If your pups are like Sherlock and Watson then they love a good day at the beach! There’s nothing quite like sun, surf, and sand to help get the pups tired. But make sure you are prepared with these tips to make your next trip to the local beach a fun and safe one.
Keep ‘Em Cool
Warm weather at the beach can be a real hazard to your dog’s health. Make sure that you provide a nice shady retreat in the form of an umbrella or tent. Don’t forget to always provide plenty of fresh, cool water.
Make sure to look for signs of overheating. And if you have a short-muzzled pooch like English Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Boxer, etc. remember that they can overheat more quickly than dogs with longer snouts. Here are some of the signs of overheating in dogs:
Excessive and rapid panting and drooling
Issues with coordination
Loss of Consciousness
Keep Their Paws Safe
The sand can also get quite hot for your dog’s sensitive paws. Take care to provide plenty of breaks from the sand by setting up your dog’s very own blanket or towel to lay down on.
Check The Rules of the Beach
Remember that beach rules are often laws and therefore punishable as such. Make sure to check out the rules which may include staying off of protected areas, cleaning up after your dog, leash laws, and vaccinations. Every beach can be different.
Collars and Tags
This pretty much goes without saying, but whether you are taking your pup to a beach that allows off leash play or not it is extremely important that she has a collar with up to date information like her name, your phone number, and her doggy license. These forms of identification will help others get her home in the event that she does run off or you lose her. You never know what can happen in an exciting and highly distractible environment.
Dogs that have extremely short fur, that have recently gotten a trim, and those dogs with lighter skin color and/or pink noses are susceptible to sunburns just like humans! Check your local pet store or online for dog safe sunscreens to help protect your pooch. Don’t use any sunscreens that contain zinc because it can be toxic to dogs if they ingest it and avoid sunscreens that contain fragrances as they can be irritating to dogs.
Make sure to apply the sunscreen to your dog’s ears, nose, and anywhere else that sees direct sunlight. This includes the inside of the back legs. If you have a hairless breed consider a light shirt for additional protection.
One aspect of beach day safety many of us, including myself, forgets about is your dog’s recall. This means that your dog comes back to you when you call him or her every time. This is an important skill especially if you’ll be spending time on a beach that allows dogs off leash. Not only is it important for the safety of your dog, but also for the safety of others. You want to know that you have complete control over your pup even when there are a lot of distractions around. If you want to know how to teach your dog to recall check out this great article by the Humane Society.
Whether your dog likes the water or not it is important to make sure Fido is able to swim in case he gets swept away. If you have access to a pool or other safe calm body of water you can begin by teaching your dog to swim there. Also consider getting a life vest for your dog. Not only can it help keep your dog safe as he runs and swims through the water it can also be a good way to be able to spot your dog from a short distance since many come in neon colors.
Keep a close eye on your dog at all times, but especially if he or she enjoys swimming in the ocean or frolicking through the waves. Make sure your pooch doesn’t drink too much seawater as it can cause gastrointestinal irritation that can act as a laxative or induce vomiting. Additionally, salt water on a dog’s skin and paws can cause dryness and therefore cause itching. Avoid this by rinsing your dog with fresh water before leaving the beach or when you get home.
Bring Toys (and Enthusiasm)
Bring some of your dog’s toys and make sure they’re ones that you and your pup won’t be upset about losing. And of course don’t forget to bring lots of enthusiasm and positive attitude to beach day!