Going to the beach is wonderful entertainment. Whether you’re going on vacation or live near an ocean or lake, there are some things to consider if you plan to take your dog along with you. Here’s some basic beach safety for dogs.
Keep Your Pets Cool
Like people, dogs can overheat when temperatures are up. Therefore, it’s important to give your dog the same treatment as you would humans to prevent overheating. First, make sure your dog has plenty of shade and water to keep cool. If you notice they are still hot, douse them with some cool water on their belly and paws to keep them from becoming too warm. Does your dog like to swim? Get them in the water to cool down. Just be sure to do it safely! We’ll discuss more about water safety later in this blog.
Signs your dog is overheating:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of coordination
If you suspect your dog is becoming overheated, it’s time to get them to a cooler environment. A dog who is losing coordination or consciousness needs to get to a vet immediately.
Important to note, short-muzzle breeds, such as Boxers and Bulldogs, tend to overheat more easily.
Be a Responsible Beach-Goer
There are rules and laws surrounding beachfronts. Many times, beaches have environmental protection laws. You’ll commonly find these where sand dunes are prominent. These locations often do not allow dogs. Before you head to the beach with your pup, check local laws. You don’t want to be fined.
When dogs are permitted, remember to be a responsible beach-goer. Bring baggies for your dog’s messes, a leash to keep your dog safe, and have your dogs updated on their vaccines.
Does your dog know how to swim? No matter what your answer is, you’ll need to be ready to protect and save your dog from the dangers of water. We highly suggest that no matter how good a swimmer your dog is, you make them wear a life vest in the water. A good-quality dog life vest will also have a handle sewn on to allow you to support your dog while they swim. With a handle, you can easily pull your dog from the water if things become too treacherous or if they run out of energy. Swimming is exhausting!
Dogs Can Get Sunburn Too
Dogs with short hair can get sunburn too! That’s why it’s so important that you offer your dog shade while they are on the beach. A dog who is more active and likes to move around or swim may need extra sun protection. For these dogs, consider buying dog-safe sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied anywhere a dog’s skin will get direct sunlight. Also, after your dog goes in the water, more should be applied to their coat.
Hairless breeds should wear a t-shirt or some other barrier to avoid direct sunlight on the skin.
Have Basic Obedience Down
Your dog needs to listen. In an environment where there are dangers, chaos, and potentially lots of people, your dog needs to look to you for guidance. That means you need to have basic obedience commands perfected. Your dog should be able to come, sit, and stay in order to have the best and safest beach experience. For dogs with nervous energy, the beach may not be the ideal place for them. They will likely not be able to relax in this stimulating environment, and that’s okay! Dogs who thrive on the energy and liveliness of beach life will have a great time as long as you are prepared.
A good time at the beach means bringing the tools and skills you need to keep you and your pet safe. Like we said before, so much can go wrong at the beach. Here are some things to bring with you to ensure you’re prepared at the beach:
- Umbrella for shade
- Towel to dry off your dog after a dip
- Water bowl and water for hydration
- Sunscreen for shorthair and hairless breeds
- Updated vaccines to safely socialize with other dogs
- A leash and collar with updated tags
- Knowledge of local laws and ordinances
- Contact information for the nearest vet
The beach is an exciting place for humans and canines alike. As long as you come prepared, you’re sure to have a lovely time!