How to Bring Your Dog on Vacation : Visit Dog Friendly Dauphin Island Beaches
Dauphin Island is Pet Friendly!
Dogs and Dauphin Island have been longtime companions, and now that the threat of oil from off shore has dissipated, the upper Gulf coast’s most dog friendly beaches are again open to man’s best friend.
The powdery, white sand shore at Dauphin Island, Alabama has long been known for being the most welcoming on the Gulf coast. “We love animals here on Dauphin Island,” said Mike Henderson, executive director of the Dauphin Island Parks and Beach Board.
Dog friendly public beaches have been a major draw of Dauphin Island for many years, and as neighboring destinations have restricted the canine companions, the number of dog loving visitors has steadily increased. “To be perfectly honest, we may be the only dog friendly beach left along this part of the Gulf coast,” Henderson said. “I don’t believe that you can bring your dog to the beaches at Gulf Shores or Orange Beach anymore, and because of that we are getting more visitors with their dogs than ever before.”
The Island’s dog friendly public beach policy is simple – owners are required to keep their pet on a leash, they must clean up any mess that the dog might leave behind, and the animal must not disturb other beachgoers.
The Island’s public beach near the Red School House and the old landmark fishing pier is the largest area on Dauphin Island set aside for dogs and their owners to chase crabs, jog, romp and play on the sand and in the surf. “There are at least a couple of miles of beach there, and with Sand Island now connected to Dauphin Island, we have another three miles of undeveloped beach jutting out into the Gulf on that barrier island,” said Henderson.
“The Dauphin Island Campground is a very, very dog friendly location,” Henderson said. “There is a public beach connected to the campground that welcomes dogs and their owners year ‘round. In fact, sometimes it appears that our winter Snowbirds average at least two dogs per couple because of our openness toward their pets.”
The campground provides doggie stations throughout the property with “mutt mittens” so that campers can pick up after their pets.
Henderson added that he has never witnessed a dog fight at either public beach. “It’s like the dogs really enjoy being there and playing together,” he said.
“Families contact us throughout the year just to say thanks for allowing them to bring their dogs to the beach,” he said, “and, word must be spreading because it’s amazing the number of dogs our campers are now bringing in.”
According to Kelby Linn, owner of ACP Realty, there are a large number of rental properties and hotel rooms that accept pets on the Island. “There are around 90 vacation homes here that welcome dogs, normally with a small non-refundable pet fee per pet,” said Linn. “The Gulf Breeze Hotel also has a selection of pet-friendly rooms for vacationers.”
Though dogs are allowed at Dauphin Island’s primary public beach and at the Dauphin Island Campground, pets are not allowed at the West End Beach Park on the Island’s extreme west end.
Located just 30 miles south of Mobile at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Dauphin Island is Alabama’s Family Beach Within Reach ®. For more information, please visit www.dauphinislandcoc.com or call 251-861-5524.