6 Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach!
8 July, 2016
Guest Blog by Meg Marrs, Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine.
A trip to the beach is the highlight of the summer for many families with sand and sunshine on the mind.
Bring your pooch along for the trip too, but make sure to read these beach safety tips before you head out!
1. Have Shade + Fresh Water
While at the beach, always make sure to provide your pooch with plenty of fresh and cool water. Your dog needs to stay hydrated – remember that dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves down like humans (they can pant, but even this can be troublesome for short-nosed dogs).
In addition, you’ll want to be sure that your dog has access to a shady area to sit under out of the sun. A shaded canopy, umbrellas, or trees can serve just fine.
2. Dog Can Get Sunburns, Just Like Us
While many of us always make sure to lather ourselves with sunscreen before heading out to the beach, it’s common for owners to overlook that their dog needs sun protection as well! That’s right, dogs can get sunburned just like humans.
Dogs that are especially vulnerable to sunburns are those with white, light-colored fur and thin fur. If you can see your dog’s pink skin through his or her fur, then that is another sign that your dog is in danger of sunburns.
Look for sunscreens made specifically for dogs (and that don’t include zinc oxide, which is toxic for dogs). Pay special attention to your dog’s nose and ears, as these areas are often especially in danger of getting burned.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Drink Seawater
Keep an eye on your pooch and prevent him or her from drinking seawater! Seawater can make your dog sick, and while they may be tempted to lap up some of that salt water, it will result in an upset stomach later.
Also make sure to rinse your dog down after a day at the beach, since the salt and other minerals in seawater can affect your dog’s fur coat.
4. Some Swimmers May Need Doggy Life Jackets
While larger, water-loving breeds like labs will likely have no problems swimming at the beach, others may need careful watch.
Short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs may have more difficulty breathing while swimming, and dogs with short legs, like corgis and dachshunds, will also have a harder time swimming, especially against ocean waves.
If you have a dog that isn’t a top-notch swimmer, consider getting a dog life vest, which can keep your dog afloat and let them swim with ease and avoid any risk of drowning.
5. Check Water Conditions
Make sure to check online or communicate with lifeguards to get an up-to-date review on your beach’s water conditions. Dogs can be easily become victim to jellyfish or sea lice if they’re out. Also keep watch for riptide alerts, which could pull dog and human swimmers alike further out to sea and require a rescue.
6. Know Your Beach’s Regulations
Some beaches only allow dogs during certain times of the day, or in certain sections of the beach. Other beaches totally ban dogs all together during the summer months.
Make sure you research the rules of your beach destination and find a sandy spot where your dog is welcome!
That does it for our doggy beach tips – do you have any other beach tips to offer? Share your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author: Meg Marrs is the Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine, a dog care website dedicated to helping owners care for their four-legged friends through educational resources, training tips, and common dog owners FAQs.