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8800 Estero Blvd
Fort Myers Beach, FL, US 34134
(239) 533-7275
Bonita Beach Dog Park Overview
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: Free including parking
Dog Beach is a strip of beach land on the outside edge of Lover's Key State Park along the Fort Myers/Bonita Springs line. It’s an off leash beach to let your dog run free and frolic in the shallow, calm water of the Gulf of Mexico. There are no fences, leashes or worries. Just plenty of dogs of all sizes to play with. Many visit that don't even have dogs, but enjoy watching them run and play with their furry friends on land and water. You can't see if from the main road, but follow the signs around the trees and a clearing will open up to Dog Beach. During high tide you may have to wade through some water to get to it so be prepared. There is a portable toilet, and no running water so remember to bring some for your pet. Please follow the rules to make it a safe, clean enjoyable place for all. For more information visit www.leeparks.org or call 239-533-7275.
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Average Rating:
Bonita Beach Dog Park in Fort Myers Beach, FL, US has an average rating of 3.5 based on 47 member reviews.
Dog Heaven
Lauren in Fort Lauderdale
We were meeting family in North Naples, and decided to take our 9 month old lab to this beach. I just wish we'd left earlier so we could have spent more time. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven with my dog. You have to take a walk through the tide to get to the beach, which is secluded from the main road. There are a number of smaller beaches set into the mangrove. It was the Monday after Christmas so there were lots of people and dogs but everyone was very nice. It was a bit on the wild side, which is to my tastes, as I'm not a beach person, and for some the hike through the mangrove or the surf might be a bit much, but for those with a sense of adventure it's awesome, and my dog Isabel was as awed by this adventure as we were. We'll definitely be back, perhaps for an overnight trip. There are lots of dog friendly hotels in the area as well.
Lascio in Miami,Fl
I live in Miami,Fl and the dog beaches on the west coast are more dog friendly then the east coast. I take my Pomsky(Pomeranian/Husky) to different dog parks all over South Florida on the weekends and this is definitely one of my favorites. Some people have written reviews about dog fights at the beach. My pomsky is about 25lbs and she was playing with all the dogs at the beach. Some dogs were more aggressive then others but no fights. Dogs bark and chase each other all the time. Dogs are a part of the family but you cant baby them as if they're a little kid. Dogs push each other around all the time and thats how they play. Some people just exaggerate of what happens to their dogs. Like i said my little 25lb pomsky was playing around with some dogs close to 100lbs and had no issues. I saw my little pup hold her own with the big dogs trying to play around with her. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BEACH. IF YOU BABY YOUR DOG LIKE A 2 YEAR OLD CHILD I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS BEACH. LET YOUR DOG LIVE A LITTLE AND EXPLORE THEMSELVES. YOU'LL BE VERY SURPRISED WHAT YOU'LL LEARN ABOUT YOUR DOG.
Sarah in naples, fl
It's a dog beach so don't expect too much! My dog LOVED it and played with every dog there!!! She's a medium size dog (50lbs). She played with both big and small. Of course smaller dog owners were concerned but their dogs were having a blast! As previous reviews have stated some owners are rude. There was one that was telling everyone they needed to put a leash on their dogs. I informed him that this is an "off leash beach" he mumbled under his breath and then left. All in all it's a great dog beach! I will be returning with my pup!
www.iamdawn.ca in Cattaraugus NY
This was by far the #1 park I've ever seen! This year I've been travelling with my dog from the east coast of Canada to Key west and back to Buffalo. We have visited lots of parks but this is tops! The problem is never the dogs, but the owners. So if you're bringing your small dog, there's going to be big dogs. Only you can make that decision! Thanks SO much for staying dog-friendly!
Great off leash beach!
