Knowing how to keep your dog safe at the beach is vital knowledge for any dog owner. When you take your dog to the beach, it’s paramount that you understand how to keep them safe at the beach, especially need the water and when the weather is exceedingly hot.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe
The breed of your dog and the region they were bred in will play a part in how they handle warm weather at the beach.
Despite any wish to immediately head to the beach during a heat wave, you need to take into account how the heat will affect your dog’s surroundings. If the pavement is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog – and they don’t have shoes or sandals to protect their sensitive paws.
Tip #1: Protect your dog’s paws
In the event that you travel out to a region where the beach is hotter than expected, you should be prepared to protect your dog’s paws. There are far too many dogs that end up with burns to their feet because of hot pavement and sand during the summer months.
Take a look at our article on Dog Paw Washers.
Dog shoes are, of course, one solution. But not all dogs are willing to tolerate wearing something strapped to their feet. If you choose to have your pet wearing appropriate pet dog shoes, then it’s your responsibility, as pet owners, to help them get used to the shoes at home.
Alternatively, there are pet-safe paw grips. This marketable product is seen as a replacement for dog shoes which may be better for trips to the beach. Their small size would also enable dog owners to keep a set in the car or in a dog travel bag. Paw grips are a self adhesive pad which can be stuck onto the paws of your pet to help them walk on hot surfaces.
Lastly, you could try foot wax. There are several brands of dog foot wax available. This substance creates a breathable barrier on the paws of your dog, allowing them to walk on various intense surfaces. Some brands are marketed directly towards sled dogs, while others point out that the product is perfect for hot pavements and the like. It is smeared onto the paws to protect your pet.
Check out some of the best paw protection waxes.
Tip #2: Keep your dog hydrated
Keeping your dog hydrated at the beach doesn’t need to be a difficult task. Whether you’re going to the sandy shores for a day trip or for a larger beach vacation, the comfort of your pet should be at the forefront of your mind.
Dogs can easily succumb to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It’s important to take note of their body language and keep track of the amount of water they’re drinking while you’re enjoying the sun and the waves.
Unlike people, dogs are covered in fur. They have more difficulty cooling down because of this, and they’ll be nothing in your first aid kit that will stop them from getting dehydrated unless you prepare for it.
At the very least, you should be taking a dog bowl and a couple of water bottles with you. In the event that you can’t find a water fountain or a tap to fill the bowl, you’ll always have that emergency water in your bag. It may feel tedious to carry around water, but if people can do it for themselves, they can keep a bottle around for their pets.
Salt water is bad for your dog
The sun is going to affect your dog and you don’t want them drinking salt water from the ocean waves. Excess salt in a dog’s body can be fatal because the salt draws water from their blood into their intestines. This then causes diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Treated improperly, dehydration can be fatal for your pet.
So, be sure to provide fresh water for your dog. They won’t be heading towards the salt water of the ocean for a drink if they know they can get it from you.
Tip #3: Carry protective gear
There are many pet accessories out there now, including those that are perfect for sunny days. Collapsible bowls and water bottles that clip to your belt are great, but you can also keep your pet cool in other ways.
Some pet jackets work as cooling gear by keeping a layer of water over your dog while they’re wearing it. You can re-soak these jackets for your dogs as often as you like, and all you need is a source of water.
We’ve already mentioned shoes for dogs and other alternatives, these are great to help your dogs avoid burnt paw pads during hot weather.
We also recommend taking a parasol to the beach with you, or setting up your space in the shade so that your pet always has somewhere cool to return to after running around through the ocean water near the shore.
Tip #4: Wave safety
Either you, or one of the people at the beach with you, should endeavor to watch any pets that are with you on your sunny adventure. Ideally, you should always have someone next to your dog or directly watching over them when they’re off-leash. Many dogs love swimming, but accidents can happen quickly. When swimming, a dog should not be left alone.
Take a life vest
Dog life vests exist and they’re amazing for dogs of all ages and sizes. For the young pup and the small dog breed, we recommend purchasing a life vest that has a handle on the back so you can pick your dog up in an emergency. Bigger and older dogs can benefit from life vests, too.
Not all dogs have great swimming skills. If you know your dog isn’t amazing in the water, the ocean can present a lot of dangers that you may no have considered.
Check before you travel
Check tide charts before you travel, inform yourself of the dangers that can present themselves to swimming dogs. Make sure your dog has a life vest and other safety equipment on-hand just in case of rip tides or emergencies.
Tip #5: Understand the risks
Dogs can get ear infections from the ocean water
Be sure to help your dog keep their head above water while swimming and dry them off thoroughly once they’re out of the water.
Paw burns can happen in seconds
Press your own bare foot or hand to the ground first. If it feels too hot to you, it’s certainly too hot for your dog.
Take spare water and a bowl with you.
Dog sunscreen exists, it’s a great investment!
When taking your dog to the beach…
Check how long your pup is going to be in a hot car and plan the trip accordingly. You should make regular stops to let your dog out and keep the car as cool as possible. Make sure they’re drinking water during pit stops.
Pick dog friendly beaches
Not all beaches will welcome dogs as readily as others. When taking your dog to the beach, check online for beaches that allow dogs all year round with no restrictions.
As long as your pooch is well-behaved, you won’t encounter any issues at the place you pick, and you and your pet can enjoy the exercise of a sand-filled beach. It will certainly give you both a break from the local dog park!