The weather is heating up and there’s no better way to celebrate than lounging in the sand and splashing in the waves with your four-legged pal! While it sounds like all fun and games, it’s important to take some time to prepare before you head out. After all, you wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of having the perfect beach getaway. Take a peek at the top tips gathered for your convenience-and your pup’s safety-for taking your dog to the beach. Grab your swimsuit and blueprints for the ultimate sand castle, and settle in for some beach fun!
1. Staying Safe
Before you head straight for the fun, keep in mind your dog’s safety. This is the most important part of bringing your pet along wherever you go. Consider these tips for a successful trip:
- Plan for a day that’s not scorching hot. If it’s too hot for you, it’s likely too hot for fido. It’s better to avoid the beach on those days and plan for more forgiving weather.
- Aim for a day with calm waves and not too many people. Just like humans, some dogs are more social and others are timider, but if it’s your dog’s first time having a day at the beach it’s better to ease into the experience
- Know your dog’s swimming skills. If you don’t know, a good way to test it out at home would be with a kiddy pool. Regardless of skill level, we strongly urge you to get a doggy life vest. It is not only safe but it also lets your dog have more fun in the water before getting tired too quickly.
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- Be aware of leash laws. Every beach varies so be prepared.
- Make sure to have your dog’s collar (with updated contact information) on at all times.
- It’s best to leave puppies under four months at home. They likely don’t have all of their vaccinations yet and are more vulnerable to illness and injury.
- Never leave your dog unattended. This should go without saying, but it’s never a good idea to leave your dog alone in an unfamiliar place.
2. Sun Protection
The suns rays are typically stronger at the beach than what you and your dog are used do, so it is important to take breaks. Bring along a shade umbrella or pop-up tent for a spot to rest away from the sun. Both you and your pet will benefit from having a place to get away from direct sunlight and can decrease your likelihood of burns or other side-effects.
Did you know that your dog needs sunscreen too? Consult with your vet to make sure the brand you choose is safe. Generously apply the sunscreen in any place that gets exposed to sunlight – such as their ears, nose, groin, and back leg areas. You may need to reapply depending on how many hours you are out in the sun, so be prepared with extra SPF!
3. H2O before Bros
Hydration is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Consider investing in a collapsible bowl for your pet. It is great for the beach, airports, long walks, etc. Sure drinking straight from a water bottle is always an option, but a collapsible bowl is a lot more comfortable for your dog and can actually increase the amount of water they drink. It’s a good idea to pack extra water in a cooler to stay cool the whole day.
It is vital that you are aware of the signs of dehydration in dogs and keep an eye out if your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms. These signs include, but are not limited to, excessive panting, excessive drooling, coordination problems, vomiting, or collapse. Do your research!
Your special day calls for extra treats or an extra, but small meal. A day of playing in the water and being in the sun can be very exhausting, so make sure to pack some snacks along with your water. If you’ll be out the entire day, be sure to bring along food for regular meal times as well.
5. Beach Toys
Taking a trip to the beach is all about fun! Stock up on fun, durable toys that float like mini footballs or frisbees. Stray away from toys that soak up a lot of water or attract sand like tennis balls. It’s best to leave behind your dog’s favorite toy at the risk of it getting destroyed or lost.
You and your dog will both have fun spending time together running in the sand or just kicking back and relaxing on a gorgeous day!
6. Keep it Clean
As a dog owner, you probably bring doggy bags wherever you bring your pup and the beach should be no different. Try bringing along a large ziplock bag in the event there are no trash cans nearby. Packing out what you bring is an important part of spending time outdoors and helps keep the beach safe and clean for others.
You may also want to be prepared to wipe the sand from your dog’s face. Bring a water bottle and perhaps a soft rag that you can soak in water and gently sweep away sand from their eyes and nose area. If your pup is a big sniffer, they will likely get sand in their face and that can get uncomfortable.
Make sure you pack extra towels for the car ride and for any major cleanups!
7. Wrap up the Day
When the fun is over and you’re both wiped out, don’t forget to give your pup a bath when you get home to get rid of any sand and itchy salt water that they may have tracked home. If a complete shower is not in the books, try brushing them off or using a little bit of water to hit the essential spots that have most sand buildup until you can get them properly clean.
At the end of the day, visiting the beach is about having a good time. If you’re prepared, you and your dog can have the time of your lives at the beach and get through the day safe and sound. Enjoy!
For more Dog Travel Tips Download our Free eBook: Everything You Need To Know To Travel With Your Dog
About the author: Andee is a recent college graduate from Arizona State University with a love of writing, the outdoors, and funky cafes. You can usually find her hiking or planning her next trip. She is passionate about traveling, her family, and the perfect cup of coffee. Find her on Instagram as @andee_schmidt