Angie in Westminster, MD
We were traveling around FL in our RV with our dog of course and wanted to find a beach for our dog to play off leash. There arn't many and we found this one. Went on a Friday and it wasn't too busy and our English Bulldog had a great time so we decided to go back the next day, which was a Saturday. It was much busier but it was so nice to see all the dogs playing together and having a great time!! It's not a big beach by any means. I highly recommend planning your visit to the beach during low tide for maximum beach space. Once the high tide comes in be prepared to walk back the path to the parking lot in water. I wouldn't take anything to the beach that you can't carry out! Overall it was a great beach to take our dog. It was clean and people do a pretty good job of cleaning up after their pet. Also, be prepared that some dogs might 'mark' your belongings. If you don't want that to happen either don't bring anything with you or don't come at all. Me...I could care less, what I took was all cleanable! The beach also has plenty of parking (we were able to park our RV with no problems), dog poop bags are available and there is a wash off shower too! Thank you Lee County for providing a place for our little guy to enjoy the Florida Beaches too!! He loved it!!!
Great beach, great people
Brittany in Sarasota, FL
I discovered this dog beach a few years back but now that I have a new Lab puppy I have been frequenting this beach more often. After wading through a little water (a LOT during high tide) you will find yourself on a beach that I would consider more of a sandbar. This allows dogs that aren't swimmers to have a chance to play in the shallow water without there being waves to scare them. I would recommend bringing chairs rather than towels as hightide leaves the majority of the beach moist. The people in
Great getaway
Alyse in Coconut creek fl
We brought our year and a half old sea Inu to the beach. I was concerned about letting her off leash at first, but the "beach" is surrounded by water so it creates a little island that kept our dog from wandering off, especially during high tide. The beach does get very small when the tide comes up and there were a lot of dogs. But our dog had a great time running and playing in the water. It was shallow enough that she could run pretty far out without worries. There was a lot of boat traffic when we went so you should really keep and eye on your dog.
Small Slice of Paradise....
Cayte Turley in Bonita Beach, Florida
I LOVE THIS BEACH and so does my Dog. Thank you Lee County. There are not enough in the State. I have not had any Problems at all. The People are all nice and friendly and understand that Dogs will be Dogs...those of you who rated the Beach low are blaming that on Stupid Humans who don't know about Doggie Manners.. I have not run into one but I will gladly give Dog Training Tips. I Thank God for such a Beautiful Place where my dog can play, socialize and get exercise that she cannot in a small Condo. It has made her a Healthy Happy Well Adjusted Dog and I cannot praise Lee County enough. There is Wash Station/Water Norh of the Entrance and Poopie Pick Up Bags .. Grab it on your way in. Bring a Plastic Bowl and a Jug. Low Tide has more Room. My only Complaint is I wish the Park was Bigger. It is a ...."Small Slice of Paradise!!
SO GLAD our owners took us!!!
Jackie and Remy in North Augusta, SC
We are small dogs and luckily our owners have trained us to be with other dogs. (Remy - "I'm a little afraid of the big dogs, but I just run in the other direction") It was such a fun time. Running around with all the other dogs and meeting new humans. We want to go back again soon!!! **Note from humans: it was our first experience here and it seemed like everyone was friendly and happy. We did not have any problems with other dogs. Maybe it depends on who is there and when you go but we would definitely recommend it and can't wait to go back!!!
Small Menaces-Great Beach
Paige Cane in Charleston SC
No bad dogs just bad, impolite owners. This dog beach is one of the best in the US but the small dogs are an issue my Staffordshire Terrier /Boxer gets attached and often bitten by a little dog almost every time we go here because the owners don't take the time to train the poor dog because the dog is small enough to pick up! My dog is a sweet dog and puts her head down and never reacts however, if she did defend herself guess who would get all of the blame...not the small dog. Do your dogs a favor and teach them more than just where the dog-food bowl is.
One of the reasons we moved BACK!
VC in Cape
Great Dog Beach! No fences, No Leashes Fantastic place for dogs and great place for people . I think I is nicer than the "human" beaches! There would be no problem if everyone watched their own pets. Just like kids- you have to keep an eye on your small dog if there are bigger ones around!
