Going to the beach can be a blast with your fur baby, but taking a dog to the beach requires some preparation, know-how and a little common sense — or should that be canine sense?
Keeping in mind, anything that can harm you at the beach can also harm your dogs, such as sunburn, riptides, jellyfish, broken glass, sharp shells and aggressive dogs. But a beach day isn’t supposed to be about doom and gloom. Having a great day is easy when you know how to prepare for and prevent any potential mishaps. Read on for our best safety tips to help you and Fido find fun and relaxation together in the sun, surf and sand.
Warm summer temperatures at the beach can pose a threat to a dog’s health. Make sure that your dog has a shady retreat under a beach umbrella, tree or picnic bench.
Bring plenty of fresh, cool water and a doggie bowl. Offer refills liberally, making sure that the water does not get hot in the sun.
Remember that the sand can be scorching on sensitive paws, so provide a blanket or towel for your dog’s comfort when he takes a break from romping in the surf.
Take caution with brachycephalic (short-muzzled) breeds, such as English bulldogs, Boston terriers, boxers, pugs, Pekinese and shih tzus, because they overheat more quickly than long-snouted dogs.
Watch for signs of overheating in dogs, which include:
– Excessive/rapid panting and drooling
– Coordination problems
– Vomiting and/or diarrhea
– Loss of consciousness Avoiding overheating is definitely an important safety rule, but there are likely some actual laws posted at your local dog-friendly beach — discover some of the most common ones on the next page.
Remember that beach rules are actually laws and can be punishable by a citation or fine. Check online to make sure your beach allows dogs before you go and take notice of any rules posted near the beach, which may include:
– Stay off the dunes. Dunes are protected in some states.
– Clean up after your dog. Always carry waste bags and watch your dog in case he takes a potty break.
– Follow the leash laws. Many dog-friendly beaches have an off-leash policy but always check.
– Supervise your dog. Never leave your dog alone on the beach, even for a moment.
– No aggressive dogs. If your dog is sometimes aggressive, skip the beach.
– Collar and ID tags. Keep these on your dog at all times.
– Up-to-date vaccinations. Check with your vet to make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations and licenses.
– No females in heat. She could cause fighting among intact males — and create unwanted puppies.
– No puppies under four months. They can become injured or ill and don’t have all of their vaccinations yet. There are also some unwritten, good-neighbor rules for dog days at the beach. For example, fill in any holes your dog may have dug before you leave. Don’t let your dog harass other dogs, dog owners, picnickers or local wildlife. Remove your dog if he’s barking excessively. And always let other owners know if their dog has made a mess, is harassing another dog or is in potential danger.
So now you’re ready for the beach, one last thing to remember; he’s going to want to go for a romp. Make sure his free time on the beach is safe, too, by practicing the recall command — learn how on the next page.