Summer is upon us and that means it’s time to start planning your family vacation! Don’t fret about picking a beach destination and having to leave your furkids behind. We’ve got some great tips to make sure that you and your entire family have a safe, exciting and fun beach getaway!
Stay Mindful of the Rules
Before you pack up and head out, be sure to check with your beach of choice to make sure furry family members are allowed to visit. Some beaches welcome dogs all year-round, while others have restrictions, or don’t allow dogs at all during certain times of the year. Check ahead to avoid unexpected regulations and to be sure your pet can join you in the sand.
It is also important to know whether your dog needs to be leashed or if he can roam free on the beach. If he can go unleashed, bring a leash along anyway just in case, and make sure your dog is under your voice control at all times.
Don't forget to be a responsible pet parent and always pick up your pet’s poop. Leave the beach as you found it, without leaving any doggie messes behind!
Watch Your Dog at All Times
Taking your eyes off your dog, even for a second, can lead to potentially dangerous situations. He may wander into the water and get into trouble, such as getting caught up in a strong current and then panicking. Just as if you are watching a child, never take your eyes off your dog and never leave him unattended. Upon arrival, also pay special attention to any potential distractions that may cause your dog to run off or disrupt other people or pets on the beach.
Avoid additional problems by keeping your dog away from any areas where he is not allowed. These often include the dunes or other specific places blocked off to preserve the area’s natural habitat.
Don't Forget the Essentials
You will most likely pack up a bag of beach-day essentials for yourself, and you should do the same for your dog. Don’t forget the necessities: a leash, beach towels, umbrella, fresh water, and yes, doggie sunscreen. Dogs are prone to sunburn like humans, and there is sunscreen available that is made especially for dogs and their sensitive skin.
Bring your pup’s favorite toy and ball for playing fetch and having fun - the whole point of being at the beach in the first place! Again, don’t leave any messes behind - bring your own poop bags and be responsible by always cleaning up after your pet.
Keep Your Dog's Temperature In-Check
A summer beach trip usually brings about two extremes in temperatures: high heat from the sun and cold from potentially frigid ocean waters. Observe how your dog acts during the day to ensure he is not having any symptoms of overheating/heat stroke or hypothermia - especially if he’s been sitting outside of the umbrella, or splashing and swimming the day away. If you notice anything strange about how your dog is acting, or reacting, then take him out of the elements at once. If you have further concerns about your pet’s health, be sure to seek proper medical attention.
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Hydration is key, and providing a lot of fresh, cool water for your pup throughout the day can help prevent overheating. An added bonus for having plenty of fresh water on hand is to cool your dog off with a few squirts from a spray bottle, or to clean of the salt and sand from his sensitive paws to avoid irritation.
Know Whether Your Dog Can Swim
If you’re bringing your dog to the beach, then you most likely know how he reacts to water and whether he can swim. But, this may be your first venture out and you may not know his swimming prowess, or if he even likes the water! When in doubt, bring along a doggie life jacket. These come in all sizes and are designed to keep your dog comfortable and safe while he’s in the water.
When you take your pooch to the shore and he doesn’t dive right in, then be sure to take it slow. He may be more at ease if you head in first and then call for him to join you, but don’t force him if he is still hesitant to go in the water.
Set a Time Schedule
We all want to get in as much play time as we can, especially when we’re on vacation. But just as people get tired and worn out, so do dogs. A full day of fresh air, swimming and hot sun can often be exhausting for people and their furkids. Keep in mind that a couple of hours might be just the right amount of time to spend at the beach, depending on your dog’s temperament, energy level and overall fitness.
Venture out this summer to one of the many beaches where your dog can join you, and keep these tips in mind for an enjoyable experience. In the end, you and your pooch will be forever grateful for all the fun and lasting memories from your fun summer beach trip!
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