Dog-Friendly Lakes in Arizona
Arizona is famous for its beautiful lakes, majestic mountains, and extremely friendly people. While Arizona has many great lakes with beaches and marinas, here are three lakes that are specifically dog-friendly. We’ll also review the basics of lake safety and pet water safety, so let’s jump right in!
This man-made lake was created in 1961 and is located in the city of Peoria, Arizona. It is the largest lake in Maricopa County and it covers an area of over 4,000 acres. Lake Pleasant has several parks around it where you can take your dog for a walk or go fishing with them. The park features paved trails for walking along with picnic areas, benches, shelters, and restrooms for public use. The lake also offers free boat launch facilities for those who wish to launch their boats from there as well as watercraft rentals if you don’t have your own boat or watercraft yet. There are also several marinas around the lake that offer boat rentals so that you can enjoy boating activities with your dog, too!
Saguaro Lake is our top recommendation for a dog-friendly lake, mainly because it’s relatively close to the city—only about 30 minutes from Downtown Phoenix and 15 minutes from Fountain Hills, Arizona. The entire lake is dog-friendly and also has a swimming beach for humans! The water is usually calm, making it an excellent place to jet-ski and swim with your furry friend. There are plenty of parking spaces and restrooms, and even kayaking and canoeing options on the lake. With its proximity to the Phoenix metropolitan area, Saguaro Lake is an easy choice for anyone who wants to get out of town for a few hours.
Lake Mead is located on the Colorado River and is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the world at just over 1,220 feet above sea level. The lake has become a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Grand Canyon National Park. Lake Mead is also home to several resort communities including Bullhead City and Kingman, Arizona. The boat ramps are designed for recreational boaters and fishermen, so they allow dogs to come along. And if you don’t want to take your dog out in the boat or on a hike along the Colorado River, the backcountry camping sites that surround the lake offer a doggie-friendly environment to set up camp. Lake Mead offers plenty of water activities, be it fishing or boating, and the beautiful scenery makes it easy for you to enjoy this park with your best friend.
Pet Water Safety
While many people enjoy the water into their adult years, this can be something out of the ordinary for some dogs, so one of the most important things to remember when bringing your dog to the lake is pet water safety. Here are some things you should know:
- It is important to teach your dog to swim on dry land before taking it into the water. Start your dog off in shallow water and begin encouraging them with treats. Once they are comfortable with this process, move on to deeper water.
- Stick close together – Normally letting your dog off their leash is safe and completely fine on land. For dogs new to swimming or that are unsure around water, leashes provide a sense of security for pet parents, so keeping them leashed up will help keep them safe.
- Dogs have a natural instinct to drink from stagnant puddles or standing water, which can lead to illness or death if they ingest contaminated water. Make sure that you always have fresh water available in a bowl or on a leash while you are walking around the lake.
- Don’t forget a pet life vest – Whether you’re boating or just swimming, it’s a good idea to have your dog wear a pet life vest or flotation vest while on the boat or in the water. While many dogs are natural swimmers you’ll have a hard time getting out of the water, others may be more hesitant to jump in. Pay attention to their behavior, and keep them safer by putting them into a life vest.
- Don’t let your dog swim alone. The more people there are around, the better! If you have more than one dog, they should be supervised at all times. If possible, bring another person with you who can watch over them while you’re swimming or playing in the water.
- If your dog does accidentally fall into deep water, immediately call out their name so they know you see them. Quickly throw something floatable (such as a life vest) towards them so they have something to focus on and can grab hold of, while you immediately get into the water to assist your pet. While you and the floating device provide support for your pet, tow them back towards the boat until you can safely pull them in, or tow them towards the shore until they can get their footing.
To make your experience a positive one, respect the rules, maintain a close watch on your dog, and keep the necessary equipment and materials with you at all times. Pay attention to these basic details, and you’ll have a perfect afternoon and an enjoyable opportunity to spend quality time with your great friend. Finally, make sure your dog is in good health and up to date on all vaccinations before taking them to swim. We hope you enjoy the summer months with your dog!