Remember: not all beaches allow animals. Be sure to check on this before leaving home. Even beaches that do allow pets may have certain restrictions based on species, size, etc. It’s also essential that you bring along several plastic baggies to pick up after your dog—not only is it rude to leave his droppings where they lay, it’s unsanitary. In some areas, it may even be illegal!
One of the biggest dangers of beach day for your dog is the heat and sun. Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke after only a short time in high heat and humidity. Be sure to set up a beach umbrella to provide shade, and take your dog back indoors if you think he’s getting too hot. You may also consider applying a canine-formulated sunscreen to areas of exposed skin; this can prevent painful burns and blisters.
It’s all too easy for your pooch to become dehydrated at the beach, even though there’s an ocean of water in front of him. Bring along a large thermos or two of cool, fresh water just for your dog, and offer him sips from it regularly. Also make sure not to let Fido drink any ocean water, as the salt will dry out the mouth and only make your dog thirstier. Ocean water may also contain bacteria and other contaminants that you don’t want your pet ingesting.
Will your dog be venturing into the water? Be sure to go in with him. Keep in mind that not all dogs are strong swimmers, and even those who are may be taken off guard by the ocean’s currents. It’s best to provide support at all times. Never let your dog go out into the water more than a few feet off shore.
Leaving sand and salt water in your dog’s coat after you exit the beach isn’t a good idea. These substances will dry out the fur and irritate the skin. Make sure to rinse your dog’s coat with fresh water.
Call your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian for more beach safety tips.
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