The Belgian coastal town of Middelkerke has a unique scoop: they have exempted dogs from a swimming area guarded by beach lifeguards! A real dog beach on the Belgian coast. The stretch of beach especially for four-legged friends is less than 3 hours from Rotterdam in the Netherlands and 1.5 hours from Antwerp! Ideal for a trip to the beach next summer.
A real dog beach in Belgium
The stretch of beach is located between Westende and Lombardsijde at the beach post 'Crystal Palace'. It is the last guarded zone in Middelkerke. “It is an additional tourist value for our municipality. The dogs must remain on a leash and the owners must clean up the feces of their dogs," says Tourism Director Tom Dedecker.
The municipality of Middelkerke saw few bathers on the guarded beach last summer. Dog owners walked a little further to the unguarded beach adjacent to this stretch of beach. That is why it was decided to designate a stretch of beach where dogs are welcome. The dogs are also allowed to swim there! A unique event for the municipality of Middelkerke.
Dogs must remain on a leash
All dogs that enter the beach in Middelkerke are welcome, but must be kept on a leash. In addition, the common sense of the owners is also counted on, because the owners must always clean up the dog poop before leaving. Anyone who does not do this can expect to be fined.
The beach rescue service is also prepared for the presence of the dogs, Tom Dedecker explains. “They have received additional training from a dog trainer about how to handle dogs and also about what to do in the event of a dog bite. There will also be an extra first aid post on the beach in question."