There is nothing more fun than taking your dog to the beach. While the day could be lots of fun for both of you, here are a few precautions to consider.
1. Calm water is best.
Big waves, jet skis, surfboards, and boats can frighten your dog even at a distance. Try to find a quiet place where you can play with your dog or locate a local dog beach where surfing and boating are not permitted.
2. Cold water can be painful.
Cold water can irritate arthritis or other joint conditions in dogs. If possible, keep your dog in shallow water or bays where the water is warmer.
3. Sand can burn if it is too hot.
Sand can become hot enough to burn your dog's paws even on days you may not expect it. By testing the sand with your bare feet, you can determine whether your dog needs booties or other foot protection.
4. Bring lots of shade.
Provide shade for you and your dog by bringing an umbrella, tent, or other shade structure. 5. Sunscreen is a must.
Sunburn does not only affect you! Be sure to apply sunscreen to your pup's nose and ears for 30 minutes before hitting the beach and several times throughout the day.
6. Some dogs can't swim.
The doggy paddle does not come naturally to every dog. Some breeds, such as Corgis and Pugs, can't swim at all! See if your pup can swim in quiet water by encouraging him to follow you. If he seems interested but lacks the necessary skills, you can help him learn to swim.
7. Buy a life vest.
Consider buying your dog a life vest. You should choose a life vest that fastens at three points and has a handle on the back, making it easy to lift your dog out of the water.
8. Follow the tides.
A dog's energy can be quickly depleted by waves, currents, and rip tides. You should take your dog swimming after low tide when the water is at its most tranquil. You can easily find tide charts on the internet. Here is a link to Florida tide charts: https://bit.ly/3Jk0coh
9. Make sure your dog doesn't drink or eat things he shouldn't.
Drinking saltwater is not good; however, many dogs do just that. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water and a bowl, so he won't try to find his own drinking source. On the shore, you may find dead fish, seaweed, sharp shells, and jellyfish. These are dangerous for pets if they are ingested, regardless of how tempting they might smell to your dog.
10. Watch out for sunken dangers.
If it's your first time at the beach, walk your dog in the water to look for sharp rocks, coral, shells, or jellyfish that your dog should avoid.
11 Bring a first-aid kit.
Your pup cannot be protected from everything, so always keep a first aid kit handy. Dogs don't always show signs of pain so if you notice him acting differently, watch his body language and check him carefully for cuts and scrapes.
12. Be careful not to overdo it.
Sand can be hard on dogs, so don't expect them to play fetch as long as they do at the dog park. And start slow, giving him time to warm up to avoid a muscle pull.
13. Rinse off your pup with clean water.
Rinse your dog's coat after playing to remove salt, sand, and microscopic organisms. Make sure your dog's ears are dry, as moisture in the canal can cause ear infections.
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