Who said only humans could have beach bodies? There are plenty of places to take your dog swimming near Los Angeles. Sure, L.A. is known for starlets and leading lads, but your dog looks just as good walking out of the surf as any Baywatch model, no?
Swimming is a fantastic exercise for both you and your companion, strengthening their muscles and heart while being easy on their joints. It’s also a good therapy option for dogs who are older or recovering from injury.
Ready to take to the water? Grab your pet and head to these dog-friendly parks and play areas.
11818 Teale Street, Culver City, CA
Open Monday to Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This cage-free daycare and boarding facility has a pool for both recreational and rehabilitative purposes. The pool has a ramp for dogs who like to ease their way into the water, but those who are more enthusiastic have the freedom to jump in from the edge. They also offer swimming 101 sessions for dogs who are new to the water. Interested owners should send in a registration form via fax or email to reserve a pool-time spot.
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1702 South Robertson Boulevard Suite 288, Los Angeles, CA
Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Country Dog Ranch takes the spa aesthetic to the desert. Evoking major oasis vibes, this daycare has a great view of the mountains and a lovely splash pool complete with waterfall. If your dog gets nervous about swimming, this pool would be a nice introduction to the water. Country Dog Ranch also offers free door-to-door shuttle service, which is very convenient for commuters.
1558 Will Geer Road, Topanga, CA
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Like Country Dog, Canyon View Ranch is a daycare service with splash pools. Dogs are separated into two large and small groups, and each gets to play in a bone-shaped pool with tunnels and waterfalls. Canyon View also offers a shuttle service for $15 per trip.
10268 La Tuna Canyon Road, San Fernando Valley, CA
Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Resort” is the perfect word for this cage-free facility. Not only does it have a deep pool for fetch and swimming, but Paradise Ranch also has a splash park complete with dolphin fountains and luxurious looking cabanas. In fact, all your pet needs is a dog-friendly drink (I advise water in an unbreakable martini glass) to complete the look of a Caribbean vacation.
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4733 Torrance Boulevard #186, Torrance, CA
Services by appointment only
TranquilPET is exactly as it sounds: a holistic therapy center offering massage, reiki, and hydrotherapy. Swimming sessions are appointment-only, and the owner requests written approval from your veterinarian before your dog’s first swim.
3301 Fujita Street, Torrence, CA
Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Prefer something a little more flexible than TranquilPET? VCA Kennel Club Resort and Spa also offers massages and swim sessions. The pool is heated to 93 degrees Fahrenheit and sanitized with less chlorine than standard facilities, keeping your pet nice and comfortable. Swim options include aqua massage, which VCA notes is great for dogs with mobility issues, and FitSwim to build stamina and strength. You can also bring your dog in for regular water fun during the beginner, intermediate, and advanced swim sessions.
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2240 Federal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Recreational Swim open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
If you need a fully-fledged animal physical rehabilitation center, Two Hands Four Paws has you covered. This facility offers dog swimming options for fun, fitness, and rehab. They tout their fun swims as great for weight loss, cardiovascular fitness, and mood problems like depression and anxiety (as in humans, exercise increases your pet’s serotonin levels). Your companion will feel like a puppy again, and Two Hands limits pool space to four dogs per session for fun and safety.
If your dog is skittish around water, Two Hands provides one-on-one swimming lessons designed not just to teach them the basics but to give them confidence. With their calm, focused instructors, your pet will love swimming in no time.
100 Goldenwest Street F, Huntington Beach, CA
Open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach has been running this popular locale on a completely volunteer basis since 1997. The beach operates on donations from the community, and its five-member Board of Directors assume their role out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s perhaps this community-minded spirit that makes Huntington such a favorite among locals.
500 E. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you’d rather take your dog swimming whenever the mood strikes you (as opposed to scheduling a trip to the doggy spa or daycare), check out the dog-friendly section of Rosie’s Beach. The layout of beach embodies “freedom”: It’s not fenced in—so you and your pet can play an extensive game of tag—nor is it dogs only. Pets are only allowed during Dog Zone hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and while bags are available, owners are encouraged to bring their own.
It’s important to follow posted rules and regulations when you take your dog swimming so all pets can have a fun, safe time. Check your city’s park department before bringing your dog to the beach, and get in touch with facilities for boarding and leisure swims.
Most places request that your dog be up-to-date on vaccinations and have a negative fecal exam before admittance. Some may also require a temperament test before your dog is allowed to play with others. If your pet prefers to be solo, you should inquire about individual sessions.
Finally, make sure you take proper safety measures to keep your dog safe in the heat, especially if you plan to spend the day at the beach. Memorize the signs of heatstroke in dogs so you know what to do should your pet’s temperature increase dangerously high.
And if you need a little help, Rover’s got you covered. Check out our qualified dog walkers based in the L.A. area to get your pet some sun and surf.