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Portuguese beaches go pet-friendly

The designation of special beaches for dogs is part of the approach by some cities to further protect the rights of animals

  • July 02, 2020 14:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium pet friendly beach
Source: CM Oeiras

With Portugal’s reopening to tourists and foreign visitors now in effect since 1 July, there are a number of surprises waiting for those eager to head to its beaches. Not only has Portugal for the most part successfully handled the coronavirus pandemic, limiting its spread and containing its impact, but it has also approached the removal of lockdown restrictions with an open mind aimed at transforming the country into something better and more in-line with the future.

One such example is the decision of the municipalities of Oeiras and Matosinhos to designate specific beaches to become pet-friendly in the last days before the country’s official reopening to the world. By adopting such an approach, the two cities’ local government hoped to not only safeguard and advance the rights and health of animals but to also attract tourists to their beaches – namely those who are more concerned with the wellbeing of their pets and do not want to leave them at home.

Concrete steps on the path towards animal protection

The steps taken by the two municipalities might not be the first ones of their kind as pets have already been allowed on some privately-owned beaches in Portugal – as well as in the city of Esposende since 2018, but it nonetheless marks an important step towards ensuring a safe and healthy environment that allows both pets and their owners to spend quality time together.

The rules for the use of these beaches are simple – simply obey the hygienic measures and signings that have been set up by municipal staff.  The recommendations include the mandatory use of a leach or muzzle, the carrying of ID for the pets and the collection of the animals’ waste.

On their part, the municipality of Oeiras, for example, has set up drinking fountains, waste disposal bins and is responsible for the regular cleaning of the pet-friendly beach. The creation of these areas is yet another innovative step taken by local governments in Portugal aimed at attracting tourists to their shores that would without a doubt lead to positive results for the local post-COVID economic recovery.

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