Content by Jennifer Furber Published on August 4, 2017
San Juan Island is a wonderful place for traveling with dogs, especially in the summer. For dogs, Friday Harbor is a great spot to walk your dog (on a leash, of course) around town. Dogs on a leash are allowed in The Whale Museum, Friday Harbor Pet Supply, and Deer Hazel Boutique, for instance. Sometimes it’s just important to ask a business owner before bringing your furry friend inside. You’ll find many bowls of water outside area businesses as well as tie-up spots for your four-legged friend. There’s a great dog park to enjoy off-leash fetch as well as a close island beach that’s perfect for your dog to have a dip in the cold waves, especially with temperatures heating up.
Best Dog Beach on San Juan Island
Jackson Beach is located just two miles from downtown Friday Harbor. It is a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive by car up Argyle Street, then a left on Pear Point Road for about one half mile. Frequently, dogs are off-leash at Jackson Beach, but be mindful of other visitors to the beach.
Top Ten Dog-Beach Rules
- Please be sure to clean up after your pet and dispose of the doggie bag in a proper waste can.
- Be sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that your dog has proper identification in case something happens.
- Check the shore for jellyfish. A sting for your dog could be terrible for both of you.
- Keep your dog off protected areas for marine habitat and plants so that your dog does not do any unwanted environmental damage to the area.
- Keep your dog close by at all times. You never know what will arrive on the beach. It is important to always be proactive.
- Be sure to bring fresh water for your dog. Constant salt water fetching can lead to a lot of salt water drinking that can lead to sickness if they get thirsty.
- Make sure your dog can swim before arriving at the beach. The water is cold and tides sometimes move very swiftly. Bring a dog life vest if unsure. Remember a towel to wipe off the extra cold sea water.
- Bring toys and balls for fetch. There is a lot of driftwood for fetch on the beach, but after awhile the wood can irritate a dog’s mouth.
- Bring a long leash to tie up your dog, just in case.
- Never leave your dog unattended on the beach and run back to your vehicle.
Best Dog Park on San Juan Island
Eddie and Friends Dog Park is a free, 2-acre dog park. It conveniently has off street parking and long hours of 7:00 am to dusk. There is even a smaller, more intimate fenced area for small and/or older dogs that are more comfortable with a relaxed atmosphere. The park has a double-gated entry which is great for dogs that tend to “break away” often from their owners. Around the park, there are benches, shaded trees for dogs to relax under. There’s a large supply of toys like tennis balls and rackets to set the ball into the far corners for fetch with your furry friend. There is often a large supply of water and various bowls, too. Eddie and Friends Dog Park is located 1.4 miles from the ferry terminal. Follow Spring Street for 0.4 miles and take a left on Mullis Street. Follow Mullis Street for 0.5 miles, then turn left into the dog park parking lot.
Summer in the islands brings very hot temperatures, especially for our furry friends. Pay attention to how your dog is acting at all times. It possible for your dog to get heat stroke with our hot, island temperatures or even hypothermia from swimming in the cold, 50 degree ocean for a long period of time.
Some signs of heat stroke in a dog include:
- Rapid panting with a bright red tongue
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Weakness or extreme tiredness
- Diarrhea or Vomiting
If you think your dog may have heat stroke and you’re at the beach or the dog park:
- Move your pet into the shade and apply cool water all over their body
- Apply ice packs to their head, neck and chest
- Allow your pet to drink small amounts of cool water
- Take them to the nearest vet as soon as possible
Some warning signs of dog hypothermia include:
- Weakness or extreme tiredness
- Excessive shivering
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Fixed and dilated pupils
If you think your dog may have hypothermia and you’re at a beach:
- Wrap your dog in towels or blankets
- If your dog will not stop shivering even when in the car with the warm air, bring your pet to the nearest vet.
San Juan Island is a wonderful place to visit with your dog. Just remember to always have fresh water and a leash, and be on the lookout for shade if you’ve been under the hot sunshine for long periods of time. Many businesses are pet-friendly, just make sure you ask first if you don’t happen to see a sign. Enjoy the island with your furry friend: adventure awaits!
And of course, don’t miss out on your pooches pupcake at the Harrison House Suites! We have many suites and cottages that are pet-friendly. We even have a “Dogrector of Pet Relations” to officially welcome your pet to our property! If you can’t already tell, we LOVE dogs! See you and your furbaby soon!!