Beach Etiquette: Leave Pismo Beach and Trails Better Than You (and Your Dog) Found Them!

The true meaning of etiquette is always to show respect and kindness to everyone around you and to follow the rules for the benefit of everyone and everything affected by your actions. Then, what is Beach Etiquette as listed in your activity book?  What we call Beach Etiquette, is leaving no trace of your visit to the beach and trails, and that includes your dog’s traces too.

Trash Girl


Toss It or Take It!

Exploring the trash maze is a fun game, right? Honestly, disposing of your trash is easier than solving the maze! Many beaches, parks, and nature trails provide both trash and recycle cans for our benefit and the benefit of nature.  To be a good steward of the environment, it’s important to keep in mind how our activities affect the world around us. How can we help? How can we be better stewards of our community and natural world enjoying the hiking trails at the Pismo Preserve or strolling along the seashore? Why is it important to take the time to take trash to a waste receptacle and not let it enter the ocean or remain on trails?


  • When trash enters our oceans, it harms marine life by creating choking hazards, pollution, and accidental poisonings. 
  • When we leave trash on nature trails, wildlife mistake litter for food and poison themselves or choke on it. 
  • Pollutants from trash are also absorbed into water, soil, and air which further harm wildlife and their environment. 
  • In marine life, absorbed toxins and ingested pollutants make their way into our bodies through eating seafood. Not only is it important to keep the beaches and trails clean for marine and wildlife, but also for our own health.
  • It only takes a moment for your trash to end the life of a beautiful creature just as it only takes a moment to put your trash and even the trash that you encounter while walking along the beach or on a trail, into trash or take it with you until you find one. 


WHY THE LEASH? Dog Safety at Pismo Beach

We love when our canine companions are able to roam freely, however, that is not always the best and safest choice for your beloved dog and others. 

However, please see the guidelines below to help keep everyone safe.

Beach Dog 2

Dog Safety Guidelines​

  • California Coastal Commission: "No unleashed dogs…please prevent harassment of shorebirds by abiding by local leash laws."
  • Pismo Dog Leash Law: Dogs must be leashed and held by a capable person. Dogs are permitted on the beach but must be leashed at all times. Dogs are not permitted on the Pismo Pier.
  • Clean up After Your Dog: Pet owners must clean up after their dogs. If left behind, your dog’s waste negatively affects the environment.
  • Leashes Keep Your Dog Safe: Injuries caused by unleashed animals can be avoided.
  • Create A Welcoming Environment for All: Put yourself in the place of other visitors and their pets when out and about by leashing your dog.
  • Share the Trail: Be considerate of others including walkers, children, hikers, joggers, cyclists, horses, and wildlife. 
  • Unleashed Dogs Can Encounter Dangerous Wildlife: When unleashed, dogs can come into contact with wildlife, such as rattlesnakes, bears, and cougars with tragic consequences and can negatively impact the flora and fauna and disturb birds and chicks. 


Common Sense Safe Canine Travel Tips

  • Provide plenty of water, shade, and rest: Overheating leads to heatstroke and death! Watch for heavy panting, dry or bright gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, and wobbly legs.
  • Never EVER leave your dog in your car! Your dog can overheat and die quickly!
  • Walk pets when it’s cooler in early mornings or evenings. Touch the ground with your own foot or hand before allowing your dog to walk on hot surfaces.
  • If your dog needs cooling down, wet its paw pads and stomach first with cool water.
  • Proper Parasite Control from your vet is imperative. Flea and tick bites can cause discomfort and sometimes disease.
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations, and check to see if the area you are traveling in has any specific vaccines recommended to keep your pet healthy.
  • Consider a doggy life vest if having fun on the water.
  • Avoid Fireworks and Loud Events. Pets can get frightened and run away. Make sure your companion is properly tagged, microchipped, and possibly even wearing a GPS collar.