It’s a long hot summer and many of us are excited to bring our dogs to the beach! Planning on hitting the sand with your pal? Here are the top 9 tips for taking your dog to the beach for maximum fun and safety.
- Choose a dog-friendly beach
- Teach your dog to swim
- Find fresh water and shade
- Steer clear of choppy water
- Watch what they drink
- Provide sun protection
- Look out for dangers in the sand
- Rinse their fur
- Pick up their poop
1. Taking your dog to the beach? Make sure that beach takes dogs!
First things first. Always check the local rules—they’re usually posted publicly—to make sure it’s okay to bring your dog to the beach. Luckily, there should be a few within driving distance. From Norfolk to Oahu, San Diego to New York City, dog-friendly beach and swimming spots abound.
2. Teach your dog to swim
Some dogs come ready to bring their A-game on the water; some—not so much. Don’t assume your dog is an automatic swimmer (okay, unless you have a lab), and take it nice and easy. For helpful tips, check out our post about teaching your dog to swim.
3. Find fresh water and shade
Any time you take your dog out in the sun for an extended period of time, it’s important to provide opportunities for shady naps and hydration. The beach can be hard exercise!
4. Steer clear of choppy water
Water that’s busy with large waves, boats, boards, or jet skis can scare your dog, so try to find a calm water area.
5. Watch what they drink
Mmm… salt. Many dogs love to drink salt water at the ocean—but it’s not good for them. Do you best to limit drinking salt water and encourage hydrating with fresh water. A collapsible water dish is a great thing to pack.
6. Stay sun-protected
Dogs can burn too, especially if they have light skin and fur or short hair. Focus on the ears and nose. You can even purchase sunscreen made for pets.
7. Keep a look out for dangerous items
Be aware that all sorts of items can be partially or fully hidden in the sand. Broken glass, rocks, hooks, coral, and garbage can pose a danger to your dog.
8. Rinse well
Whether you’ve been hanging out in salt or fresh water, be sure you rinse off your dog’s coat to rid them of any sand, salt, and beach germs before you head home.
9. Pick up that poop
Many dog-friendly beaches provide “mutt mitts” at the entrance, though you should also bring your own. Dog poop is a problem for fish and wildlife, so be mindful of picking it up to avoid water and soil contamination.
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