Now that you’ve made the investment in importing your fur family to your new Hawaii home, it’s time to decide what to do. Here is a guide to enjoying a beautiful Hawaiian day with the entire family. There are several beaches, hiking trails, and parks on Oahu that welcome our four-legged companions.
Nalu and his pup friends ready to hike on a beautiful Hawaiian day
Safety Tips For Your Next Outing
- Leash your dogs.
- If your dog is the least bit unfriendly, take him/her home.
- If you are going to take your pets out, they should be vaccinated and healthy – bonus if you just flew your dog in, you’ve got this one covered.
- Keep a close eye on your pet. Pay close attention to their behavior around other canine friends.
- Always pick up and dispose of your pet’s waste appropriately.
- When choosing a spot at the beach make sure you pick a place with plenty of shade.
- Always apply a zinc-free sunscreen to their ears and nose.
- Be careful not to let your dog stand on hot sand or asphalt too long, their pads can burn quickly.
- Ocean water, standing (puddle) water on a trail or at the park can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration if a dog drinks it, so be sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand.
- Know before you go, check weather forecast and surf conditions. Or you can always ask the lifeguard on duty about water conditions.
- Let your dog swim, walk, and play; exercise is good but only in moderation. Be sure they don’t overdo it.
- Beware of beach, trail, and park hazards like boats, fishhooks, dead fish, garbage, trash, broken glass, lava rock, and crawly critters.
Now that safety is established, let’s talk about where to go. Below is a list of beaches, hiking trails, and parks you and your furry friends may want to explore.
- Hau Tree Beach Park – Ewa Beach
- Barbers Point Beach Park – Barbers Point
- Kapaeloa Beach – North Shore
- Turtle Bay Beach – North Shore
- Kailua Beach Park – Kailua
- Kaluahole Beach – Diamond Head
- Outrigger Canoe Club Beach – Waikiki
- Gray’s Halekulani Beach – Waikiki
Nalu and his owner, Greg, on a hike
Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails
I would consider the following trails to be beginner difficulty level, which means they are good for dogs that are also at that level and they each take approximately 2 hours to complete. Please note the time to complete is an approximate, leave yourself plenty of time to complete just in case your furry partner in crime needs more time.
- Old Pali Road – Honolulu
- Aiea Loop Trail – Aiea
- Waimano Valley – Waimalu
- Manoa Falls – Honolulu
- Waimano Ridge Trail – Pearl City
Nalu & his good friend Meshelle on a hike
Please note that for off-leash parks your buddy must be escorted in and out on a leash. Once inside the play area, they are permitted to be off-leash.
Off-Leash dog parks include:
- Ala Wai Dog Park – Waikiki
- Bark Park – Diamond Head
- Mililani Dog Park – Mililani
On-Leash dog parks include;
- Sandy Beach Park – Hawaii Kai
- Wailupe Valley Playground – Aina Haina
- Hoa Aloha Neighborhood Park – Salt Lake
- Ewa Beach Community Park – Ewa Beach
- Honowai Neighborhood Park – Waipahu
- Enchanted Lakes Community Park – Kailua
- Kaneohe Community Park – Kaneohe
*All photos courtesy of Greg Pentecost