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Which San Diego Beaches Can I Bring My Dog to For Family Photos?

Including your dear family dog for your professional photo shoot can make for special memories. In future years, you can look back at these images and remember how much love and joy your dog added to your family.

If you’re thinking of bringing your dog 🐶 on a photo shoot, be sure to check the beach rules when planning your session.

family pet photographer in Carlsbad can make special memories of you and your pet


Here are the basic rules about dogs on beaches in San Diego County:

👉🏼 In general, dogs are allowed on City of San Diego beaches after 6 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31 or after 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31.

👉🏼 Most beaches overseen by the California Department of Parks and Recreation do not allow dogs on the beach. An exception is South Cardiff State Beach, which allows dogs during operating hours (6:00 am - 11:00 pm)

👉🏼 South Beach in Del Mar (in between Main Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach at 6th Street) allows leashed dogs on the beach at any time.

👉🏼 The well known off leash dog beaches in Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island and Del Mar may not be the best option for a photo session due to the fact that they can be crowded with fellow canine lovers and their pets.


south beach in Del Mar allows leashed dogs at any time

Follow these guidelines when considering bringing your pup along to a photo shoot:

🦮 Leashes are required (consider purchasing a neutral or coordinating color leash for the photos)

dog on San Diego beach family photo shoot is ok if wearing a leash

🦮 Dogs must be well behaved and respond to voice commands.

well behaved dogs are allowed on some Del Mar beaches for family photographer

🦮 Dogs should wear collars with current licenses.

dog playing with family on beach in Del Mar ca

🦮 Bring bags to pick up messes.

dog pet photographer encinitas


This information was known to be accurate at time of publication; check official websites for changes and updates.


MJ Falvey is a beach photographer who documents stories of love and connection. She specializes in in active, vibrant, and joyful photography of people and pets on San Diego's beautiful beaches, especially those of North County San Diego: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar and La Jolla.

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