Marianna in Naples
As you walk into the park...it reminds people... if you are not comfortable with your dog being off leash or with other off leash dogs...then this park is not for you. This is an off leash dog park...as stated as you walk into the park. It's rare to find a place like this...and so great to let dogs be dogs. :)
A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!
Marianna in Naples
I just recently moved from New England to Naples...we've always lived along the beach and it was so great to go to the beach again with my Weimaraners...they had a blast... there were other dogs there that loved to play...they romped in the water and loved it... what a great time...and they are soooo tired now... perfection!
us navy
nathan in naples
If you go here you will be pleasantly surprised ir is a ton of fun for you and your dog. Dont pay attention to retards about there small dogs, if you choose to own a smaller breed you must watch them closer than large breeds. All dogs are good the owners are the problem not the dog.
You should not blame other dogs for the actions of your own. Chances are your dog has not been socialized with others and this can be dangerous. I have been to this dog park and it is marvelously brilliant.
Great first visit
Eliot in Winthrop, MA
We had a wonderful first visit to this beach. Although it was high tide and we had to walk through about a foot of water to the beach it was a fun secluded spot once we arrived. The beach area is very small at high tide but the water is very shallow with sandbars as well so everyone was well spread out. We spent 95% of our 3 hours in the water. A manatee swam right by us while we were sitting in the water, then a dolphin came and played nearby! Although there is not trash or fresh water right at the beach there is a doggie shower station for after play human and dog rinse off, water pre and post play, and also a portapotty. There is also a board with extra leashes in case you need to borrow one as the short walk to the beach requires your dog be on leash. My girl @Ember_the_Berner and I had a great time and will be back for sure.
Great Dog Beach
Bear in New Jersey
We are visiting Sanibel from New Jersey and decided to take our 90 lb Black Lab- Golden Retriever named Bear for a visit on a Sunday afternoon. He loved it!!! Ran and played with lots of other dogs, both big and small. He loves the water and it was so nice for him to run off leash. Everyone we met, both two and four legged, were friendly. No problems as referenced in other reviews. Doggie Paradise~ It's important to note the address listed is incorrect, it's Bonita Springs not Ft Myers Beach. And being first timers, we would have appreciate more signage to get to the beach (other park goers who were leaving the beach were helpful). All in all a great experience!
Beautiful but risky??
Carolyn in Stanwood MI
Found this beautiful beach by accident and just now have read the reviews. My 13# dog loves her ball and is not interested in other dogs, big or small, when her ball comes out. A large white shepherd repeatedly harassed us and I ended up picking my dog up and trying to get away from him. The shepherd finally ran into the water after a black lab minding and appeared to be trying to take the ball? Or wrestle??? Or??? The lab's owner shouted for the shepherd owner to "call your dog off!" I did not put my dog down until the shepherd was finally leashed and left. Scary experience, even more so after reading other reviews. I am very glad nothing terrible happened. Otherwise, the beach was beautiful and clean at low tide. The other people were friendly with well behaved dogs. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but won’t likely go back after reading of the other incidents.
Great dog park!
Alysia in Frankfort, KY
Took my two Australian Cattle Dogs here while vacationing in Cape Coral. Both dogs had a blast! High tide can make the beach shrink, so go knowing your tides. Also recommend bringing chairs and hanging your gear from a tree so your stuff doesn't get marked. Don't forget fresh water and poop bags....be a responsible pet owner and visitor so everyone can enjoy the beach.
