LOS ANGELES: Here's a rule that only applies to dog beaches: they are all clothing optional.
So if you're one of the rare owners that dress up your dog, designers have options for your beach-bound hound.
From bikinis to surf trunks, clothing makers have found a niche to sell garb for the pampered pooch that has almost everything.
Tommy Bahama Pets offers a Hawaiian shirt and a dress with a ruffled skirt made with the brand's traditional hibiscus fabric. Designer John Bartlett makes a canine beach tank top. And Martha Stewart Inc. produces a practical life jacket to give surfing and boating dogs a boost in the water.
In addition to floral bikinis and colorful swim trunks, pet retailers sell wet suits, visors, sunglasses and Doggles (think: goggles for dogs).
While the fashions may be fun they aren't very practical, said Dr. Brittany King of Banfield Pet Hospital in Houston.
"I'm a big swimmer and so is my dog, Hank," she said. "While he has his fair share of doggie-friendly swim trunks, they are simply meant for fashion_not function."
Practical beachgoers should do their dog a favor and put sunscreen on furless areas, bring fresh water, treats, a towel and an umbrella for shade.
And don't forget your own swimsuit.
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