How To Have a Dog-Friendly Surf Holiday in Cornwall

Maybe your furry four-legged friend needs a surf lesson too?

Dog Friendly Surf Holiday in Cornwall

So many of us now have a furry four-legged friend but being a dog mum or dad comes with the added responsibility of what do you do with your dog while you’re at the beach or in the water… The first thing to consider is where you are staying. Many Cornwall holiday homes, campsites and hotels allow dogs to stay with their owners, with many charging an extra per night to accommodate the dog.

One thing to be aware of though is that many won’t allow your pet to be left alone in the room or property, or the dog may be banned from certain areas of the hotel. If your dog can stay with you at your accommodation but can’t be left alone, the question remains what to do with them when you hit the beach.

Option one is to book a dog sitter or kennel nearby. This is only an option if you know your dog will be happy with someone else or in a different or new environment. Some kennels offer day boarding, but this arrangement can cause unnecessary distress to your dog, so think carefully before opting for this.

Of course, the answer would be to take your dog with you to the beach. If you are bringing your dog to the beach, you’re in luck as in Cornwall there are many dog-friendly beaches. However, there are a few different restrictions at different times of the year.

Enjoying a Dog-Friendly Holiday in Cornwall

To pick your beach for the day with your dog in tow it’s always best to check the most recent rules for individual beaches as they can vary. Cornwall Council has the updated restriction list here which outlines which dates and times dogs are banned on particular beaches.

When taking your dog to the beach there are some essentials it’s a good idea to bring with you. These include poo bags, an old towel you can dry them off with or indeed wet and put over them if it’s a hot day, a sun shelter, LOTS of drinking water, and some treats.

In the summer it is best to keep an eye on the weather and to keep your dog off the beach during 12-4 pm, the hottest time of the day. You’d be surprised at how hot it can get for dogs with all that fur and heatstroke can be fatal in dogs. For a list of canine heatstroke symptoms and treatment please click here

Once at the beach keeping your dog under control is a must, ideally, you’ll keep the dog on a long line which gives them some freedom to roam but not so much that they wander off or get lost.

The majority of dogs enjoy the water as much as we do, so the beach is a great place to bring your dog. If you are confident in the water your pooch can join you for a swim, sup, or even surf! We recommend getting your dog a well-fitted life vest especially if they are enthusiastic water users. The tides and currents at many beaches can be strong so it is always essential to keep an eye out for beaches with lifeguards and be confident to spot any rips or strong currents.

We would not recommend leaving your dog unattended on the beach while you swim, sup or surf. Your dog could be very distressed, lost, or even stolen. If you are holidaying with others, take it in turns to stay with your dog, or you can try and take your dog with you for a paddleboard or surf! With a little practice and training, you and your dog can enjoy being on the water together.

Helpful Tips for Taking Your Dog Surfing in Cornwall

There are a few things to remember however when taking your dog on the water:

  1. Dogs can’t paddle the board out on their own;
  2. Dogs can’t launch the boards on their own;
  3. Dogs have more hair to get wet and heavy than humans;
  4. Dogs can’t wear a wetsuit to keep their bodies warm;
  5. Dogs’ toes don’t curl like ours, so they don’t have the same ability to grip the board or to help with balance;
  6. Dogs don’t see where they’re going as well as humans can;
  7. Dogs get bored if they’re alone on a board for too long;

If you want your canine to become an accomplished surfing pooch, you need to train them and train them well. Training is the key to success, but make sure it is fun for your best friend! Dogs learn quickly but don’t rush the surf learning process. Introduce your dog to surfboards on dry land before transitioning to the ocean – food and positive reinforcement can work together to boost your dog’s performance.

There are many great dog surf training videos out there, but here is one of our favourites

Also check out how much fun Abbie has on a surfboard: