We know there’s nothing better than spending a day on the beach with your family/friends, including those furry four-legged ones. However, sometimes our loveable best friends don’t know that making new friends isn’t always as innocent as it may seem. When our dogs run freely in the areas where nesting shorebirds, including GLPIPL, are they’re usually just curious and sniffing the area for great smells. However, when they run through a nesting area or playfully chase a Piping Plover, our dogs can actually lead to increased stress for the birds, potential nest/chick abandonment, or even the risk of increased predation from wild animals (fox, raccoon, mink, etc…).
This may seem like a big inconvenience but when we think of how few GLPIPL nests (only 70 in the entire Great Lakes Region!) compared to how many miles of Great Lakes shoreline (10,900 miles or 17,550 kilometers = 44% of the Earth’s circumference) there is, hopefully it will seem like an easier, no big deal, compromise.
Michigan, and specifically Michigan beaches, is extremely dog friendly. There are numerous areas that owners can take their dogs that are on the beach but managed specifically for dogs. Many “dog beaches” include amenities (water, bowls, disposal bags, etc…) that make the experience actually better. These areas allow our dogs to still get outside, get some exercise, and be on the beach with us without disturbing the local wildlife.