Nice white sand beach/google map not accurate
Heather in Lafayette Indiana
Found this dog beach via bring fido. My big 70 pound pitty mix which is a big baby has never been to the ocean. Need less to say he is a land lover, while it is truly a off the leash park/beach we had to keep him on a leash due to the fact that he want to go check out all the natural plant/tree foliage that surrounds the entire area. It is so thick that we almost lost him in there and there is really no way a human can get in it with out getting stuck much less finding your pet in there. Don't get me wrong, this is probably one of the nicest places to take your dog to run and play in the water. If you have a hunter/land lover like mine keep them leashed! We went at high tide ( of coarse) and it was full of water with not much beach exposed but still not to deep to where you can get to different spots. If you are a dog lover you will enjoy this beach. Now being from out of town we followed the google map to try to find it. It is actually in Lover's key park area stay on main road and past the park entrance and it is right before the big bridge on the right coming from Ft Myers beach.
Matthew in Chicago
While on vacation, we decided to check out the doggie beach and was very pleasantly surprised! It was a lot larger than we had anticipated, but it was also shallow enough for the dogs to run around and play with each other! It was even better knowing there was a doggie shower to rinse off in afterwards! My biggest suggestions would be to check the tides to go before/during the low, bring water for hydration so that your pup can last in the heat, and don't forget doggie bags in case they take care of business. We'll definitely continue going back!
Bonita Beach Dog Park
Heidi in Port Charlotte, FL
Loved it went there for the first time Sunday. Everyone was very friendly and the owners were great too. The only thing was the walk to the beach on high tide you have to walk through a lot of still water. Can't wait to go again.
Great but watch out for
Hapa in Cape in Cape Coral
the woman fishing off the beach. With the current, our dog almost got caught in her line. She had an attitude as if we were bothering her. This is a dog beach! I wanted to go off on her but was unsure of the rules. I looked it up after coming home and found that fishing is not allowed in the doggie play areas. So in other words- go to one of the other hundreds of fishing beaches. Other than this, it is a great beach. Our dog had a great time tromping through the water and swimming until he was very ready to go home and sleepy bye. 90% of the people I met were super nice - as were their pets. I did see and notice a few who seemed to regard it as their beach. However, I would definitely go back.
Dog Fights?
Jim in St. Louis
I'm curious to know more about the dog fights, bites, "regulars" incidents? I hate hearing this, bec I'm always worried for my little french bulldog. And if people are starting fights and being threatining this needs to be addressed and as a retired police officer I have no problem flashing the badge and getting dirty. Maybe being a larger male most people don't "threaten me", but it needs to be a "Public Park" and people need to be allowed free access. I'm not sure if alcohol is allowed but that's never a good idea at a dog park. I myself am not a regular, but if my wife were to come back from the park with a story similar to the ones I've read, it won't go over well for the "regulars". Please email me, [email protected] Thank you, and I am sorry to hear of the terrible instances.
Good Park, Keep an eye out
Jim in St. Louis
This park is a nice concept. Couple issues: 1) I was barefoot, cut my foot on something in the sand/mud and got a nasty infection. Not sure what it's from, but it took a few weeks to heal. 2) Like others have said, IMO you always need to have an eye out on your dogs, because not everyone cares about their dogs as much as those who review dog parks. I have a pitbull who can take care of her self, but my French Bulldog costs more then a mortgage, and can easily be bullied. 3) The tide schedule hampers how much time you can spend at this park, and then everyone goes at low tide and it can get crowded very quickly. 4) From where you park, to where the beach is, is a good hike, and you'll need to bring: shade umbrella, water, cooler, and everything else you would bring to the beach. On top of that manage your dogs on a leash. Because it's next to a fast moving road. All in all my dogs love the beach, if only they would understand that drinking salt water made them sick we'd go more. It's just a long haul with all the gear I need for my dogs. BRING PLEANTY OF WATER, it's hot. Oh yea, once again there are some GREAT people here. 1st time I went to this park I just stopped by, no water or gear, and a few people offered my dogs water and ice cubes. So in the midst of bad reviews, this park does have it's great points.
A Pleasant Surprise
Jackie and John and Brittany in Arcadia, Fl
We are constantly looking for places that are dog friendly. It is so hard to find a beach that is. We stumbled upon this beach, and were very impressed. Brittany (Boo) enjoyed it, although a little timid on her first trip, but we for sure will come back. Nice job LEE COUNTY....
