Seven Tips for a Fun and Safe Beach Trip

June 4, 2018

 

Wow! It’s already time to start thinking about shopping for those Back to School supplies! Worry not, though. You do still have time to squeeze in a last minute beach trip. Here are some quick tips if you should decide to take your dog along with you:

First of all, make sure your dog likes the beach. This is key. You can test your dog’s reaction by taking him for a swim in the lake or for a run on your local beach. If your dog enjoys swimming in the lake and walking on the sand, you’re ready to go! Be sure to follow these tips as well, though.

Beware of loose dogs. A lot of dog-friendly beaches allow dogs to play while not wearing a leash. As you can imagine, this has the potential to turn into an unsafe environment for your dog if other dogs decide to start bullying or rough-housing. If you want to avoid this scenario, we suggest looking for a more secluded beach and/or one where dogs need to be on-leash.

Use a long leash. It is best to use a harness and a long leash (about 10 feet) to keep your dog safe at the beach. Your dog can venture into the ocean with safety equipment and floats on, but the leash will provide an extra line of safety and peace of mind if she swims out too far or if the waves are too much to handle.

Watch out for hot sand. We all hate stepping on a hot patch of sand at the beach. If a surface is too hot for you to stand on, it is certainly too hot for your dog to stand on. You may need to pick them up and carry them to wet or shaded areas of sand to prevent paw burns. Check your dog’s paws frequently for burns or irritation from salt water and/or sea creatures. You can also invest in some rubber booties if your dog is too heavy to carry along the beach.

Provide shade and water. This should go without saying, but make sure your dog has plenty of cold water to drink and a shaded area to lie down in. Limit your dog’s exposure to the sun and watch out for signs of overheating. If your dog gets too hot, cool him off with cold water and leave the beach as soon as possible. You may also need to check with a vet to make sure your dog is okay.

Sunscreen! For short-haired breeds and freshly-shaven dogs, sunscreen is a must. Buy a waterproof (if your dog will be going in the ocean) SPF 30 or higher chemical-free sunscreen and apply it liberally and frequently. Don’t forget your dog’s ear tips, nose, and paws.

Rinse your dog with clean water. Once back home or in your hotel room, wash your dog with a gentle shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Sand can cause skin irritation and salt water can damage your dog’s coat if not washed out properly. A best practice is to wash and rinse your dog twice and then rinse again.

Following these simple steps will ensure that your dog can enjoy the beach just as much as you! Have fun, be careful, and as always, contact us for more info!

 

Resources: Animal Behavior College

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