Trips to the beach are fun for the whole family. That includes your furry friends too. Beaches let dogs run, swim, and play to their heart’s content, but the beach can be unforgiving sometimes also. We’ve put together a list of important things to keep in mind while out on the sand with your pup.
Introduce Your Dog to Water Gradually
Your dog may like to swim in a creek or backyard pool, but the beach is a completely different atmosphere. Try introducing your dog to the beach at low tide, or when waves are less dramatic. This will help your dog not be intimidated by the beach’s waves. Also make sure to keep a close eye on dogs while they swim. Currents can drag a dog out much farther than they anticipated very quickly. If you’re visiting a secluded beach, purchase an extended beach leash. Some leashes run up from 50-75 feet and allow your pooch to swim around without going too far. Make sure not to use these at a crowded beach, as unknowing swimmers can get tangled in the leash.
Always Have Cold Water Available
Much like small children, dogs are liable to dehydrate themselves while playing at the beach. Bring a flexible bowl that can be easily washed out, as your dog will be mixing in sand with each water break. Having cold water available prevents dogs from taking in a lot of salt water, which can be dangerous in high levels.
Handle Beach Poop Responsibly
There’s nothing worse than stumbling upon dog poop while you’re trying to make a sand castle. Take extra bags with you for waste retrieval. Be sure to lend an extra bag if you see another dog owner without bags. If you’re spending the greater part of a day on the beach, take a couple gallon sized bags with ziplocks in order to store waste without the smell.
Protect the Paws
Sand can reach very hot temperatures during the peak hours of the day, and dogs may not make their discomfort apparent until they begin to limp. Give your dog some rubber socks to wear while running around the shoreline. If your dog continuously shakes off his socks, try applying some gel to paws that protects against hot temperatures and burns.
Make Camp in Dog-Friendly Areas
Some areas on the beach are more safe for dogs than others. Avoid laying out your blankets near docks or rocky banks. Fisherman cast their lures near docks. Dogs can cut themselves on fishing line or broken hooks if they’re wandering nearby. Rocky banks also serve as a deposit area for shells and broken glass, which dogs can cut themselves on. Make sure to inspect for limping or signs of injury periodically.
Rinse Your Dog Before Leaving
Make sure to visit a shower before you pack up and rinse all the sand off your dog. Excess sand can irritate your dog’s skin and make them itchy. Plus, you’ll appreciate it not shaking off in your car.