Have Dog, Will Travel

Story by Jodi Helmer

The sight of the sand and the sound of the surf cause Katie to sit up a little straighter in the back seat and press her wet nose against the car window.

The 4-year-old Weimaraner knows that in just a few minutes she will be racing across the sand in her favorite spot: any beach along the Oregon Coast. "Katie loves the beach; she'll find sticks and bring them to us to throw over and over again," says her owner, Andrea Lamanna. "We go to the beach at least once a month - more during the summer - and we always bring Katie."

The beaches from Astoria to Brookings are havens for dog lovers and their four-legged companions, who happily swim in the ocean, dig in the sand, and nap on the beach. In fact, a 2006 survey conducted by BringYourPet.com found that 75 percent of travelers take their pets on vacation with them. "We love our dog so much, and we like to go places where we can take her," Lamanna says. "The coast is the perfect place for a vacation that is as much fun for her as it is for us."

In the cool winds of spring or the dog days of summer, nothing beats a good romp on the beach with your furry friends.

Dog on Beach

Beach Petiquette

Before packing up your pooch and heading to the beach, make sure that the area you are heading to permits dogs. Dogs are allowed on many beaches in Oregon, but check for posted signs or contact the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation (800-551-6949; www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS) to make sure it’s okay to bring them along.

In general, Oregon law states: Beaches that are within the boundaries of an Oregon state park must have all pets on a leash not more than six feet long and kept under physical control at all times.

Dogs or other pets are not required to be kept on a leash on beaches

outside of state parks, but control of the animal must be maintained at all times.

On beaches designated as western snowy plover nesting sites or other wildlife habitat areas, all beach pedestrians must stay on the wet sand and all pets must remain on a
6-foot leash and kept under physical control. Snowy plover nesting sites and wildlife habitat areas are well signed to alert beach visitors.

Remember, bringing your dog to the beach is a privilege, not a right. Follow simple pet etiquette and that privilege will be preserved for everyone to enjoy.

  • Keep your dog leashed at all times when required by leash laws.
  • Bring along plastic bags, so that you can clean up after your dog.
  • Don’t let your dog interact with other dogs or people at the beach unless welcomed.

When in an off-leash area, follow these extra precautions:

  • Make sure your dog is well behaved and listens to verbal commands.
  • Always pay attention to your
    dog and keep it within eyesight.
  • Don’t allow your dog to chase wildlife
Spacer Spacer Spacer

Dining with Pets

Dog owners who want their pets to tag along for lunch or an afternoon of shopping on the coast are often
surprised to find that a number of shops and restaurants welcome pets.

The growing number of pets vacationing with their owners has led hotels along the Oregon coast to begin offering special packages for four-legged guests. "For a long time, pet owners could not figure out how to make traveling with their dogs realistic," explains Bob Moyer, general manager of the Hallmark Inns and Resorts in Cannon Beach. "Now hotels and retailers are working hard to meet the demands of travelers with pets, and it has become much more doable to take pets on vacation."

The Hallmark Inns and Resorts in Newport and Cannon Beach greet pets with a special welcome basket complete with scoop bags, pet bowls, dog treat, and a Frisbee. The Looking Glass Inn in Lincoln City provides guests with dog towels and treats for a beach weekend.

Lamanna has also found a number of vacation rentals that allow pets. Although most charge an additional
$20 to $50 per night as well as a refundable pet deposit, Lamanna believes it is a small price to pay to be able to bring Katie on vacation.

Rebecca Usner agrees. She takes her 7-year-old boxer, Rex, to the coast during the summer and has never balked at the pet fees charged by most hotels. She believes the extra fee is worth it, especially for hotels like the Hallmark that offer designated dog areas complete with scoop bags. Plus, being on the coast gives Rex the chance to do what he loves: romp in the sand and swim in the ocean.

Kellie Pierce knows that Molly, her 8-year-old yellow lab mix, loves the beach even if she is too timid to go in the water. "The beaches are not that crowded, so I can let her off leash," says Pierce. "She enjoys running around and getting in the water—but only up to her knees."

On trips to the coast, Pierce usually packs a picnic lunch that she and Molly eat on the beach. She also takes treats and a lot of bottled water to ensure that Molly stays hydrated on warm days.

Dog owners who want their pets to tag along for lunch and an afternoon of shopping on the Oregon Coast are often surprised to find that a number of shops and restaurants welcome pets.

