With the sun high in the sky, heading to the beach is an excellent option. As a pet owner, you might be reluctant to plan a beach day for the sake of leaving your pup at home; however, it’s possible to take your dog with you. Consider these smart tips for a successful beach day with your dog to have the best possible experience.
Find Out if Your Pup Likes Water
First things first, you should find out if your dog likes the water before taking them to the beach. Although you might think all dogs love water, not all dogs are water dogs! You can usually gauge their overall response to water by giving them a bath, but they may react differently to a lake or ocean. Consider putting your pup in a floating life vest if you’re unsure how they’ll respond to the water.
Check Before You Go
Before you get too excited and load up the car without a second thought, be sure to check a few things about the beach or the summer weather.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the beach only to find out that they don’t allow pets on the grounds. You can prevent this disappointment by checking beforehand. While many parks and beaches have this information online, calling to be certain is often the best possible option.
Furthermore, many parks and beaches may have specific policies and regulations when it comes to pets. It’s best to know upfront if you need to leash your dog and how long that leash can be. No matter where you go, it’s always a smart idea to bring a leash and bags to pick up after your pup.
Even if the temperature looks promising at home, you should always check the forecast at your desired destination. Believe it or not, many dogs are prone to heat strokes and potential sunburns. When the temperature rises into the high 90s, it might be best to leave your dog at home or plan to go on a cooler day.
Aside from loading up the car with beach supplies, you’ll also need a designated space for your dog. Consider a dog travel crate to make the trip more comfortable for your pup, especially if they experience anxiety in the car.
When you decide to let your pup tag along, your beach packing list might be a bit more extensive than usual. In addition to your sunglasses, towel, and beach chair, here are a few things to add to your beach bag:
- Plenty of water
- A dog bowl
- Extra towels
- An umbrella
- Poop bags
- Beach-friendly dog toys
- Doggy sunscreen
- A floating life vest
- A first aid kit
Although this may seem like a massive list for an afternoon on the beach, you won’t regret having everything you need for a smooth beach experience. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your four-legged friend.
Keep Them Close
Although the beach itself may welcome dogs, that doesn’t mean the other beach-goers want your pup too close to them. You must consider that other people may be afraid, allergic, or unfond of dogs, and keep yours close as a result. Aside from bothering other pups and people, there are a few other reasons to keep a close eye on your dog.
Sand Isn’t Food
Being aware of your surroundings is crucial whenever you take your pup to a new place. This includes making sure they don’t eat something they shouldn’t—like sand. Sand can cause a blockage in a dog’s intestines if they consume a large amount, and it can cause them unbearable pain. In addition, drinking too much salt water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration.
Be sure to pack plenty of treats and dog-friendly snacks so that they don’t feel the need to find food elsewhere. Monitor your dog while they swim and provide plenty of fresh water to prevent them from drinking too much salt water to quench their thirst.
Another reason to keep your dog close to you is to prevent them from encountering the potential hazards of the beach. For instance, a large wave could pull them underwater, or a jellyfish or another sea critter could sting, bite, or pinch your dog. Other potential hazards include the trash, debris, sharp objects, etc., that might be in the water or sand.
Aside from material hazards, you should also observe your pup to ensure they don’t display any signs of heatstroke or dehydration. Here’s what to look out for:
- Excessive panting
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Seizures or collapsing
- Less responsive
- Bright red or blue gums
Bring Bright-Colored Toys
The beach is the ideal place for toys, but it’s also one of the easiest places to lose them. With that in mind, bring only the bright-colored, easy-to-find balls and frisbees. In addition, try to avoid packing toys that’ll collect sand or fall apart in the water.
Spend Time in the Shade
When you and your pup spend hours in the sun, it puts you both at risk for sunburn and overheating. Spend some time under your umbrella or canopy, and drink some water while enjoying the shade together. Eat a snack together and reapply sunscreen before getting back out in the sun to enjoy the sand and water.
Leave Nothing but Pawprints
Your dog’s mess is your mess, and you’re responsible for any messes or destruction they cause. Many parks and beaches aren’t pet-friendly because of owners who don’t clean up after their dogs. Be sure to observe your dog so that you don’t miss a bathroom break.
Aside from dog messes, double-check to ensure you throw away all of your waste; you don’t want it to end up in the water. You should always strive to leave the beach better than you found it, and that means leaving nothing but your pawprints at the end of the day.
Many dogs enjoy spending time outside with their owners, and taking a trip to the beach is an excellent opportunity for fun and exercise. Although spending time on the beach with your four-legged friend can be an incredible experience, it can also be a less-than-adequate outing if you don’t prepare. However, you’ll be to take on the day with these smart tips for a successful beach day with your dog. Have plenty of fun in the sun!