Straightforward Tips For Bringing Your Dog To The Beach

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
How much shade does your dog needs during beach time? Does he need sun protection? How much water you should bring? Read on to discover answers to these questions and many more.

Summertime means fun. Both humans and animals enjoy a bit of sunshine and summer brize. Nothing like summertime to keep everyone energized, happy, and active outdoors.

After all, there is no time of the year to enjoy the seaside more but during the summer days.

Does summertime for you means beach all day long and enjoying waves?

If you are a summer child and a dog owner already, then you know that these two should be mixed carefully, right?

Dogs And Summertime

Dogs are prone to heatstroke and its known, even among non-dog owners, that dogs don’t do well during hot days.

In fact, it is very rare to see dogs outside when it’s too hot for humans as well.

Since dogs do not sweat as humans do, they tend to paint heavily and survive summer by practicing that method.

Since dogs cannot deal otherwise with hot weather, animal organizations and individuals choose to place water bowls in front of their homes, or in public places so dogs and other animals can have access to water and survive summer in more pleasant ways.

So, whenever you can do a similar thing and help our furry friends stay healthy and alive.

Now, if you have a canine and you want to spend an entire day with Fido outside should you do it? How to prepare? What to keep in mind? What to bring? How to keep others well-assured that your Fido is a well-behaved canine citizen?

To ensure your beach time or summer vacation is enjoyable both for your family members and your dog (and of course you), check out these tips on how to take your dog to the beach the right way.

But First… Is Your Dog A Beach Fan?

You may be an organizational master and have everything ready for that beach time… No matter what could happen, you are ready for every scenario, but one – your dog isn’t a beach fan.

This is why people should always monitor their pets carefully before they choose to spend hundreds of dollars on the newest toy, the most expensive seat cover, and also on.

By monitoring your pet you are actually learning about him, his habits, and preferences, and by mastering the dog’s personality, you are learning about his skills.

For example, if you notice that your dog runs far away from water and hates being around it, you shouldn’t force him by taking him all-day-long-beach-time.

On the other hand, if you have Lagotto Romagnolo you could notice that this breed is crazy about water: they will chase it, love being wet, and they could spend hours jumping in and out.

Even a simple puddle could do wonders for Lagoto’s happiness.

So, before you pack everything for a perfect beach day, learn first how your dog feels about sand and water.

It may seem that all dogs love the beach and that they are all superb swimmers, but in fact, some dog’s really don’t sand and water at all.

If your dog has mixed feelings about sand and water, do a little test. Take a half-day trip to a local dog beach or lake.

Always double-check if the place is really dog-friendly because you want to avoid any unwanted comments. So, try this first and see how your dog reacts, if he is into water and sand or not.

If your dog loves to swim and can’t wait to jump into even colder water, you can start planning your beach trip. Here is how.

Keep That Leash Or Harness On

Dog-friendly beaches usually mean that you can remove your dog’s leash off. This may sound like heaven on Earth but can become a real issue quickly.

You may be the responsible owner, but it doesn’t mean that everyone is like you – there are always better and worse owners, whose dogs together with yours can make a real mess.

Plus, if you know that your dog isn’t dog-friendly keep that leash or harness on, and think about the muzzle.

If your dog tends to be aggressive or show some level of aggressiveness maybe you should skip a dog beach, and head toward more private and remote areas.

Use a Long Leash

A day at the beach is such as adventure, and you should look at it as one. Therefore, enable your dog to move as much as possible, and always use a long leash, around 10-foot and harness.

This will keep your dog safe and provide him enough space to explore and have fun.

Plus, Fido can safely swim with the equipment on – of course, if he moves too far just gently pull him back to the shore and call for him to return.

Think of dog equipment as safety lines – no matter how cute it may appear to see your dog jump through the water, many dogs hurt that way, because they end up chasing birds and fishes.

Hot Sand May Be An Issue

How much do you enjoy standing on the hot sand? Probably not a lot, and that’s just how much your dog enjoys it as well.

If it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your dog as well. Make sure that you take your dog to wet sandy areas to keep those paws healthy. You don’t want your dog to experience any paw burns, right?

Another handy solution is to put your dog on rubber bottom booties until you reach a safe and place.

Check your dog’s paws during beach time and afterward to search for any burns or irritations from seawater or any sea creature.

Shade And Water Are A Must

Spending the entire day on the beach means warm weather, hot sand, and usually very little shade.

Make sure that you bring a cooling pad for your Fido, a large umbrella, and frozen treats.

For maximum results, keep a cooling pad in an ice-packed cooler. Also, bring a gallon of cold water and keep it in your cooler.

Offer your dog water often and keep his bottle in the shade. Limit your dog’s sun exposure.

If you notice any excessive painting, cool him down with cold water, leave the beach, and take him to the veterinarian’s office.

What About Sunscreen?

Yes, you need it, but what about your dog? Well, the answer to this question depends on your dog’s breed.

If you own a Husky you should avoid taking this bred out on the hot weather and even the beach.

On the other hand, if you have a short-coated breed or freshly shaven dog, he will need sunscreen.

Make sure that you use only a dog-friendly sunscreen, that’s chemical-free with at least 30 SPF and apply often per directions.

If your dog loves to swim, choose a waterproof chemical-free sunscreen to get maximum protection. Where should you apply sunscreen to your dog? Cover ear tips, nose, and paws.

Last, But Not Least – Rinse

Once you are back to your house or hotel, wash your dog’s paws, and if bathing is necessary make sure that you do it with a dog-friendly shampoo.

Wash him gently and rinse off thoroughly. Just like in humans, if there is some sand stuck it can irritate the dog’s skin and cause rashes and hot spots.

As a general rule: wash and rinse your dog twice, then rinse again. Don’t overdo bathing because dogs don’t need frequent bathing as humans do.

Fast Check List

  • Always choose a dog-friendly beach
  • Double-check if the beach is dog-friendly indeed
  • Make sure that your dog loves swimming
  • Teach your dog to swim
  • Find fresh water and shade
  • Monitor your dog the entire time
  • Provide sun protection
  • Always check for any danger in the sand
  • Rinse dog’s fur
  • Always pick up dog’s poop

Consider Using a Life-Vest

Even if your dog is a great swimmer, you should still think about safety.

A simple dive in the ocean can sometimes lead to hazardous moments, and that’s something that you want to avoid. Therefore, think about using a life-vest, for extra safety measures.

There are many life vests for dogs for you to choose from on the market, and they even come in different designs and sizes – from small size dogs to large breeds, such as Great Dane, your dog will be safe.

The Bottom Line

Taking a dog to the beach is fun! At least it can be a lot of fun if you prepare both you and your dog the right way.

A splash of the sea and sunny days will keep everyone moving out and getting the most of the day, but if you aren’t careful these warm days can create more mess than benefits, both to you and your dog.

Prepare well for the day of fun. Have the water on you, frozen treats, and even sunscreen if your dog is sun-sensitive or has any skin issues.

If your dog shouldn’t be exposed to harsh sun, do not force it. Also, if your veterinarian has already suggested you expose your dog minimally to the sun. Make sure that you follow the tips listed above and you and your Fido will have a perfect beach day.