6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in St. Petersburg, Florida

If you're looking for dog-friendly beaches in St. Petersburg, Florida, enjoy quality time with your furry friend at Pass-a-Grille Dog Beach, St. Pete Beach Dog Park, Gandy Beach Mangroves, Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, Bicentennial Park, and Fort de Soto Park. These spots offer activities like off-leash play, swimming, and dining with your pet. Always check specific rules, bring the necessary, and secure your pet's safety. 

Dog Friendly Beaches in florida

Top 7 Dog-friendly beaches in and near St. Petersburg, Florida

Below is our list of our hand-picked dog-friendly beaches near St. Petersburg, Florida where you can find activities such as hiking, pet stores, and excursions with excellent popularity ratings for you and your Fido.

#1: Pass-a-Grille Dog Beach

Just a short scenic drive from St. Petersburg, Florida, Pass-a-Grille Beach is a dog lover paradise! Imagine that your dog can share a meal with you at Pass-a-Grille literally sitting at the picnic table next to you. Dogs and humans alike flock to Paradise Grille's pavilion each evening to view the sunset and observe birds.

Shadrack's Bar is a favorite hangout of many tourists, especially those with dogs. The outside dining area at several restaurants (Hurricane, Sea Critters, Berkeley Beach Club Grace, Sea Critters) allows pets to join in the fun. There are also two small inns in Pass-a-Grille - the Coconut Inn and Island's End - that welcome dogs as guests!

Even though dogs are not permitted on the Gulf side beaches, they are allowed on 16th Avenue's dog park, as well as a doggie beach on the Bayside at the end of Pass-a-Grille Way.

#2: St. Pete Beach Dog Park

Another dog park with great reviews is St. Pete Beach Dog Park. You can spend a couple of hours and a whole day there and never run out of things to do!

At Dog Bar in St. Pete's Grand Central District, where you'll discover cool drinks and a fenced-in area where dogs can play off-leash, grabbing a drink with your pals takes on an entirely new connotation. It's the ideal destination for walking your dog.

A great pet friendly beach, there are water dishes, goodies, and eateries with outside seating areas are all available along Beach Drive. With your best buddy, make at least one day of sightseeing in St. Petersburg on foot. Boutique, a trendy boutique-bar concept where the pleasant employees keep a big jar of Milk-Bone biscuits on hand, is across the street.

The homes of this neighborhood are famous for their architecture and beautiful facades. Between downtown and the Grand Central District, you'll enjoy strolling along Central Ave. Some stores will even allow you to bring your dog inside to browse with you. Stop by Three Dog Bakery for some unique items, and they'll even add your dog's name to the treats.

Dog friendly beach in St Petersburg

#3: Gandy Beach Mangroves

Dogs adore Gandy Beach Mangroves! Not only is it an off leash beach but the wading zone extends more than 20 feet into the water before becoming deep, allowing small and large dogs to enjoy a large space. Families and their four-legged companions will enjoy a nonstop party at this beach and mangrove combo. Grills, RVs, tents, kayaks, and boats are all welcome.

The Gandy Bridge Causeway Beach, which is accessible via the Gandy Bridge, is one of the best places on Earth for dog owners. Dogs are permitted to run off-leash and even swim in the ocean there. Because of the heavy traffic on Gandy Boulevard, only leashed dogs are allowed.

#4: Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, South Tampa

This lovely park in South Tampa is a hidden gem. It's the ideal location to unwind with the family or have a picnic (as the name suggests).

The beach features a volleyball court and a disc golf course. A dog beach is accessible just south of the landing stage. The sandy playground and beach are open for kids' enjoyment. This beach has plenty of room to run about in the sand, but keep in mind that there are sharp rocks and even oyster shells near the coast.

The dog beach, which is completely fenced in on three sides and offers access to the bay's waters on the fourth, is a unique feature of this park. Swimming holes for dogs are found across the park.

