Ocean Beach: the Most Popular Dog Beach in San Diego

Some of us just adore our pets! There is no denying it. A beach would not be complete without our fur-baby!

Now would it? Ocean Beach dog beach is one of the most friendly dog beaches in all of San Diego County.

There is no denying that this is one of the oldest and first dog beaches to ever arise.

With over a mile free of roaming land for your pets to jump, play, run and chase, it’s no wonder no one else would go anywhere else.

And the best part is… that it is open 24 hours a day!


  • Ocean Beach Dog Beach located in San Diego
  • Why Ocean Dog Beach should be your go-to Beach
  • What to bring when you visit Ocean Beach
  • Other dog-friendly beaches in San Diego
  • Conclusion

Not saying that this is the only dog beach to go to, since there are plenty.

But if you do live in the San Diego County area or just looking for a new beach to explore with fluffy, then this may be the place you might want to check out.

This dog beach also has fantastic views for you to enjoy and plenty to do if you ever want to attend.

Ocean Beach Dog Beach located in San Diego

Ocean Beach is located very close to San Diego downtown.

Within the international airport of San Diego it is located approximately about 15 minutes away and only about 20 miles from the actual beach area.

If you are someone who travels with your pet, then definitely take your pet to this local beach to roam and play. Let your dog stretch out and play with all its energy.

If you are not traveling from far, then be sure you still take time to enjoy and put this beach on your list of places to visit with your pet.

The location is also conveniently located near the downtown area of San Diego.

So after you enjoy your time at the beach then be sure to head out to the downtown area. There is plenty to do and see.

I have seen plenty and I mean plenty of dog owners taking their pets on a stroll around the city.

Not only do you get a good scenery of the downtown, but your pup will also get its very needed daily exercise!

My favorite thing to do is check out Newport Ave, where you can find some delicious restaurants that are very pet friendly. They offer tables outside for you to sit and eat while your pooch accompanies you.

why Ocean Beach Dog Beach should be your go-to beach!

Photo by Meg Sanchez

Ocean Beach Dog Beach was and still is one of the most dog friendly beaches for your pet to enjoy!

It is the oldest dog beach that San Diego first appointed back in 1959.

Today, it still brings in a large amount of dogs and people.

Ocean dog beach has what many call “Dog Haven” the leash free area. Dogs are neither constrained nor restricted.

Hence, you do not have to worry about following certain rules regarding having your pup leashed up.

Of course, you should always practice safety.

Just because your dog is not leashed and is known as one of the most friendliest dogs ever, does not mean someone else’s dog is.

Just keep an eye on your dog at all times. Trust me. I have experienced this once. Not the beach per say, but a hiking trail.

You just never know. Watch for signs of aggression from other pups.

The amazing thing about Ocean Beach dog beach is that you can enjoy the wonderful waters and amazing views.

If you do get a chance you can definitely see Ocean Beach’s spectacular pier.

Enjoy it while your there. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the pier, but you can see it from a distance and take some really good photography with your phone.

Keep an eye on your things, sometimes other dogs try and leave their scent on people’s belongings.

Sometimes it can be your backpack! Like it once was mine! lol another story learned.

It is NOT the dogs fault, but it was an accident that could have been prevented if both the owner and I would have kept our eyes open.  

What to bring with you when you visit Ocean Beach

After having gone to several dog beaches with my pup, I have learned to pick and take certain things with me when I visit the beach.

For one, be sure to bring an extra gallon of water.

Sometimes the water fountains for the dogs are broken or do not work.

Here is a basic list of things to bring with you on your next beach trip:

  • Dog Seat Cover- My dog loves sitting on my car seats after she runs all over the beach sand
  • Plastic bags- I usually put the plastic bags on my seat and then cover it with towels so that my dog can sit comfortably on my seats and I not have to worry about her getting them dirty.
  • Extra Bags- You can put your dog’s wet towels and toys in there
  • Poop Bags- I have gone several times and sometimes the poop bags are not refilled
  • Snack bag- I love carrying my dogs favorite treats because it makes me reward her when she does a good job
  • Portable Water Bowl- I would take this anywhere from hiking to the beaches! It’s collapsible and portable! Any will do.
  • Toys- sometimes I would bring beach toys, my dog loved her ball. Although sometimes other pets can steal your toys. I would only do this cautiously. You don’t want to fuel aggression from other dogs.
  • Waterproof Backpack or Bag- Anyone will do. I recommend my usual go-to bags on this blog here.
  • An extra leash- you’ll be surprised how easy it is to lose a leash. I have done it before and I have no clue how. But it has happened and could very well happen. Just bring an extra one because you never know if or when you will need one.

Other pet-friendly dog beaches in San Diego

Of course,  Ocean Beach San Diego isn’t the only place you can bring your pet to laugh and play and run!

But it is one of the best ones to enjoy a leash freedom place. There are others as well. San Diego has grown in the number of dog beaches around the county.

And thankfully a lot of people have enjoyed them. Who doesn’t love taking their fur babies with them? I know I do.

Be sure to visit other amazing dog beaches locations around San Diego County.

Here we breakdown the other dog beaches to take your dog to visit. Click here to learn more.

Del Mar dog Beach– One of the best of its kind. Find out what to expect here.

Coronado Dog Beach– Gorgeous history surrounds this dog beach; learn more of what to expect here.

Fiesta Island Mission Beach- not exactly a beach per say, but still very popular among dogs and their owners.


Ocean Beach Dog Beach is really the place to go.

This beach is just one of the best dog beaches you can find in San Diego County. It definitely makes the list in the number of places you need to visit with you pooch!

Your dog will enjoy it and so will you. It really is one of the nicest places to visit and see.

There is lots of room for your pet to roam and play with others. And the best part, is that it is completely leash free!

Can we say heck yes!

There is plenty of room for you to camp in your beach umbrella and stuff. Although, like any regular human beach, you should always keep an eye on your belongings.

It’s best to always keep an eye on your stuff either to prevent a pet from peeing on your backpack or any thief from stealing.

Ocean Beach Dog Beach Pin 1

Make sure you keep your dog well hydrated since all that running around can definitely tire them out. And yes, some days it is very hot.

Nobody wants their dog to get heatstroke. Or even you!

Stay and watch the sunset colors, they really are something to see.

Especially with the amazing pier in the background, there really is nothing more beautiful.

There are other beaches that you can also enjoy with your fur-baby.

As always keep your beaches clean, with an increase in beach pollution we do not want to contribute to this. And I am sure we would want to enjoy dog beaches for generations to come!

Pick up your dog feces using dog poop bags (bring your own because they have run out), and be sure to dispose of them correctly.

And as always have fun with your pet! Remember to have a blast visiting the local dog beaches.

Wondering what beach accessories to bring with your dogs? Read the blog of the top dog accessories we recommend right here.

Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating at.

unseenbeaches about us pic

Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️


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