As a pet parent, you’d agree that taking dogs to the beach is no less than a summer ritual. A beach day out is one for the memories — both for you and your dog.
Happiness is a day at the beach with your dog. – Anon
However, a beach day with a dog can get tricky. You gotta make sure that your pet is comfortable and safe. So, how do you spend a worry-free beach date with your pooch? By following these tips!
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Know the Rules of the Beach
All beaches don’t have the same rules when it comes to pets. Check out the regulations before taking your dog to the beach you want to visit. Some don’t allow dogs to be off their leash, while others might refuse to let pets swim in the sea. Yet others have specific time slots when the place is open to dogs.
What’s the point of taking your dog to the beach if it can’t have its share of fun frolicking around in the water and the sand, right? Double check before taking off.
If there are no other dog friendly beaches nearby, plan some activities your dog loves. There are many other ways to enjoy the beach, even if your dog is not allowed to swim or roam freely.
Load Up on Toys
Dogs love to play fetch, so bring a ball, frisbee, or chewy toy you can toss around while on the sand. Getting a dog floater is a good idea too for when it’s time to hit the water. Tug of war is another fun game you can play with your four-legged friend.
Packing different toys that your dog loves will make sure your dog never gets bored.
Also Read: 6 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Road Trip
Don’t Forget Fresh Water and Treats
The summer weather, coupled with saltwater, might dehydrate your dog. Prepare what to bring to the beach for a dog the night before. Always bring ample fresh water with you. Put the water in a thermal bottle so that it stays cool despite the hot ocean breeze.
Stow away some treats for snacks and as a reward for your pet in your beach bag. Just because you are relaxing on the beach doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your dog’s tricks. A beach is a good place for training.
Know what goes in your dog’s mouth. If the beach is packed, chances are there will be food everywhere, and your dog may have a feast. You have to know what food your dog can and cannot eat, especially if it has a medical condition that requires dietary restrictions.
What about beach staples like coconut? If you’re wondering, “Can my dog eat coconut?”, yes, they can tolerate small amounts of fresh coconut. But processed ones like coconut flakes are big no no.
Things to note: While dogs don’t proactively eat sand, they might ingest some while on the beach. You have to prevent your dog from taking in a lot of sand. A small amount won’t hurt the dog, but a large amount may cause dog intestinal blockage or lead to impaction.
Protect Your Pet from Heat Stroke and Sunburn
Just like humans, dogs may also suffer from heat stroke and sunburn. Bring a large umbrella when taking dogs to the beach. Allow your pet to rest in its shadow between playtime. Let it drink plenty of fresh water too.
Find a sunscreen for dogs and apply it on your pet for added protection against sunburn. Remember to douse the most important parts with it: the nose, ears, and skin sparsely covered by fur.
Bring a Mat
How do I make my dog comfortable at the beach? Pack a mat! A comfortable mat is an essential, especially if you plan to spend a long time on the beach. Make sure to complement the mat with a beach umbrella to protect your dog from the heat of the sun.
A mat is also a great beach paraphernalia to limit your dog’s direct contact with the sand, which may turn unbearably hot when the sun is scorching. That said, try and avoid the beach during midday to prevent mishaps.
Teach Your Dog How to Swim
Swimming is a good exercise for dogs and an ideal summer activity because it keeps them cool. Some breeds are natural in the water while others aren’t. Don’t assume that your dog will swim instinctively.
Know if your dog is a natural-born swimmer or not. It’s okay if it is not. You can always teach your dog how to swim.
How do you take your dog to the beach for the first time? Teaching the dog to swim is a favorable reason to bring it to the beach. While a professional can do the job better, do not underestimate your ability to be your dog’s swimming instructor!
Allow your dog to acclimate to the water before learning how to swim. Let it wade in the shallow water first, before nudging it to go deeper into the sea.
Be conscious of the waves. Large waves can scare off your dog. If it is unprepared, your canine companion may experience fear or trauma and will not set foot in the sea again.
Do I need to wash my dog after the beach? Most definitely. You want to remove the sand and saltwater from your dog’s fur since these may irritate your pet’s skin. Why risk the chance of matting after a jolly day out in the sun?
That apart, perhaps most importantly, you want to rid your dog’s coat of germs and a scrub down is a good idea after its day on the beach.
Also Read: How to Keep An Active Dog Busy and Happy
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Even a fun day at the beach could go downhill in the blink of an eye. Always check your surroundings to make sure nothing could hurt your dog—broken glass, sharp rocks, leftover chocolates, discarded food wrappers, and garbage may be dangerous to your pet.
Your dog may also try to wander off on its own.
Make sure you are aware of where your dog is at all times. You want to look out for possible danger areas and dognappers. About two million dogs are stolen in the country every year. Don’t let yours go missing.
It’s the most important tip on this list: have fun! Spending time with your dog is always incredible. Just make sure you have all the supplies necessary to have an awesome time at the beach.
Make a checklist before asking yourself “What do I need for my dog at the beach?” Tick the necessities off as you pack them one by one. That way, taking dogs to the beach should be a breeze and an experience you look forward to planning every summer.