Beach Safety 101: How to Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach
Summertime has always been synonymous with taking a little vacation from your seemingly endless responsibilities and making your way to the beach, whether it be with your family, friends or coworkers. If you’re the type who loves your dog so much that you think it would make a great companion to your nature break, chances are you’d be bringing along your furry, four-legged friend to the beach as well.
Is the Beach Dog-Friendly or Not?
But before your dog tags along with you on your trip to the beach, you should identify first which beaches allow dogs within their premises. Note that some beaches do not allow dogs and other pets at all, especially if the place has a bit of history with previous visitor complaints involving animals. Other beaches are a bit more welcoming as they give access to dogs but only for a limited number of hours. Check first if the beach you want to go to allows dogs or not. You wouldn’t want to waste your time taking that trip to the beach with your dog only to belatedly find out that no pets are allowed there.
Tips on Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach
As a responsible dog owner, pet safety is of utmost importance which is why you would want to bear in mind these safety tips to make you and your dog’s beach bonding experience a truly memorable one.
- Never assume that your dog is a natural swimmer.
This is a mistake that even some responsible dog owners tend to commit due to the commonly held notion that all dogs know how to swim.
- Certain breeds of dogs such as Chihuahua, Corgi and Pug, to name but a few, aren’t born swimmers at all. Don’t take any risks, earn to accept that not all dogs are capable of swimming…. especially in the rough waters of the ocean.
- Find a calm area of the beach and lead your dog to the water to see if it can swim or not.
- If your dog is unable to swim even in the shallowest depths of the beach, consider taking it for a walk across the shoreline instead.
- Stop your dog from drinking saltwater.
Your dog would surely get really thirsty from all that running around in the sand, but never ever allow it to just lap up saltwater from the sea.
- A common rule of thumb being passed around especially during survival situations is to never ever drink saltwater as it would only make you feel even thirstier than before with some nausea on top.
- Drinking non-portable water such as that in the beach could also make your dog sick.
- Always carry some fresh water for you and your dog to drink when either of you gets thirsty.
- Apply sunscreen to your dog.
Just because your dog has more fur compared to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t prone to sunburn.
- Keep exposed areas of your dog such as its nose, ears and hind legs from burning up by rubbing some sunscreen on its skin, but not just your typical sunscreen would do.
- The sunscreen you’re using for your own skin contains zinc oxide which can be toxic to dogs if ever they eat it, thus the need to choose a sunscreen with ingredients suitable for your dog is a must.
- In case you’re having trouble finding canine-specific sunscreen, look for one that can be applied to human babies or sensitive skin as an alternative.
- Always be mindful of where your dog is.
Never assume that your dog would know how to get its way back to you as not all dogs are innate trackers who could just sniff their way back to their owner.
- Keep a close watch of where your dog is running around.
- Make sure that your dog is within your line of sight.
- Don’t let yourself get too distracted by all of the other sights on the beach.
- Look out for sharp objects and poisonous sea creatures.
Nature can be rather unforgiving with dangers lurking in every corner, and the beach is no exception.
- Clear the sand of sharp rocks that could easily get painfully lodged in the paws of your pup.
- Check the water for jellyfish, sea urchins, corals and shells. Do not let your dog near them.
- Give your dog a chance to rest.
All that running around in the sand is sure to get exhausting at some point, so look for a cool, shady area on the beach where your dog can take a break.
- Put the leash on whenever necessary.
While most dog-friendly beaches allow dogs to roam as freely as possible, there might be some protected areas or dangerous terrain nearby that are off-limits to visitors. If you’re not confident enough that your dog would stay away from places where it’s not supposed go to, keep it tied on a leash.
- Bring a first aid kit.
You’ll never know when your dog might get injured, so always have a first aid kit ready.
- Know if there is a veterinary clinic near to the beach.
Just in case applying first aid to your dog after getting injured isn’t enough, it would help even before you hit the beach to research for any veterinary clinics near the area so that a more qualified animal doctor could check on your dog if necessary.
- Give your dog a thorough shower.
When it’s time to wrap you and your dog’s beach trip up, make sure to rinse your dog clean as it helps remove all the salt and sand particles that are stuck in its fur.
Taking a trip to the beach with your trusty canine partner might end up becoming one of your favorite vacation if you take all the right precautions to keep everyone safe. As long as you know how to keep your dog safe in a place where both of you could relax and not worry about anything even for just a while, you and your Happy Pooch would surely have a great bonding time together.
Jeffery is a pet enthusiast and volunteer at his local pet shelter. His passion for animals started at an early age and through his work on becoming a veterinary student he understands and cares for pets of all species. Jeffery currently writes for The Happy Pooch and has 2 cats, a bird and a dog named Lucy.