Ana in Manchester NH
I gave this 4 bones for 2 reasons. first it is a WONDERFUL PARK!!! great dogs and great people. my dogs had a fantastic time! one reason I gave it only 4 stars is that there is no fresh water... not an issue for me since i always carry gallons with me for the dogs but given that the water is salt fresh water would be a nice ammenity. the other reason was that there were some careless owners but that's not the park's fault. that's the people's fault. UNFORTUNATELY I wasn't aware of the effects of even a TINY amount of salt water on my dog's GI system as they had never been to a beach during hte summer only winter months up north in NH so they hadn't ever gone IN the water. I did not let my dogs drink the salt water and did bring plenty of fresh water but just the salt on the sand in the beach area and the small amounts of water they ingested when fetching a ball that HAPPENED to land near the water or in the water caused severe diarrhea and vomiting in both of my dogs. was almost ready to visit a vet when it finally stopped. I did go to a local vet and was horrified that they offered me NO advice. I explained that I wasn't from around there and they said they gave no free advice... that I would need to book the dogs an appointment if I wanted to talk to any of them. needless to say... I went online and got all the info I needed. GREAT Park but if you aren't aware of how your dogs do with the salty water... be extra careful!!
Great Park - Great People
Tracy in Parkland
This was our first experience and our two labs had a great time - there were a lot of dogs, most were very well behaved and the owners were quick to control dogs. The people were very kind and allowed our dogs to share water as we did not bring enough. The drawbacks are: as high tide comes in, the sand bar loses a lot of space so it gets a little crowded and you have to basically wade in at high tide so bring you water shoes. We will defintely come back but with more water and some beach chairs so we can stay longer!
Ruined by Irresponsible Owners
patch in highland, ny
We spend our winters in Bonita & I used to love this park. I have seen it deteriorate in the last 5 years due to lazy, careless humans who don't neuter, train or watch their dogs. My 120 lb. Dogo thinks this is her beach & loves little dogs, so when she's there she usually body blocks the bullies. One man called her "beach security". She does this without growling or showing her teeth, but she can't be everywhere. Besides it's not her job. I just wish the rangers were there more often to enforce the rules or impose fines, maybe even ban certain owners & their dogs. It's a pity because it could be really nice, but decent people can't enjoy it anymore.
Great for Dogs .. Okay for People
Geneiveve in Fort Myers Beach
The beach can be wonderful, if it isn't packed (try to stay away on Saturdays, especially in the tourist season). I look at the parking area, and if there are too many cars ... I drive to the one of the parking areas and walk my dog on a leash on the beach. Also, if you can monitor the high tide you will be better off. Because when you park your car, if it is high tide you have a distance of brackish water to walk through. When you get closer to the beach there are areas that can get to be about two feet deep or more and the bottom is very soft, my feet were getting stuck in the sand. And if the tide is high .. you have a very small area that is not covered in water. However, my dog loves it. He is a Foxhound that never stops running. I actually worry because he will run up into the trees that are bordering the top rim of the beach .. and that scares me with alligators and snakes. In regards to other dogs and people, in all honestly, most people are great, they watch their dogs and are very friendly. Every once and a while you get the people that are there to sunbathe or read, and have no idea what there dogs are doing, but the dogs are usually fine. They seem to run themselves into exhaustion, after a short time. And a few times, I had to take my dog away, because there is a dog that just won't leave him alone, and it is more in an aggressive play than a threatening play. And other times there is a perfect temperament of dogs, and it is an absolute joy to see all the dogs running down the beach.
Had a good time.
