It’s a great time of year to go for a hike with your dog. Fresh air and exercise are good for the body and soul. We’re fortunate to have a variety of dog friendly parks, open spaces, and beaches in San Diego County to make the outdoors fun. 

Many of these parks and beaches are dry, have little shade, and/or few facilities. You’ll need to bring along water and plan on hiking during the cool time of the day.

To keep your dog hydrated try the Lixit Thirsty Dog -- it’s a combo water bottle and bowl. Or if a simple bowl is more your preference, check out the Sipper and Lapper from Olly Dog. These bowls are foldable and fit in just about any pocket.

In locations that do require a leash, try going hands-free with Spindrift’s Safety Collar. It features reflective trim for added safety. Don’t want to buy a new collar? Pair your dog’s current collar with any of the Spindrift leashes -- they can all be used hands-free. Or try out the Ruffwear Flat Out Leash, which features a side-release buckle for added versatility.

Ruffwear makes some great day packs for your dog such as the Approach Pack and the Singletrack Pack. Not only do these packs let your dog carry some of the load, but the integrated assistance handle lets you easily help your friend get over the tough spots. For less rugged adventures try the Boa Lite harness from Alite Designs. Got a smaller dog and need greater visibility for him? Ruffwear’s Track Jacket is ideal. It’s a lightweight jacket made from high visibility material and features attachment loops so you can add reflectors or lights.

Here are some fun locations to check out. In general, dogs are not allowed on state beaches or in state and national parks, except for parking lots. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trails in most national forests and wilderness areas. Park rules and conditions can change at any time so check out the parks online before you head out.

Leashed Areas (this usually means a maximum 6’ leash)