Pet Tips for Coasties



August 24, 2020

Imagine a weekend getaway that involves you, your dog, the ocean, miles of trails and wide-open spaces, and seeking relief together from the sultry coastal heat at a pet-friendly café or hotel. This is the reality for many Bivvy pet parents in the coastal U.S.

Coastal states like Oregon, North Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia have so much to offer pets and their parents, but the ocean, the wilderness, and the heat come with their own risks.


Oregon is routinely called the most pet-friendly state in the country. The city of Bend in particular is affectionately known as DogTown USA, as it has one of the highest dog-per-capita populations in the world. Oregon is packed with dog-friendly hiking and backpacking opportunities, not to mention restaurants, breweries, and other businesses that welcome dogs.

There’s pet-friendly hiking and backpacking in places like the Sandy River Delta in Troutdale, a 1400-mile riverfront trail network, where dogs can be off-leash. Rimrock Trail, aka Good Dog Trail, is a huge off-leash hiking area. In fact, most of the state’s coast is off-leash.

If you’re out and about enjoying the ocean, rivers, or trails with your dog in Oregon, be mindful of high tides, and of your dog getting stranded out in the deep or on a faraway sandbar. Also remember that wildlife, such as bears and raccoons, lurks in the woods near these waterways. Did you know hypothermia can be a risk for your dog in the Oregon water, even when it’s warm out? If you and your Oregon dog are the adventurous type, give yourselves the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that the costs associated with most emergencies or injuries resulting from the above can be offset by an insurance policy like Bivvy’s.

North Carolina

North Carolina also houses beaches and trails galore for you and your pet to enjoy. Duck Beach is the only one in the state where dogs can be off-leash all year, but there are countless others where dogs can accompany you at certain times of the year, or with stipulations. See the beaches of Oak Island and Topsail Off-Leash Dog Beach.

As far as trails, a favorite is William B. Umstead State Park near Durham, where dogs must be on-leash, but can accompany you on miles of trails for some good outdoor adventuring.

If you’re a “Shark Week” viewer, you know there’s a good bit of chatter about North Carolina being one of the “sharkiest” states in the country in terms of number of attacks. It ranks fifth in attacks on humans since such record-keeping began. North Carolina’s Cape Fear region has had the highest number of attacks of all North Carolina’s counties. So, if you are in the ocean with your pup, do be careful. But don’t worry—surfers and other humans on boards far out from shore face the greatest risk versus your shore-hugging furry friend. Luckily wildlife attacks, and other ailments and injuries that could befall your pup while you’re enjoying North Carolina’s outdoors are within the scope of Bivvy’s insurance coverage!


Opportunities abound if you’re a Maryland pet parent looking for ways to enrich your dog’s life. Maryland is host to numerous state parks that welcome pets. See the Assateague National Seashore, most famous for being home to wild horses. Pets are welcomed on most parts of the seashore.

Anne Arundel County boasts some beach fronts for dogs only, like Downs Park Dog Beach and Quiet Waters Park Dog Beach in Annapolis. Or try Dog Beach at Matapeake in Queen Anne’s County.

For different types of fun, you and your dog can hop aboard a streetcar and take in an Annapolis Trolley Tour. Or for some non-ocean water fun, head to Berlin with your pooch for some kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding in Ayers Creek.

Maryland can get very hot and muggy in the summer, so when you’re out at sea with your pet, or exploring quaint Maryland towns, keep an eye out for signs of overheating. And never leave them unattended in a vehicle on a hot day. That’s in fact illegal in Maryland and could get you strapped with a big fine. What won’t put a dent in your pocketbook is a Bivvy dog insurance policy that protects you and your pet in case of emergencies stemming from the heat and other Maryland risks.


There’s no shortage of fun to be had for you and your pet in Georgia. You can go to dog-friendly beaches like the ones on Jekyll and Tybee Islands, join the Tails on Trails Club, enjoy the very pet-friendly urban centers like Atlanta, and more. But educate yourself on the rare-but-not-unheard-of risks. Like the rattlesnakes on Sapelo Island. And the sweltering summer heat that can cause heat stroke, especially in dogs with flat faces that already have a harder time panting efficiently enough to regulate their body temperatures.

And the hotter it gets outside, the more likely you are to find yourself in the company of mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. One way you can protect your pup from these pests, their bites, and the diseases they carry, is to empty their drinking water daily and be careful of any other standing water.

If you take your dog swimming, keep an eye out for jellyfish! And don’t let them drink the Georgia seawater that can not only dehydrate them but also make them sick. And lastly, in the Georgia outdoors, keep an eye out for raccoons, foxes, and bats, which can carry rabies.

If you’re a pet parent lucky enough to live in Oregon, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, or another coastal state where you and your furry companion can make regular use of the ocean and the other pet-friendly fun in the state, take full advantage! But be aware of what you’re getting yourself into so your dog can stay safe and healthy. And do yourself and the pup a favor, and equip yourselves with Bivvy dog insurance. It’s affordable and simple, and will help you venture forth on the coast with confidence and peace-of-mind!

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