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Summer fun and exercise for our pooches

A girl embraces her dog as she sunbathes.
A girl embraces her dog as she sunbathes. / SUR
  • Pet-friendly spaces.

  • The Costa del Sol offers a selection of beaches and recreational areas designed especially for our four-legged friends to cool off during the summer

The Costa del Sol is fast becoming popular as a pet-friendly destination. Along with dozens of animal charities, pet-friendly hotels and numerous specialised salons where pets can be pampered, the coast also offers a selection of designated beaches and parks for our canine friends.

Many of the town halls along the coast have reserved areas on its beaches where dogs are allowed. However, the size and breed of the animal will determine if it can roam freely, or whether it must be kept on a lead. The owners must also remember to clean up after their animals, or face fines of up to 500 euros.

The dogs must also be accompanied by a person of legal age to monitor them at all times.

Despite the June 2015 ban by the Junta de Andalucía on spaces where bathing with pets is allowed in summer, many canine beaches are still operational because their waters are not suitable for swimming, a fundamental requirement for a dog beach in Andalucía. Because Malaga is a tourist destination, almost its entire coastline is considered an area where human bathing prevails over animal bathing. When a municipality wants to promote a beach for dogs, it has to present a plan to the authorities to exclude people from swimming on that particular stretch of beach.

These beaches will vary in size, as will the services available.

Torre del Mar

The Playa El Montero in Torre del Mar was inaugurated in 2016 and has a 250 m2 fun zone, with a swing, tunnels and ramps and many other apparatuses for dogs to enjoy. The beach is also equipped with specially designed fountains and a canine toilet area with specific bins to dispose of excrement.

Malaga

Summer fun and exercise for our pooches

The Arroyo Totalán canine beach is located between Malaga and La Cala del Moral, near the cement factory.

The PPP breeds, dogs that are considered potentially dangerous as a result of their physical attributes, are allowed access to this beach as long as their owners adopt the appropriate precautions and ensure that their dogs are muzzled.

Benalmádena

The new Benalcán dog beach in Benalmádena is due to open this summer. The dog-friendly beach was previously located on the Tajo de la Soga beach, but it was closed in 2020. The Benalcán beach, which is 400 metres in length and 20 metres wide, was chosen as the new location and it is being fitted with specific equipment and services to cater for our four-legged friends.

Fuengirola

The Fuengirola dog beach is located on the Playa de Castillo, which is dominated by the Sohail Castle. The beach has a length of 800 metres, so is perfect for the energetic pooch. However, breeds classified as potentially dangerous are not permitted; while dogs over 20 kilos must wear a muzzle.

Marbella

Marbella has two dog beaches: Playa Canina del Pinillo and the Playa Canina Ventura del Mar.

The Pinillo dog beach is a 250-meter stretch of coastline located on the outskirts of the town. Because the beach is made up of pebbles, it is one of the less used during the summer, which is why it has been chosen to provide an area suitable for dogs.

Earlier this year, the beach was improved and new adapted fountains and showers have been installed.

The Ventura del Mar beach is located in San Pedro and it offers similar facilities to the neighbouring dog-friendly beach.

Recreational spaces

Aside from the beaches, the Costa also has several specially designed dog parks and recreational areas. Each park will have an information board informing of the opening hours and the regulations, which are a standard set of rules concerning general hygiene.

Torremolinos has two canine parks that are located in areas on the outskirts of the town to ensure minimum disturbance to the local residents.

The Parque Canino El Olivar is a large fenced off piece of land in El Pinillo and it offers plenty of exercise apparatuses, including ramps, tunnels and ring hoops. There are also shaded areas and fountains where the dogs can cool off, along with pergolas and picnic-style tables for their owners to relax.

The town's second park is in La Colina, just a few hundred metres from the beaches of Playamar. This area also offers a sectioned off space with numerous structures for exercise.

Fuengirola, however, is a pioneer in canine recreational areas. The town now offers six dog parks distributed among the different neighbourhoods to facilitate access to all residents. The most recent addition is the 750 square meter Parque del Sol, which opened at the end of 2020 at a cost of 16,000 euros. The other spaces are the Parque Guau Guau de Los Pacos; Guau Guau 2 de Miramar, along with those in Calle Lanzarote; the fairground in Los Boliches and the 700 m2 park in Torreblanca,

Alhaurín de la Torre will open its new 3,000 m2 metre canine park later this summer. 120,000 euros has been invested in the project, which will be divided into sections for larger and smaller dogs.