Owning a pet brings many benefits to your life: companionship, emotional support, joy, laughter, and cuddles. Almost every house should have a pet, and if you're part of the 70% of people that own one, you'd likely agree. The company that pets can provide is fulfilling in ways that human relationships can't bring to the table. If you're like many people, you take your dog everywhere, from running errands to friends' houses and everywhere in between. While your dog enjoys the day-to-day trips with you, taking them to the beach for some quality time is a special treat for both of you, but it takes careful planning and a few considerations. Keep reading for tips on how to enjoy the beach safely and carefree with your dog.
The first consideration when taking your dog for a beach day is whether or not your pup has basic recall skills. You two will enjoy many activities requiring your pup to be off the leash, from swimming to playing catch. If your dog isn't a strong listener and doesn't respond to basic obedience commands, skip the beach day until they've had more training.
Know Heat Stroke Signs
While there is plenty to enjoy at the beach with your dog during cooler months, if you're planning a puppy play date by the sea during hot weather, you need to know the signs of heat stroke in dogs. From excessive panting and drooling to lethargy, you need to know the signs and have a plan in case your dog succumbs to heat stroke.
Part of planning a beach day with your pup is literally planning. You want to make a quick checklist of everything your dog will need depending on how long you'll be there. If you're taking a quick stroll down the beach, you likely just need a leash and potty bags. If you're heading to the beach for an entire day, you'll need the above as well as food, a collapsible water bowl, and even sunscreen - yes, dogs benefit from sunscreen in delicate areas like their nose, tips of the ears, and belly.
Say "No" to Sand
While the phrase "curiosity killed the cat," you've likely noticed that your dog is curious too. Though eating sand won't necessarily kill your pup, it can cause an impaction that is painful for your dog and an expensive vet visit for you. Pay attention to your dog and correct any sand-eating behavior immediately. If your pup is still trying to consume sand, it may be best to throw in the towel on your beach day.
Bring Plenty of Extra Water
While water is part of the perfect planning checklist, dogs are prone to overheating much quicker than we are, especially in warm weather on the beach. While it will make your day bag heavier, it's important to bring along plenty of extra water to keep your dog hydrated. As much as you want to enjoy the time with them on the beach, they want to even more. It's easy for pups to get carried away and exercise more than they're used to, so keep the extra water handy and accessible, so you both stay in a good mood and enjoy the day.
Be on the Lookout
Plenty of dog breeds are more than capable of enjoying some time in the ocean's waters. While you can't be everywhere at once, it's still important to keep an eye out for sea animals that could pose a danger to your furry family. Jellyfish are particularly good at sneaking up on unsuspecting pups and stingrays. You want to react quickly if your pup does have an encounter, but as with most human encounters with jellyfish, it's not much more than a brief painful sting.
Other considerations for puppy beach days include knowing the rules of the beach you're visiting. If you can't find obvious signage, a quick online search about the beach's pet policy is a smart idea. Additionally, pay attention to water conditions, like strong waves or currents. Lastly, remember to pay attention to hot sand like you pay attention to the hot pavement on city walks. Overall, beach days are fun and relaxing days to enjoy together if you implement the above guidelines for safety. Have fun, you two!