It seems as if dogs and the beach should go hand in hand: There’s so much to smell and roll around in and so much space for running, swimming and playing catch. (You could say the same of people.) When it comes to precious beach access, however, it’s usually the people and their rules that take priority over what dogs and their loyal owners would prefer.
That said, dog-friendly beach options seem to be on the rise. Many New Jersey and New York beach towns are turning over blocks of beaches to dogs, or at least creating dog-friendly beach hours. More hotels, motels and vacation rentals are allowing beachgoers to bring their pets, too.
It makes financial sense, said Pete Byron, a city commissioner in Wildwood, N.J. There are 89.7 million dogs in American households, and billions of dollars are spent every year on them, according to the American Pet Products Association. So the demand is there. Wildwood, for example, opened a fenced-in dog park in 2014. It became so popular that officials decided to move it and expand its reach to the ocean by mid-July.
The Wildwood dog beach has helped convert day trippers “who had to come down and go back the same day because they had to get back to their pet,” Mr. Byron said, into “multiday trippers,” which means more revenue for the community.