Dog-Friendly Guide to Long Beach, CA

long beach

Population: 466,776 (2019)
Off-leash dog parks: 11
Accommodation: 46
Restaurants, pubs, & cafes: 130
Most popular dog breed: Maltese


Long Beach has no shortage of things to do if you’re a beach lover. The city is small but exciting and lively, especially during high tourist times during the summer. Long Beach is a combination of LA money and starving artist hippies. Mix those worlds up with dog lovers and you’ve got Long Beach. Long Beach offers multiple off-leash dog parks, including beach dog parks. Since Long Beach is such a population dense area, small dogs are popular, which is how dogs like the Maltese have gained popularity in the area. Even though Long Beach is relatively small, they do allow residents to own up to four pets, which allows many people to make sure their dog has companionship when they are out of the house.

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Interesting Facts

  • There’s an off-leash dog park on the beach in Long Beach that was formerly called the Long Beach Dog Zone. Officially becoming an off-leash dog recreation area in 2001, the park is now called Rosie’s Beach, named in memory of Rosie the bulldog. Rosie’s owners were a driving force behind the development of the off-leash area.
  • The famous ship The Queen Mary is located in Long Beach. It currently offers an annual dog day called “Doggie Paradise”. This event features meet and greets with insta-famous dogs, vendors, splash pools, workshops, and more.
  • Long Beach had a professional hockey team from 1995-2007 that was called the Ice Dogs. The mascot for the Ice Dogs was a bulldog wearing a spiked collar and holding an ice skate in his mouth.
  • There are multiple dog-friendly employers in the Long Beach area, including a trucking company and a biopharmaceutical company.

Leash Laws & Licensing

In Long Beach, dogs are required to be leashed any time they are in public unless in specified leash-free zones. The dog must be on a leash that is less than 6 feet in length and whoever is handling the dog has to be able to control the dog. When it comes to public off-leash areas, in-heat female dogs and dogs under the age of 4 months are not allowed.

Dogs over the age of 6 months must be spayed or neutered according to Long Beach laws. There are some exceptions to this, including animals that are not safely able to undergo surgery. Dogs are required to be licensed with the city and must wear the license tag at all times. Currently, the licensure is $28 for spayed or neutered dogs, $14 for senior citizens, and $105 for intact dogs.

schnauzer at the beach

Living in Long Beach, CA with a Dog

When it comes to veterinary care, you’ll have no difficulty finding a vet in Long Beach. There are around 750 vets in the Long Beach area, giving you plenty of vets and clinics to choose from. If your dog needs training, you’re in luck in Long Beach because there are almost 1000 dog trainers and training facilities in the Long Beach area.

Due to the high volume of dogs living in Long Beach, doggy daycares, boarding facilities, and dog walkers are widely available and easy to find reviews and information on. Since many people in the area have long commutes around Los Angeles, having the reassurance that someone will be available to help your dog get exercise and a potty break while you commute can be invaluable.

Average Cost of Ownership

Since Long Beach is an extension of Los Angeles, the cost of living is high, and that applies to pet care as well. For basic veterinary care, food, and other essentials, it can cost upwards of $1100 annually per dog. Additional expenses like doggy daycare and emergency care can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Dog walkers and doggy daycare can cost hundreds of dollars weekly and boarding fees in the area are high.

Finding dog-friendly housing with a large dog can be somewhat difficult, but there are plenty of dog-friendly housing options across the Long Beach area. Pet deposits can run $250 or more, and some landlords will also charge pet rent, which is a monthly fee added to the rent total to cover a pet on the property.

long beach california cityscape

Shelters & Rescue Centers

Long Beach Animal Care Services offers foster opportunities, which can be a good way to test the waters, so to speak, when it comes to adding a dog to your household. ad are done through applications and appointments. Applications may be approved the day they are received, but the shelter performs adoptions on a first-come, first-served basis, so they recommend getting there early in the day to guarantee you can adopt the pet you’re interested in. There are also rescues in the area that offer both fostering and adoptions. Mandatory spay/neuter in the area significantly reduces the number of strays in the area.

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If you’re interested in the beach lifestyle and a community of like-minded dog lovers, Long Beach is a great spot to visit or even move to. There are lots of restaurants, bars, and businesses that will happily allow your pup to visit with you. If you go visit Long Beach, don’t forget to swing by Rosie’s Beach so your pup gets a chance to experience the saltwater and sands of Long Beach.

thematic break

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Lux Blue, Shutterstock