Getting Out With the Dogs
Our four-legged friends love the outdoor life as much as we do
We all know that beaches, parks and preserves are great places to enjoy fresh air, get a little exercise and maybe even meet a new friend or two. Our four-legged friends feel the same way. In Southwest Florida, there is even a special beach set aside for them: Dog Beach, which is located at the south end of Lovers Key in Estero. It allows dogs in the Gulf waters, unleashed, from sunrise to sunset.
Leashed dogs are permitted on Sanibel’s beaches. Captiva beaches do not allow pets, except for Lee County-owned Turner Beach, on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. Because of logistics, Turner Beach is operated by Sanibel. Other local parks and preserves with water access that allow leashed dogs include the Causeway Islands on the way to Sanibel and Galt Preserve in St. James City on Pine Island.
“Our family really enjoys going to the beach and our dog is definitely part of the family and likes to go, too,” says Janet Wilson, a communications specialist with Lee County government. She and her leashed pooch Charley are regulars at Turner Beach.
Of course parks always offer a great chance to enjoy the outdoors. In Collier County, all parks allow pets on leashes. Additionally, there is Rover Run Dog Park at Veterans Community Park, where large dogs and smaller dogs are sectioned off.
“Collier County Parks and Recreation offers many beautiful parks to spend time with your four-legged friends,” says Daniel Christenbury, public information coordinator for Collier County Public Services Operations. “While your pets must remain on a leash, except for at the dedicated dog park, there is plenty of space for a long hike, bike ride or picnic with the whole family.” (Dogs are not permitted on Collier County beaches.)
Whether you’re taking Homer for a hike, Buddy to the beach or Patches to the preserve, it’s important to follow the rules of the park. Remember to take plenty of water, bags for cleaning up after your dog, and perhaps a flying disc or ball. It’ll be a real treat for both of you.