The Wet Dog Cafe in Astoria and the Rogue Ale Public House in Newport have outdoor seating where pets are welcome to dine with their owners. Brewer’s on the Bay, located inside the Rogue Ales Brewery, offers special dog treats to go, including a carob pretzel with yogurt frosting and croissants with beef. On the outdoor patios at the Public House and the Wet Dog, servers will bring dog treats and water bowls to well-behaved four-legged guests.

Family of Pets


"We have quite a few customers who bring their dogs with them to eat," says Kera Huber, general manager of the Wet Dog Cafe. "Some of our customers are traveling and don’t want to leave their dogs in the car and others are locals who are walking along the waterfront with their dogs and decide to sit on the patio and have a beer."

According to Huber, most dog owners are considerate of other customers and ensure their pets are well-behaved during dinner. She believes that dogs add to the atmosphere of the Wet Dog Cafe, attracting positive attention from both staff and customers.

Lamanna has also discovered that taking her dog to the coast is a surefire way to strike up conversations with other travelers who stop to play with Katie.

"Katie gets a lot of attention when we take her to the coast," Lamanna says. "There are so many dog lovers on the beach who just can’t help stopping to pet her."


Ale Fest goes to the dogs

The Rogue Ales Brewery takes dog-friendly to a new level with the first annual Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest. May 18 and 19 are the dates for such events as a Dog Wash, Dog Olympics, brewer’s dinner, and a Texas hold ’em game. You and your pooch can get your groove on to live music headlined by Tom Varley, Whiskey Robbers, Hoodoo Johnson, and Etouffee. There is plenty of food on hand, more than 30 breweries, and craft vendor booths. Dogs may accompany owners in all areas except in the food court.

The Ale Fest benefits Humane Societies throughout Oregon. Admission is $10. The festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and 12 to 10 p.m. on Saturday at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport. (541-867-3660; www.rogue.com)

A paw-full of fun and games

Canine-lovers are invited to join in the fun on June 23 at the Long Beach Peninsula Doggie Olympic Games. Events include Babe Ruth Obedience Baseball, Who’s Your Daddy? mixed breed competition, Dunking for Dogs, I’ve Got Rhythm Musical Sit, The Mariah Carey/Luciano Pavarotti Sing Off, and more.

In addition to the competitions, there are vendors with dog-related goods, information booths, a raffle, a silent auction, and a dog and companion photo opportunity.

The competitions run from 12 to 5 P.M. at the Bolstad beach approach in Long Beach, Washington. There is no charge to attend the event, but there are handler and event fees for entrants that fund the South Pacific County Humane Society. (800-451-2542; www.funbeach.com or www.beachpets.com)

New Pet Care Products

pet bowlRuff Wear, based in Bend, offers innovative products for dogs (and owners) on the go. Their light-weight, collapsible dog bowls are perfect for road trips or a hike on the beach. Retail $11.95–$24.95.

The K-9 Float Coat is a must for dogs that love the water. The ergonomically designed coat offers flotation capabilities and warmth, a must-have when dogs decide to take a romp in frigid ocean water, and an added bonus of bright colors so that your canine pal is easy to spot while swimming. Retail $49.95–$69.95 (888-783-3932; www.ruffwear.com).

What’s a dog to do when it’s rainy on the coast? Just slip on a Gold Paw Series coat by Sellwood Dog Supply. The coats feature a waterproof and breathable shell with premium polar fleece on the inside to keep your dog pets in coatswarm. With 30 sizes available, it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your pooch. Retail $30–$60 (503-239-1517; www.sellwooddogsupply.com).

A day at the beach is sure to result in wet, sandy puppy paws. Bamboo’s Mud Magnet is made of super-absorbent micro fiber that wipes paws clean without water. The glove and mitt combo whisks away dirt before you get back into your car, hotel room, or home. Retail $9.99.

Cleaning a dirty dog bowl while on the road can be a real pain, so Bamboo created the Feed + Toss disposable dog bowls to make traveling with your pet easier. The heavy-duty plastic liners can be thrown away after each use, or better yet, placed with recyclables. Retail $3.99 and up (818-893-5000; www.bamboopet.com)

Oregon Coast March/April 2007  
Spacer Spacer


Home  |  Subscribe |Writers and Photographers GuidelinesContact Us | Oregon Coast