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5 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Naples and Sanibel, FL 2023: Off-Leash & On-Leash Places to Go

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

black and white french bulldog at the beach

Naples, Florida and Sanibel Island are close to each other, and they offer dog-friendly beaches to take your canine pal. Locals and visitors alike can take in the sun with no need to leave their doggies at home.

In this article, we’ll explore dog-friendly beaches in both areas so you know where you can go and enjoy the day with your pooch.

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Top 5 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Naples & Sanibel

1. Keewaydin Island/Naples

🗺️ Address: 📍1490 5th Ave. S, Naples, FL 34102
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sundown
💲 Cost: Boat rental fees vary
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • One of southwest Florida’s largest unabridged barrier island
  • Dogs must be leashed
  • Requires a boat to get on and off the island/rental boats/water shuttles available
  • Heads up: there are no amenities available, so ensure you bring water
  • Features 8 miles of pristine, sandy white beach

2. Bonita Beach Dog Park

🗺️ Address: 📍14436 Bonita Beach Causeway, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes
  • A little over an hour from Naples
  • Perfect for watching sunsets
  • Features a doggie rinse station, portable toilet,
  • Closed until December 30, 2022, due to Hurricane Ian

3.  Gulfside City Park Beach (Algiers Beach) Sanibel

🗺️ Address: 📍2001 Algiers Ln, Sanibel, FL 33957
🕐 Open Times: 24 hours
💲 Cost: $5 parking per hour; free after 7 p.m.
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Amenities include outdoor showers, drinking fountains, restrooms, a shaded pavilion, picnic areas, and bike racks
  • Dogs must remain on a leash at all times
  • Excellent beach for shelling

4.  Lighthouse Beach Park/Sanibel

🗺️ Address: 📍110 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
🕐 Open Times: 24 hours
💲 Cost: $5 parking fee
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, showers, barbecue grills, a shaded pavilion, and a fishing pier
  • Dogs must remain on a leash at all times
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Must bring your own doggie waste bags

5.  Bowman’s Beach Park/Sanibel

🗺️ Address: 📍1700 Bowman’s Beach Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957
🕐 Open Times: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
💲 Cost: $5 parking fee
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • S. News Travel recognized this beach as one of the top 10 beaches in the world
  • Portable toilets, grills, picnic tables, a shaded playground, outdoor showers, and bike racks are available
  • Offers miles of secluded sandy white beach
  • Dogs must remain on a leash

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Now that you know what beaches are dog-friendly in the Naples/Sanibel area, let’s look at safety tips before you head out.

  • As much as your pooch will want to, do not let your dog drink saltwater because it can cause diarrhea. Large amounts can even be fatal.
  • Ensure you bring plenty of fresh water for your dog. Some places have drinking fountains, but it’s always wise to bring your own, just in case.
  • Dogs can get sunburned, especially dogs with white coats and pink skin. Bring along sunscreen that’s made for dogs and apply roughly 30 minutes before heading out.
  • Pay attention to the flags for rough surf or marine life. Dogs can get stung by jellyfish, attract sea lice, or get caught in a riptide.
  • Sand can get hot, so pay attention to your dog’s paw pads and avoid prolonged exposure to your dog’s paws.
  • Bringing a beach umbrella along is advised so your dog can take a break from the sun. Some places have shady areas, but some do not.
  • Salt can damage your dog’s coat, so ensure you rinse your dog afterward. Some places offer rinsing stations, but if there is not one, ensure you rinse your doggo when you get home.
  • Never leave your dog unattended, and always pick up after your dog.

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We hope our list gives you the information you need to have a fun and safe day at the beach in the Naples and Sanibel area. Always follow the rules and stay within the designated areas.  Ensure you follow any leash rules, and always clean up after your dog. Lastly, don’t forget to bring fresh water and sunscreen for both you and your dog!

Featured Image Credit: Gabriella Clare Marino, Unsplash

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