Dr. Webster’s BLOG

Weekly Beach Report

Is the beach safe this week?

UPDATED February 22, 2024

Finally- a nice looking weather forecast heading into the weekend. With almost average temperatures, and warming water temperatures in the gulf and bay- it should be a great weekend to head to the beaches. It doesn’t appear that last weekend’s rain has done much to affect our local water quality.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Pinellas County officials have announced that three raccoons have been tested and found to be positive for Distemper at Fort Desoto. This is a potentially fatal disease to dogs. If you do plan on visiting Fort Desoto, ensure your pets are up to date on all of their vaccines to ensure their health and safety. At this time, we are uncertain as to when this advisory will be lifted.  To learn more about canine distemper- including symptoms and how to keep your pet safe- visit this link.

Water samples are taken by the Florida Department of Public Health from dozens of beaches around the state to test for fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria. These samples are taken weekly in Hillsborough County- and bi-weekly in Pinellas County. It takes a day before test results are back- and we will report on these as soon as we can review and post them here. The quality of the water is affected by numerous factors- including heavy rains which can flush contaminants from the land into our waterways into the gulf. As a reminder- these results have nothing to do with red tide. For more information on red tide in our area, please see the FWC’s website here.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other blogs- especially our blog on the toxic and potentially fatal effects of saltwater on your pet. It can be fatal if your pet ingests too much. Learn the symptoms here.

As a reminder, Pinellas County is only offering bi-weekly water quality testing, as the county has chosen not to fund weekly testing.

There are lots of public beaches in our area- but we will only be posting on the following beaches since they allow our furry friends to play. They are:

  • Davis Island
  • Picnic Island
  • Fort Desoto
  • Apollo Beach Nature Preserve (not tested, but is nearby Bahia Beach- which is tested)
  • Honeymoon Island

*Apollo Beach Nature Preserve is not a site that is tested, however there is a test site within a few miles of this dog beach- Bahia Beach. We will report the findings for this site.  Use this data at your own risk.

You may be wondering about Gandy Beach water quality. The Florida Department of Health does not currently do testing at this site, as it’s not really a beach. If this changes, we will include it, since we know lots of folks take their pups there, too.

Hillsborough County Water Quality Results Results issued 2/21/24

Picnic Island: Good Conditions

Davis Island Dog Beach: Good Conditions

Apollo Beach Nature PreserveGood Conditions at nearby Bahia Beach.

As a reminder, Apollo Beach Nature Preserve has a dog-friendly beach. This site is not tested, but is only about one mile from Bahia Beach which is tested weekly. Use these test results at your own risk.

Pinellas County Water Quality Results reported 2/12/24  Conditions reported by FDOH every 2 weeks

Fort Desoto: Good Conditions

Honeymoon Island: Good Conditions

The Florida Department of Health water quality reports can be found here directly.


For all local beach reports (includes non-dog beaches)- follow these links:

Hillsborough County Beaches

Pinellas County Beaches