up surprising them simply because a lot of beaches are not actually as strict as this when it comes to dogs.
However, Clearwater Beach has decided to clearly mark out what happens, and they stick to the rules.
Exceptions to the Rule
But there is an exception to the rule, and it’s one you were probably expecting. Owners can take service dogs onto the beach at any point. For them, the rules do not apply.
That does mean any dog that helps someone with a disability can go onto the beach. However, they do need to remain on their leash at all times.
This exception comes down to the simple fact that an individual cannot be penalized for their disability and have their freedom restricted.
So, service dogs can come with their owner to the beach, and this applies even in the middle of summer when the beach does tend to get quite busy.
But Why Ban Dogs?
Even though there is nothing set in absolute stone here, it does come down to a couple of reasons as to why authorities have taken this step.
First, Clearwater Beach is pristine, and the authorities do not want to have dogs messing it up. While most dog owners do take care and clean up after their dogs, that’s not always the case.
So, because of that simple fact, it makes life easier to just ban dogs from certain areas to allow people to relax and enjoy the beach without running into some dog mess.
But that’s not all.
Dogs can become rather excited when playing on the beach, and also running into the water, and Clearwater Beach does get quite busy during summer. With so many people there, having dogs running around off the leash would not end well.
Now, you may say your dog is one of the most well-behaved dogs around, but not everyone can say that. So, the blanket ban exists just to make sure that no mishaps occur.
Where Dogs are Allowed
The good news is you do have stretches of beach where you can walk with your dog. Those areas focus on North Beach, but you need to go past Somerset Street to get to that area. Also, Beach Walk is accessible with your dog.
But in all these areas there is one caveat. Your dog must remain on their leash.
You cannot take your dog off their leash and let them run free. Instead, you must ensure they remain under your control at all times, and that is the only way in which you can get onto the beach with your dog.
Also, there do not appear to be any time restrictions as to when you can get to these parts of the beach with your dog.
This is actually great news as so many beaches will only allow you access up to 10 am, so at least you can go there in the middle of the day and sit on the beach with your dog.
Remember Dog Parks
One thing to remember is that the area does have a number of dog parks available for you to check out, and they do have a vast array of facilities.
Some also allow your dog to be taken off their leash and to run around a bit more, so it’s worth checking them out and seeing if any appeal to you.
Any Other Beaches?
If you feel like venturing a bit of a distance, then you could end up at a couple of other beaches out with Clearwater Beach where your dog is welcome to explore.
Two such examples are Fort de Soto Park Dog Beach, and also Honeymoon Island Pet Beach.
With Fort de Soto Park Dog Beach, it’s pretty obvious why you would want to go there with your dog.
Here, your dog can actually run around without their leash, and it’s certainly something they will enjoy doing. Also, the park does have a special dog shower installed, and it’s an excellent idea.
The Honeymoon Island Pet Beach is also slightly different. The main issue here is that you need to be a member to access the beach in the first place.
But here, there’s a need to keep them on their leash at all times, and it should never extend more than 6 feet.
Any Other Rules to Be Aware Of?
Aside from the areas where you can and cannot venture with your dog, the only other rule to be aware of is the obvious one. You need to make sure you clean up after them and keep them under control.
Dog parks have a number of stations where you can pick up some bags for dealing with their poop, but they don’t always exist on the beach.
That is why you need to take your own with you, and then make sure you use them if required.
The issue about keeping them under control does extend beyond merely making sure your dog stays on its leash.
It’s about the noise they make, and also that they do not get too excited and harass other dogs, or people.
If your dog is disruptive, then it’s best to then leave and avoid causing any trouble. A dog usually so well behaved can get too excited from time to time, and that can then lead to a few problems.
If you do feel that this may become an issue, then we do suggest avoiding these areas in the middle of the day. Beaches are open from sunrise to sunset, so take advantage of those hours, and make sure you avoid the crowds.
So if you would like to take your dog to Clearwater Beach, then you must proceed with caution. Your dog is not allowed to venture onto certain parts of the beach, and other areas are only accessible when on their leash.
Do pay close attention to your location. It is very easy to find yourself getting caught out by the rules and regulations.
But the main thing is to make sure you go beyond Somerset Street if you want to go to the beach with your dog. Or, prepare to travel some distance to get to specific dog beaches in the area.
They may be the better option for some as it does mean your dog has more space and freedom to run around and enjoy nature.