Puako Beach Dr. – Puako, Hawaii
Location: Puako, Hawaii 96738
Directions: From Kona, drive north on Highway 19. Before mile marker 70, make a left turn onto Puako Road. Drive straight, passing Hokuloa United Church, and you will soon see the first of six public access trails with the “Leash law strictly enforced” sign at the trailhead. Park along either side of the road, making sure to pay attention to the “no parking” areas. A quick walk will have you and your dogs on the beach where you will see a rocky shoreline with many tide pools, inlets and coves, which offer good snorkeling conditions when the ocean is calm. A long, but narrow white-sand beach spans almost the entire length of the bay. The six public access trails are located by telephone poles #106, 110, 115, 120, 127 and 137. I have only been to the first one, so please feel free to share your experiences with me of the other spots. I’d love to hear about them!
Beach Etiquette for Dog Owners
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
- Take your dog home at the first sign of unfriendly behavior.
- Puppies and dogs should be vaccinated and healthy.
- Keep close supervision of your dog and do not let them near honu (sea turtles) that frequently sunbathe on the rocks and beach.
- Dogs in estrus/heat should be left at home.
- Pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste.
How to keep your dog safe at the beach
- When taking your dog to the beach, make sure there is plenty of fresh water and shade. Dogs can get sunburned just like humans, so limit your dog’s exposure to the hot sun and apply a zinc-free sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.
- Be careful not to let your dog spend too much time on hot sand or asphalt. Dogs can burn their feet just as easily as we can.
- Cool ocean water is very tempting to a dog. Don’t allow your dog to drink too much seawater. This can cause diarrhea or vomiting and quickly dehydrate them.
- Swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs, but don’t let them overdo it. They will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
- Running on a beach is strenuous exercise and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament. If your dog is out of shape, don’t encourage him to run on the sand.
- The beach can present many hazards for your dog. Things to watch out for include boats, fishhooks, dead fish, honu (sea turtle), Keawe tree thorns, wan a (sea urchin), garbage, and broken glass. Lava rock can be very sharp and can easily cut your dog’s feet.