Going to the Beach with Your Dog

Napping dogWhen you head to the beach, bringing your pup along can make the trip extra fun. And as long as you keep an eye on him and know the hazards that can ruin a beach trip, as well as the safety precautions you should take to prevent a crisis, there’s no reason not to bring Fido to the shore. Here are some safety tips from the American Kennel Club and the blog Chasing Dog Tales.

Use a paw wax to protect your puppy from irritating sand

You know how hot the sand at the beach can get. And in the winter, how the salt we put out to melt ice can get in between a dog’s paw pads. To prevent the same effect from happening with sand at the beach, find a wax-based product at your local pet store made just for this purpose.

Beware the heat

Because dogs can’t release heat from their bodies as efficiently as humans can, they are at a greater risk of getting heatstroke, which can be deadly. They are also at risk of dehydration. Make sure you bring enough water to satisfy your pup’s thirst (that way, he won’t experiment with salt water!) Bring a collapsible bowl for him to drink from and keep the water cool to make it more enticing.

Also take measures to provide shade. Different kinds of dogs, with different body types and different amounts of fur on their bodies, have different levels of heat tolerance. Especially if your dog is very active, he can get overheated before you know it. Bringing an umbrella along or settling down at a spot with some kind of shade can make your pup much more comfortable.

Know the signs of heatstroke

Signs of heatstroke include panting, drooling, rapid pulse and fever. If you suspect that your pup has heatstroke, immerse him in cool water right away and get medical attention.

The sand-in-face effect

Your puppy might love digging in the sand, unawares that he’s getting sand all over his face. To minimize the potential for eye irritation, and to prevent your pup from trying to scratch the irritating sand away, try to keep his face clear of sand. A safe way to do this is by moistening a towel and gently brushing the sand away from your pup’s face.

Look out for water pests

If you’re at the beach, ask the lifeguard what the water conditions are like. Jellyfish don’t only target humans: they love to inflict their painful sting on dogs as well. Sea lice can also present a hazard to dogs.

You should also be aware if there is a riptide or an undertow. And always keep an eye on your water-loving pup, even in mild seas.