Beach days are finally upon us. If you are spending time at the beach this summer, take your dog with you to enjoy the great outdoors.
Before you head out, here are a few things to remember about taking your dog to the beach.
Is it dog-friendly?
The first thing to check is that the beach allows dogs. Some beaches do not allow pets in the beach area. Be sure to check if your beach is off-leash or leashed, or if they will be restricted from entering certain areas.
Know saltwater safety
Swimming in saltwater presents some potential dangers. Unlike letting your pet play in a freshwater lake or stream, you shouldn’t let your dog drink the salt water. The extra salt in the water can absorb water from your dog's blood into their intestines, causing dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Always have ample fresh water for them to drink, so they’re not tempted to drink the ocean water. Encourage them to have a drink of fresh water every 15 minutes.
Beware of the heat
Heat can cause dehydration and heat-related illnesses in dogs, just as in humans. The American Kennel Club has a great resource on heat awareness for dogs. They say that if the air temperature outside is 86 °F, the asphalt is 135 °F. To put that in perspective, an egg can fry in 5 seconds at 131 °F.
Be conscious of the temperature of the sand and any rocks they may walk on. Ensure they’re not walking on too-hot surfaces.
Use some good-quality paw balm to provide a bit of extra paw protection. You can also apply a dog-specific sunscreen to protect them from sun exposure on their skin.
If you can’t find dog sunscreen, you may be able to use baby sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher (make sure it doesn’t contain any zinc oxide or PABA, which are toxic to dogs if licked or ingested).
If it’s a sunny day, find a place to set up with shade. Trees work great for natural shade, or bring a pop-up canopy, so your dog (and you) have a place to escape the direct sun once and a while.
Don’t let them eat the sea life
Bring plenty of snacks and food so your dog isn’t as tempted to eat any sea life they may encounter. Dead fish and shellfish can cause your dog to get sick, especially if it has been dead for a while. Eating starfish and jellyfish can be poisonous for your pet too.
Bring a mix of wet and dry food Go! Solutions recipes for dogs. Store wet food in a cooler so it can help them cool down when they eat it. Kibble can be used as treats or a full meal for your day at the beach.
Solutions for Your Pet's Unique Dietary Needs
If your dog is a picky eater, has a dull coat, or food sensitivities, feeding them a solutions-based food may be the answer to many issues.
All Dog Recipes
Rinse your dog
If your beach has a rinse or outdoor shower station, rinse your dog before you leave the beach to remove any salt water and sand from your dog fur before you drive home. If not, bring some blankets for under your dog in the car for the ride home, so they don’t track too much salt water and sand into your home or car. Then, give your dog a good rinse and scrub down when you get home.
Enjoy your beach day
Finally, remember to enjoy your day at the beach. Practicing beach safety for you and your pet can help make for an enjoyable day for everyone.