Taking our dog along for a family outing at the beach was a win-win for everyone, it turned out to be a fun time of bonding and exercise. Taking a dog to the beach requires some forethought and preparation to ensure the dog’s safety and a few safety precautions should be followed. Treat your dog much like you would treat a child playing in the sun, sand and surf and bone up on these beach safety tips from PetCo for a safe day at the beach with your dog.
The heat of the sun effects dogs just like it does people. Dogs can develop a painful sunburn if exposed to sunray’s without sunscreen protection and a dog can become overheated and suffer a heat stroke. Make sure there is a shady location nearby so your dog can get out of the sun’s heat and cool down. When your dog is having fun of a game of fetch, he will not willingly retreat to the shade and must be placed in the shade to cool down.
Running on the sand and swimming in the surf requires more doggie energy than taking a walk around the block, so keep a watchful eye on your dog so he does not overexert himself while frolicking on the beach. As previously stated, your dog will not willingly retreat to shade while having fun, so lead your dog to the shade frequently for rest periods. Keep an eye out for excess panting, lack of panting, lethargy and/vomiting, all signs of an overheated, exhausted dog. Keep a fresh supply of cold water on hand for your dog and keep dog food and treats in the cooler. Ice can be placed in your dog’s water bowl to help keep the water chilled on a hot day.
Apply a light layer of sunscreen to your dog’s ears and nose to help prevent sun burn, This is especially needed if your dog has light colored coat and pink skin. Talk to your veterinarian about which type of sunscreen in the safest for your pet. My dogs accept the application of lotion sunscreen much easier than trying to apply an aerosol product to their head area.
Both ends of your dog needs some management during a day at the beach – If your dog loves to play in the water (ocean, pool or lake) the water can cause problems inside the doggie ear. Pack along supplies to clean out your dog’s ears after each time he enters the water, it will save you and him some grief later. The opposite end of the dog also needs to be managed while on the beach so don’t forget the litter bags.
Never force your dog to go into the water. Some dogs take to the water like a duck, others despise the water. Forcing a terrified dog into the water is cruel; enjoy dog play on the sand so everyone can relax and enjoy the day.
Anytime a water loving dog is taken onto in a water craft, you dog should have on a life jacket just like you. And prior to a dog romping in the surf along the beach, ask the lifeguard about the ocean’s condition of the day. The current may be to strong for dog play or jellyfish may be to close to shore for safe dog play.