A day at the beach...the sun, the sand, the water and breeze. The only thing that would make it better is taking your dog, right?
While the vision in your head may include joyful romps in the surf and sand, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your beach trip that will make it more safe AND fun for you and your pet.
Run down this checklist to ensure you are set up for the best beach day ever.
Check the Dog Rules for the beach you are going to
The last thing you want is to show up at the beach only to find out that your dog is persona non grata. Check online ahead of time to see what the beach's rules are when it comes to dogs.
For example, some beaches only allow dogs before 8am or after 6pm (or a certain time of day). Some only allow dogs during the "off season" (September - May). Others may allow dogs but have leash rules you need to follow.
Even if there aren't specific rules to be followed for the beach you are going to, just remember that not everybody loves your dog (GASP!). They may not want a slobbery sandy kiss or enjoy playing sandy fetch with your pup.
Can Your Dog Swim?
Dogs are famous for the doggy paddle, but not all dogs can do it. If you don't know whether or not your dog can swim, it is a good idea to strap a lifejacket on them just to be safe.
Even if your dog can swim in a pool, in the ocean, a life jacket is not a bad idea since you never know what the waves will throw at you.
And if swimming is really no concern to you, watch out if it seems like your dog is swallowing (or even intentionally drinking) ocean water. The salt in the water can cause problems (up to and including death!) so bring fresh water to drink and don't let them drink from the big salty bowl!
Plan for Other Dogs at the Beach
If your dog is allowed at the beach, so is everyone else's, so you should expect to meet up with other dogs on the sand. Watch for dogs who seems to be getting tired or overstimulated or don't want to play nice with others. Watch your down dog for the same signs and leash up if it seems like attitudes are getting a little....salty?
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Unfortunately, the beach isn't always the most well-maintained area, so it is essential for your dog's health that you are always watching for anything that could potentially harm them.
- Strong tides, riptides, or rolling waves - might be too much for your pup to navigate!
- Broken Glass, sharp shells or rocks, fishing hooks, anything that can hurt your dog's paws
- Things your dog shouldn't eat or drink - including ocean water or water from any tide pools.
- Toys are fun on the beach, but don't let your dog ingets too much sand while chasing them (could cause intestinal blockage...or just discomfort).
- Wayward Jellyfish or dead fish (don't eat!)
Be Sun Safe
You love your dog and would never do anything to put them in harm's way, but the sun is sneaky, and your dog can get a sunburn just like you can. Protect them by putting doggie sunscreen on sensitive areas like their nose and ears.
In addition, be aware of the general temperature and the temperature of the sand since they can both negatively affect your dog's health if they get too high. If the sand feels too hot on your feet, it is also too hot for your dog to walk on without some type of foot protection.
Remember also that your pup doesn't sweat and can't dissipate heat easily. Panting causes further dehydration. Have an umbrella or tent available with some fresh water for resting in the shade between romps.
Lastly, bring plenty of water for both of you. Our Treat Bag comes with a collapsible bowl that you can use to give your pup a sip.
The After Party
After a long day at the beach, you and your pup will be ready to your respective sheets, but there is one more thing you'll have to do. Saltwater - even the saltwater in the air around the beach - can be corrosive to everything it touches and can dry out skin. Give yourself AND your pup a good wash/rinse and you can also wash your dog collars, leashes, and harnesses.
Be Beach Ready
If it is time to head to the beach, be beach ready with a new Freedom Harness or Dog Collar! We're also here if the beach has already claimed a leash or collar and you are looking to upgrade to something even better.