Jackie in Naples
We have a now 6 month old Portuguese Water Dog, I on a whim brought him to the dog beach. I had heard lots of good things but had never been myself. Upon arriving, we walked from the parking lot to the beach on lead. This is very important since parking is on a very busy road. Upon arriving at the beach we were greeted by a lovely yellow lab and a smaller dog. Our PWD could not have been more excited to spend time with other dogs. We spent a good hour at the beach and it was fantastic. It was high tide so the beach area was small. That was not an issue though considering there were only three dogs. Now, I do need to add that we visited on a weekday morning, Upon reading reviews, my husband and I will not be taking our PWD to the beach on the weekends, or in the evenings. We would like his experience with the water and other dogs to be pleasant. also, considering it was not busy, there were several piles of poop. Really! They provide bags, pick it up!
Great park, irresponsible owners
Jeanne in Fort Myers
I love the idea of this park. Most of the time, I have a great time. I have a Great Pyrenees (now ( months old). Pyrs notoriously like to roam so I always keep him on lead. Yes, I get a work out, but he usually has fun. The last few times, owners have allowed dogs to go the bathroom and not pick up there waste. My personal stuff has been peed on 4 different times. I dont blame anyone except irresonsible owners for this. However, today when I entered the park my big 9 month old was attacked by 4 bull dog type dogs. The owner was several yards away, smoking and drinking, my big baby was terrified. She came up yelling at me for having my dog on a leash (go figure). The thing is I went to a desserted part of the beach away from her and she and her sister, brought there dog right over to my area. People like this ruin it, I have met faulous people from all over the country at this park and some terrific four leggged friends too. Maybe the rules need to be enforced just a little bit more. If my Pyr was older and not a gentle giant it would have been a sad aending for little aggessive dogs.
First Time Trip
Ashley in Lake Placid, Florida
This was my first time ever taking my dog to a dog beach. It is a beautiful place and nicely secluded. However, I did not like how small the beach was. It seemed very cramed even though there where only maybe 10 owners with their dogs and family members. The sand was really mushy feeling while in the water and there was a stingray in the inlet. It will not be my first choice in the future.
use common sense
melissa in miami
both the both the good and bad reviews have some truth to them. i took my two dogs over memorial day weekend and it was crowded. it was a ton of fun however you have to use caution because there are huge dogs with inattentive owners. i had an issue with a dog going after my little shitzu twice. i made sure to stay clear of that dog and keep my little guy close to me at all times. this is not a bad place to take your pet but it can be dangerous as a lot of big dog fights break out, so use common sense and stay away from the trouble makers. i will take my dogs there again hopefully on a less packed weekend. One bone off for safety issues (mixes big and small dog breeds) and another bone off for no rinse station for the big sandy mess your dog will become. other then that 3 bones for fun, sun, and sand!
Ok, not the best.
Angie & Ruby (Doodle) in Naples
I have taken my dog to many dog beaches in Florida and while I am appreciative of a place to take my dog, it is not the best dog beach. The beach is basically a sandbar island and it depends on the tide on how big the actual space is. It can get very crowded, which is not something I really enjoy, personally. Also, there is no fresh water to give your dog to drink or a bathing station to rinse you or your dog. That is why I only gave it three bones. So far, I love the beaches over on east coast and down in the keys the best. I think I will venture a little father north next time and check those out.
If you have a small dog, beware!
