The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore located in Northern Indiana hugs Lake Michigan. The area has outstanding natural beauty through out the year for all to enjoy, unless you are a canine. Dogs are restricted from the beaches during the summer, and are strictly for humans only. Dog owners who do not obey this law can be fined.
With the changes in the season, so do the rules of the beach change. Fido is welcome on the beaches within the National Park and the surrounding communities, which is welcome news to dog owners. My wife and I recently adopted a Labrador retriever puppy and he loves the water but we were unable to take him to enjoy the National Lakeshore with him until now.
The lakeshore is very beautiful during the colder months of the year. While the dogs may be allowed to enjoy the beach, use caution when playing the water with your pup. Lake Michigan can be extremely cold which could be damaging to your four-legged companion’s health. Also note, when playing in the water Lake Michigan does freeze and has an ice shelf. Never throw something for your dog to fetch or allow your dog to walk on the ice shelf. Ice shelves are not even and do have thin spots where your dog can fall into the lake water underneath.
Our dog loves to sniff the sand and explore all of the interesting smells. We play fetch with him on the beach, and if it is early enough in the season we do occasionally throw a stick into the water for him. As always be courteous of others on the beach and keep your dog near you, not everyone likes dogs. Also, most importantly, the beach is a privilege for our pups so make sure to pick up after them.