You'll also discover picnic tables and grills for a fantastic outside meal, as well as accessible drinking water. The garden is shaded by palm trees that have been planted in strategic clusters. Always have clean-up bags on hand to pick up any spills and keep the beach tidy. When hiking away from the off-leash area, keep your dog on a leash.

Bring your dog to the Picnic Island Park Dog Beach for a truly pawrific day in the sun! There are even hoses available to clean the beach off your dog for the return journey!

Dog friendly beach in tampa

#5: Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park is a wonderful, 24-hour-a-day dog-friendly park with swimming access for dogs. Waterfront parks provide a variety of activities, as well as floodlit sports fields, adventure playgrounds, indigenous marshes, beaches, and off-leash sections. The large grassy area with sweeping views of the Anzac Bridge is a true kids' paradise.

Follow the canal while your dog is let to sniff off the leash for most of the trip. This is a lovely stroll along the beach with stairs to the water. Hikers who want to get back to nature can go for a walk along one of the park's nature paths or boardwalks.

The dog park has sections for small and large dogs, as well as fountains, benches, and trees for shade. The little dog yard is for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds, while the big dog yard is for dogs over 25 pounds. Bicentennial Park is definitely one of the best dog friendly beaches around!

#6: Fort de Soto Park

We saved the best for last! The Dog Beach of Fort de Soto Park is one of the most popular dog beaches in Florida, and for good reason.

This beach has it all:

  • a wide variety of scenery and plenty of room to run (over 600 acres),
  • camping, nature trails, concessions,
  • picnic areas and playgrounds,
  • restrooms and showers,
  • wheelchair access.

The park encompasses a beach, fishing pier, nature trails, and an off-leash dog area. Dogs are allowed on a leash up to six feet long on the beach and in designated areas of the park.

The Dog Beaches are open from sunrise to sunset, except for during turtle season, May 1 – Oct. 31, when they're open from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Fort de Soto Park boasts two large fenced grassy areas designed to contain canine fun: one for big pooches and the other for small dogs. Pack a picnic, dog toys, and a chair, and you'll be set for the day at this beautiful beach.

While you're there, be sure to explore the Spanish fort Wardrobe.

Dog friendly beach in St Pete

St. Petersburg is not only known for its dog-friendly beaches but also for hosting various dog-centric events throughout the year. Events like "Paws in the Park" and "Bark in the Park" are annual gatherings where dog owners can come together, participate in fun activities, and even adopt a new furry friend. These events often feature dog costume contests, agility demonstrations, and local pet vendors showcasing their products.

Benefits of taking your dog to the beach

Taking your dog to the beach is not just fun but also beneficial for their health. The sand acts as a natural exfoliant for their paws, and the saltwater can help in healing minor wounds. Running on the beach is excellent exercise, helping dogs to burn off excess energy and maintain a healthy weight. Plus, the mental stimulation they get from exploring a new environment is unparalleled.

Things to Remember

It's important to prepare ahead of time and ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment before heading out to spend a day at the beach with your canine companion.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Remember to keep plenty of water on hand for your pets to avoid dehydration, which affects people and dogs in Florida's all-year-round heat.
  • Saltwater can make your dog's stomach upset, causing diarrhea and vomiting. Large amounts might induce a potentially deadly chemical imbalance in your dog's system.
  • Seek frequent rests for your dogs in the shade while visiting dog-friendly beaches.
  • Talk with your pet's veterinarian about specific dog sunscreen and heart-worm medicine to prevent pesky mosquitoes.
  • Check dog parks' websites or call before you go to find out about any special rules, such as required vaccinations or seasonal closures.
  • Bathe your dog after a day at the beach and keep an eye on its paws in the sand and rocks for potential hazards.
  • Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and have the vaccine information with you because it’s required for entry to some dog parks.
  • Bring along all of Fido’s medications for illness or injury.
  • And always remember to clean up after your dog! Dog-friendly beaches are a privilege that can be taken away if pet parents don't show responsibility.

Now, it's time to pack and enjoy our dog-friendly beaches. Don't forget to take plenty of pictures to capture all the memories!