Before You Take Your Dog to the Beach: Tips and Etiquette

If Fido has had his fill of playing in the kiddie pool and running under the sprinkler, you might be planning a trip to the beach sometime soon. If it’s your first trip to the sandy shore together, or you just need to brush up on the basics, check out these beach tips and etiquette from the American Kennel Club and Animal Planet.

Are dogs allowed?

Check local ordinances before you leave to make sure dogs are allowed. At the beach, take notice of any rules posted.

Basic etiquette

Follow the leash laws, and supervise your dog at all times. Skip the beach trip if you have an aggressive dog or a puppy under four months. Remember waste bags to clean up after your dog.

For your dog’s safety

Ensure your dog has proper identification and is up to date on vaccinations.

Protect his skin and coat

Thirty minutes before going outside, apply a pet-safe, zinc-free sunscreen to your dog’s ears and nose and the inner part of his back legs. When you’re ready to leave the beach, use fresh water to rinse the seawater off his fur.

Saltwater temptation

Don’t let your dog drink seawater; offer him cool, clean water as an alternative. Pack a first aid kit in case you need to tend to a jellyfish sting or cut paw. Consider a doggie lifejacket for beginning swimmers or short-legged breeds. Be cautious of riptides, sharks, and deep water.

Hot, hot, hot

Limit your pup’s exposure during the hottest times of the day. Have a blanket or towel at the ready in case the sand gets too hot for your dog’s paws. Scope out a shady rest spot ahead of time or bring along a beach umbrella.

Remember to have plenty of fresh, cool water for him to drink, and watch for signs of overheating, including rapid panting, coordination problems, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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Filed under Dogs, Pet Safety

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