Postcards & Passports

11 Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

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A day on the beach is an amazing way to pass the time. You can add to the adventure by bringing your dog along with you. There are eleven vital safety and other considerations that you must bear in mind when you bring your pooch to the beach with you.

Protect Your Pooch’s Paws

A primary tactic you need to employ to keep your dog safe and happy on the beach is to protect your pooch’s paws from hot sand. Before hitting the shore, visit with your vet to obtain information about specific products that keep your dog’s paws safe and comfortable on the hot sand.

Make Sure Your Dog Likes Water and Can Swim

The first visit to the beach is not the place to find out whether or not your dog likes water or swimming. Figure this out in advance at some safe, quiet location. Keep in mind that even if your dog liked the water at the pool or a small pond, the scale of water lapping on the beach can be overwhelming. Thus, you need to give your pooch time to acclimate to the sheer magnitude of the ocean or a large lake.

Invest in a Vest

If you’ll be boating, or even playing in the surf, buying a life vest for your pooch is wise. Consider a life vest with a handle on the back. The handle makes it easier to lift or guide your dog out of the water as necessary. Your vet might have suggestions as to the best type of vest.

Provide Shade

Your pooch, covered in fur, will need breaks from the sun. One resource to prevent him from overheating is making certain that there is shade to which he can retreat. If shade is not readily accessible where you will be at the beach, consider bringing along a small, well ventilated tent in which your dog can take a break from the sun.

Bring Dog Sunscreen

Be sure to bring along sunscreen. There are products made specifically for canines. But, sunscreens for babies or people with sensitive skin typically also work. Sunscreen is applied on your dog’s nose, ears, belly, and groin area. Keep in mind that any product with zinc oxide should be avoided.

Pack Plenty of Water

Keeping your dog well hydrated is an absolute must when spending a day at the beach. Bring along a bowl and plenty of fresh water. Keep fresh water in a cooler. Keep your pooch well hydrated, particularly at an ocean beach. You need to limit the amount of salt water he drinks.

Clean Up the Poop

Make sure you have all of your poop scoop supplies at hand. Immediately clean up after your dog. When your dog pees, you face a different situation. Attempt to eliminate as much of the pee-saturated sand as possible. You can dilute it significantly by pouring lots of water on it. You don’t want to expose other beachgoers to your dog’s waste.

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photo credit Bruce Galpin

Avoid Hidden Dangers in the Water

You need to be on guard for hidden items under that water that can harm your dog. For example, dogs can cut their paws on sharp objects, including things like seashells. You can do your best to scope out the area where your dog will be in the water. You also need to maintain a constant vigil for signs that your pooch is limping or injured in some way.

After the Beach, a Good Rinse

Every time you return from the beach, give your pooch a bath or at least a very thorough rinse. Sand and salt can prove very irritating to your dog’s skin.

Thoroughly Dry Your Dog’s Ears

Some dogs are rather prone to ear infections. Thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after swimming or playing in the water.

Bring Toys

Don’t leave appropriate toys behind when you take your pooch to the beach. Frisbees and toys that float are perfect choices. Tennis balls? Not so much, because your dog may end up with an unpleasant mouth full of sand.

In the end, by following these tips and tactics you will best ensure that your pooch has a safe and highly enjoyable time on the beach. In fact, you will have taken crucial steps to ensuring that you have a remarkable time on the beach as well.

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Guest post by Jessica Kane, a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.

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