K in Naples
I just got a miniature schnauzer and was excited to take her to the beach. She doesn't listen when she's off the leash and she's been attacked by large dogs so I kept her on her leash the whole time. We've gone to this beach twice and both times there were HUGE dogs there all running around out of sight of their owners. No one picks up after their dogs so there's poop everywhere! So many dogs poop in the water and it floats around (so nasty). I actually heard one lady complain that her dog had pooped on the beach and she wished it'd pooped in the water so she didn't have to clean up! Disgusting! My biggest complaint though is that there's hardly any sand, it seems to have all eroded away leaving about 3 feet of sand. If you come during high tide, the water is almost up into the parking lot and there are usually people kayaking through it as there's at least 2 feet of water. This tiny strip of beach that's mostly underwater looks as though the county needed to find a use for the most crappy part of beach in the area and decided on this beach for the dog park. The place gets packed with tourists who just want to lay on the beach and ignore their dogs. One woman had a massive standard poodle that wouldn't stop humping everyone else's dogs, he didn't listen when she called him even though multiple people complained to her. The people sitting next to us literally dragged their dog away as he was pooping and left the poop in the sand next to me. As usual, it's a bunch of ignorant, lazy people ruining a great experience for the rest of us!. Dogs are allowed on Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel as long as they're on a leash so we won't be back to the dog beach. Apr. 5, 2016
Not recommended for dog swimming
Dave in Wisconsin
We selected Fort Myers for our winter vacation this year because of this dog friendly beach. Our golden retriever loves to swim and retrieve balls thrown into the water. We went to the beach about 7:30 am most mornings to avoid crowds and the problems noted in the reviews about aggressive dogs and careless owners. The first three mornings were great. On the fourth morning we had been there about 15 minutes throwing a ball into the water when a fishing boat pulled up exactly where they had seen our dog swimming. They got as close to our location as possible, anchored their boat, and dropped fishing lines over the side. When I asked them to move further out because this was a dog beach they informed me that they had been coming here for 20 years and while I could not fish from the beach they had a perfect right to fish anywhere they wanted from their boat. They said that they had confirmed this many times with the local authorities. I don’t know how long this beach has been in existence but I had the distinct impression that they were upset about any infringement on their right to fish anywhere they pleased. They were going to make sure that visitors understood that they were not welcome at this beach. We moved further to the right of their location but at low tide that area was not deep enough for our dog to swim. Next year we will not be spending our vacation dollars in the Fort Myers area. I should note that there is now a station to rinse the salt water off your dog. As note elsewhere there are doggie bags and disposable garbage cans provided and there are two portable bathrooms for people.
an almost great park
Marie in Cape Coral, FL
I've taken my dog to the park several times and each time had to leave because of the larger dogs that kept charging mine. Also, I noticed that the smell of urine and stool was quite bad. This is a beautiful place for one to be able to take their doges but the rules are just not being followed by some which is not fair to others. I totally agree with some of the other comments about indifferent owners. Some just come to lay out on the beach and don't pay any attention to their dog. I've watched dogs poop on the beach and no owner attempted to clean up the mess. Also, I absolutely do not see this being a park for any pit bulls and each time I've been there, this is the breed that has charged my dog. I don't know why there can't be separate days set aside for big dogs and small ones. Also, I've never seen any park personnel monitoring or checking to be sure rules are being followed. I'd actually be willing to pay a small fee to make this a better dog park.
Different Experience
Jim in New Hope
Our Boston Terrier planted her feet in the sand when she took one look at the all of the big dogs running without leashes on the beach and in the water. We were just as aprehensive. It is a shame there is not a separate section for small dogs as they do in other dog parks. There were big dogs gallore, Dobermans, Shepherds, Labs, Collies, etc. Smaller dogs will be intimidated and ours wouldn't step foot and we ended up leaving and going to the regular beach up the road in Ft. Myers, just as nice but more relaxing, she doesn't mind her leash and she can sleep under the umbrella. If you have a big dog that is socialized, they should be fine here, but small dogs may be intimidated.
Just say NO!
Jenny in Fort Myers
I don't know how this place has such a high rating on here. There are way too many aggressive dogs here and no one picks up after their animals. I felt like I'd probably get a wicked bacterial infection if I went in the water since all the dogs were pooping in there. We won't be back here. The owners are irresponsible and careless. I saw a lot of dogs attacking other dogs and no one cared. I had no idea there were so many negative reviews of the place or I wouldn't have gone in the first place. I don't really feel like risking my dog's life (she's small and most of the dogs here were well over 100lbs) for a romp on a dirty sandbar.
Thanks for warnings - Not interested checking this park anymore
Cowboy cookie in Gainesville, FL
We have two small dogs and they love play and socialize with other dogs, and this park looked like a nice place to visit but after reading some of the aggression stories, disregard for others dogs safety, etc, we are skipping this place. Other areas (restaurants, hotels, etc) will have our business.
