Your WaterLoving Dogs Best Friend

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Your WaterLoving Dogs Best Friend

by Doug Gelbert

When Memorial Day rolls around many of our favorite beaches that we have been taking our dogs to the past few months will be closing - if they haven't closed already - to our favorite trail companions. Bye-bye Cape May State Park. So long Ocean City. Hasta la vista North-South Lake. But all is not lost for water-loving dogs. We just have to be a bit more resourceful.

This banning of dogs is often most acute in parks with lakes that have swimming beaches. In the winter the parks are empty and no one cares if your dog uses the beach. But now the parking lots are full and no one wants your dog in the water where folks are swimming. What to do? Head for the boat ramp.

The boat ramp may not be the most scenic part of a lake but it is the perfect place for your dog. The path into the water is paved and slanted for easy access - your dog doesn't have to slog through mud or pick a way into the water along a rocky shore. The water is deep and unobstructed. No one is usually around - the boaters are out on the water. And I don't think I've ever seen a No Dogs Allowed sign at a boat ramp.

Plus the boat ramp often comes with a bonus - a dock. Dock diving for dogs has actually become a legitimate sport with professional dog divers traveling around the country for competitions and exhibitions. If your dog takes to diving into a lake there aren't many more fun things to do with your dog than dock diving.

Doug Gelbert is the author of over 20 books, including The Canine Hiker?s Bible. To subscribe to his FREE Newsletter on hiking with your dog and receive a copy of Rules for Dogs in 100 of the Most Popular National Park Service Lands, visit In the warmer months he leads canine hikes for tours, guiding packs of dogs and humans on hiking adventures. Tours, ranging from one-day trips to multi-day explorations, visit parks, historical sites and beaches.

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