Yesterday we packed up the dogs and explored another dog park. This time not only was it a dog park, but it is also a dog beach. This time we did not explore on our own, we brought our human friend Megan and her dog Midnight along for the adventure. We loaded up the car with our beach stuff, 3 humans, and 3 dogs and hit the road.
The dog park/beach we explored was Fort DeSoto Dog Park/Beach. Fort DeSoto park is the largest of the Pinellas County parks and has a lot of amenities: historic fort, camping sites, boat launch, picnic shelters, restrooms, playgrounds, trails, beaches, dog parks/beaches, a fishing pier, and more.
In the dog area of Fort DeSoto, which is located by the pier, there is a fenced in dog park area. This section has 2 areas like most parks 1 for small dogs, and 1 for large dogs. These areas even have hoses to wash your dog off. The fenced in areas are huge! There is also the dog beach in the same area. It’s a separate area of the beach where humans can bring their pups for a day in sun. Dogs are allowed to be off leash, roam the beach, and swim.
Important tip: there is a $5 fee to enter Fort DeSoto to access any of its amenities.
Important tip #2: if there is limited parking in the parking lot where the dog park and beach are, park across the street in the kayak area.
Now that you know a bit about the park it’s time to review it and tell you our likes and dislikes.
What do we like about Fort DeSoto:
1. Large fenced in dog park areas. These areas are some of the largest we have seen of the typical small/large dog sectioned off dog parks in the area. There is so much room to let them run,play, and explore.
2. The hoses to wash off your dog. Both the small and large dog areas have hoses set on a floating deck to hose down your dog after a day at the beach or in the park.
3. The dog beach. It’s a long stretch of beach where you can set up to enjoy the sun and the waves with your pup. You can easily find a spot to set up for the day even on a busy Saturday during spring break. Plus, the dogs get to play and swim and you get to enjoy a day at the beach without worrying about your pups back at home.
4. Dog waste stations placed around/near the park and beach with trash cans and doggie waste bags.
5. Everyone we have encountered there is super friendly. Being on a dog beach, dogs are curious and sometimes wander up to where you have all your stuff laid out for the day. We have never found someone who has even rude or cared when a dog wanders up to explore.
Now it’s time for what we dislike…..
1. The station to hose off your dog is in the middle of the fenced in areas. So after I hose my dogs off, they get dirty again walking out of the park towards the entrance/exit gate.
2. There are no water stations for the dogs. Most dog parks have dog water stations/bowls/fountains, etc. Fort DeSoto does not. So make sure you bring extra water for your pup. (Tip #3: bring a water jug and fill it with ice and water to refill your dogs bowl. It’s much easier than adding extra water bottles to your cooler for your dog.)
3. There is a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the beach. Which when lugging your beach stuff, your dog, and their stuff, can be a bit difficult. (Tip #4: unload your dog and stuff with someone you are going to the beach with near the entrance to the trail that leads to the beach, then go park the car. Save yourself from lugging everything through the parking lot. Or use a beach cart, wagon, etc. Trust us, this is a useful tip.)
Lexi has been to this dog beach before and loves it. She has the best time swimming, sun bathing, and running with new dog friends. This was Aurora’s first beach trip. She is still small right now so the “waves” were crashing in her face and she hated that so she did not walk in to swim on her own. But, when Ian carried her out and let her go, her and Lexi would swim together back to the shore. They both had a great time swimming, taking walks, and playing. We even let Aurora explore off leash a bit and she did great. She stayed with us, listened, did not run after the other dogs, etc. They both had an awesome day in the sun, sand, and water.
It was a beautiful day, at a beautiful beach, with our little dog family and friends. We can’t wait to take Aurora back again soon. Check out our other blog posts reviewing dog parks in the St. Pete/Pinellas County area (Exploring new dog parks one at a time , Another day, another dog park) and also our Tail of Two Puppies Facebook Page for pictures and videos of Lexi and Aurora, especially the videos of them swimming at Fort DeSoto dog beach! Check back soon for more adventures with Lexi and Aurora.