"Dog Friendly" does NoT mean "Friendly Dogs" SMALL DOG OWNER BEWARE
Will in Naples
Our dog, a very young, 26 pound rescue, LOVES to play in the surf. We'd been to Apalachicola where he played safely and had fun. Because of that experience we thought we could drive the few miles to this "Dog Friendly Beach." Getting to this beach can be a mess but beyond that, many of the dog owners there ignore the posted rules. Many do not pickup after their dogs but of more concern, many bring unneutered, aggressive, even dangerous dogs. During our first (and only) visit, we’d been there only a few minutes and our little dog was having fun running through the surf. Suddenly a HUGE German Shepherd type dog attacked him. The shepherd's owner stood there, actually smiling while his dog mauled my pup. I jumped on the attacking dog pounding him with my shoe until finally he turned loose of my dog. I guess I should be grateful he didn't attack me too. Anyhow, that behavior must be common there because no one seemed upset about it but me. Basically I was told if I couldn't stand the heat I should get out of the fire so I did. I took my now bleeding dog away from the idiots with their uncontrolled, often un-neutered, dogs. About two weeks later I read where another small dog had been attacked and was disemboweled by a bigger dog there. Guess we were luckier than I’d thought. For its THOUSANDS of acres of parks, Lee County has only three (3) Park Rangers (currently only 2 rangers according to Lee County’s website). None of the public, dog parks I have visited in SW Florida are supervised… NONE. You take your dog at your own risk and nothing will be done if it is injured or killed. It can be a very dangerous place, we choose to stay safe and stay away.
dog attack
LIsa DeVries in Naples
We have been to this dog park several times in the past and had a great time. Today was a different story - we have a Pomeranian who is very well socialized and has 2 big dogs at home in Maryland. Ted was busy playing fetch in the surf with his ball today, when a big dog ran over and bit down on him, pinning him under the surf. My husband had to punch the dog in the head several times in order to get him to release. The owner ran over and apologized, saying his dog wanted to ball. I can say with absolute certainty his dog wasn't trying to get the ball - he looked at Ted as if he was prey just before he went after him. This attack was not caused by our dog - he was totally oblivious to anything other than his own ball. Tonight he's at the ER animal hospital on oxygen, pain meds and monitoring due to bite wounds and crushing. Hopefully he will recover, but all dog owners should beware!
James in Indianapolis
After reading the reviews, I won't take my dog to this beach. I appreciate the efforts of everyone who took the time to send in a review. Dog fights are not a good thing. Maybe I need to take a stun gun in case. I guess it depends of what other dogs are there when your dog is there. An owner should be held accountable if their dog hurts another or a human.
Beware of the regulars
D in St. Louis
This is a nice little dog park. The regulars that congregate there every evening are not nice. They are too busy drinking and talking to eachother to monitor their dogs. I brought 2 large dogs and they were repeatedly attacked by the small dogs that were owned by these regulars. My one dog was bitten underneath her eye and had to get stitches. This cost me around $500. These regulars do not care, they are inebriated, and unwilling to keep their dogs away. I asked the one owner to keep his dog away and I was threatened by the owner and told to leave. The owner yelled obscenities and began walking towards me as if he was going to hurt me. One of the other regulars stopped him. This is not a safe environment to take your dog, small, medium, or large. Be careful. Sanibel, Jensen Beach, Ft. Myers, are all wonderful places and the dog owners are respectful and diligent.
Don't take your little dogs here.
Tobi in Naples
When we took our 22 dog to "the beach" a huge dog was allowed to maul it until I literally attacked the big dog. It's owner could not have cared less about his dog jumping mine or me jumping on his dog. About one month later a small dog was killed at this park by a big dog and NOTHING was done about it. In my opinion it is NOT a safe place for ANY dog.
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