Can your dog join you for some summer beach fun?
For many of us, the summer holidays wouldn’t feel complete without at least one trip to the beach. But can your dog join you for coastal fun? The answer is yes – with some planning:
Check online to ensure your beach of choice is dog-friendly. Dogs are prohibited on some beaches and no-one wants to waste Christmas-present money paying a council fine!
Do you have a breed of dog predisposed to heat stress, such as a thick-coated retriever or malamute, or a snub-nosed breed such as a french bulldog or pug? In these cases, on a hot day, it’s safest to keep your pet indoors with a fan or air-conditioning, and not exercise them at the beach.
Before leading your pet onto the beach, check the temperature of the sand with your hand. If it’s too hot for you to comfortably touch for more than ten seconds, it could burn your pet’s feet.
Set up camp under a tree or a beach umbrella, so your dog can seek shade if they need it. Make sure you bring extra water and a portable drinking bowl to keep your pet hydrated.
If your dog has pink skin around their nose or eyes, protect them from sunburn by applying some pet-safe sunscreen to these areas, and ask your vet nurse about where to purchase some. Make sure to reapply sunscreen regularly as per the label instructions! For dogs with pink bellies, consider purchasing a sun-suit to protect this larger area of skin.
Unless your dog has excellent recall and will stick close to you, it’s best to keep them secured on-leash to avoid them drinking seawater, eating beach debris or accidentally walking over oyster shells - all common reasons for a post-beach vet visit.
With these safety precautions, you and your dog can enjoy some summer sun, sand and surf together.