We all know how much fun the beach is and it’s even better when you can bring your four legged friend with you. Whilst most dogs love the beach, it does come with its own hazards and so it’s important to know how to protect your dog on the sand and in the sea. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short guide on how to keep your dog safe at the beach in order to maximise the fun!
- Is the beach dog- friendly?
First things first, check to make sure the beach you are planning on heading to actually allows dogs. You don’t want to get all the way there and have to turn straight back around… Do a quick check online before you head out to see which beaches you will be able to take your dog to. Some beaches only allow dogs at certain times of the year and others don’t allow dogs at all. Luckily there’s plenty of beach to go around and many coastal spots to explore with your dog- it’s just a case of finding the best one!
- Provide plenty of shade and water
On a hot summer’s day at the beach, one of the biggest risks to dogs is heatstroke. Keep your dog cool by making sure they have a good area of shade to sit in and plenty of water to drink. Avoid visiting the beach at the hottest part of the day- early mornings and evenings are best for dogs, and if you can see that they’ve had enough then be prepared to head home a little early. Another great way to help your dog cool down of course is to let them have a quick dip in the sea…
- Swimming safely
A swim in the sea is great exercise for your dog and will really help them cool off. There are just a few things to think about in order to help your dog swim safely. The tide makes swimming conditions more dangerous and so if your dog isn’t that fond of the water or has never swum before then the sea probably isn’t the best place to dive in head first. Don’t let your dog swim if the sea looks dangerous and optimise their safety by putting them in a buoyancy aid or life jacket. This will give you peace of mind to enjoy the water without worrying about their safety. One final point- don’t let them drink too much of the sea water…
- Seawater causes stomach problems
Drinking seawater really isn’t great for dogs. It can cause sickness and/ or diarrhea and in the worst cases can make them very dehydrated. In order to discourage your dog from drinking the sea water make sure you have plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated with instead. When you get home, it’s also a smart idea to rinse them with fresh water to avoid them licking the salt off of their fur. You should also clean their ears as you don’t want leftover seawater causing any nasty infections for them.
- Look Out For Sharp Objects
At the beach, unfortunately it’s common to find sharp objects and litter such as broken glass hidden in the sand. Whilst it might be impossible to avoid some of these hazards it’s a good idea to bring a first aid kit to the beach with you in case your dog damages their foot pads. Having a first aid kit will allow you to keep the cut clean until you can get them to the vet.
- Prevent them from eating sand and seaweed
As with seawater, you don’t want your dog to be consuming the likes of sand and seawater. Swallowing sand or seawood can cause stomach problems for dogs, such as blockages and so as much as possible it’s important to try and limit how much sand they’re intaking. You don’t want any pesky stomach aches ruining your dogs day at the beach!