Say you’re the only child of the family. Your childhood memories include you playing alone with your toys. You’d immediately go home after school because you never had friends who you could spend the afternoon with. But all of these things changed when your parents got you a dog as a Christmas gift last year.
Ever since you got Bruno, you’ve seen life in a different perspective—it’s more cheerful and colorful. You and Bruno do everything together—play, relax in the lawn, take walks to the nearest supermarket. You just feel that everything is better with Bruno around. And now that the weekend is coming, you want to take Bruno to the beach for the first time. You’ve heard how your friends brought their pets to the beach and now that you’re doing it too, you’re more nervous than excited.
It’s typical to feel anxious before you and your pet visit the beach for the first time — you’ll never know what will happen, right? You just want your pet to be safe at the beach, while still having fun. For you to achieve this goal, keep in mind the following things:
1. Can your dog swim?
You’ve probably seen numerous YouTube videos on how dogs are thrown out in the pool by their owners and end up swimming their way out. You’ve seen how the dogs were safe and how they were at ease while in the pool, regardless of how deep it was. With this notion, you think that your dog can also do the same and will be completely safe whenever he or she gets in the water—you’re wrong! Keep in mind that every dog is different and that includes their ability to swim. Don’t throw your dog in the water to test it out. It’s best that you seek professional advice to determine whether your furry friend can safely swim or not.
2. Sea creatures can be lethally toxic
While most sea creatures are pleasing to look at, keep them away from your dog. Whenever you decide to frolic in the water with your dog, make sure that the area is clear from jellyfish as they might sting your dog and can eventually cause death. These creatures are very visible to the naked eye so it’s easy for you to know if your dog is surrounded by or near a jellyfish. If you’re planning to play around in the shallow areas of the beach, be on the lookout for coral and sharp shells. You don’t want your dog to step on any of these as it might cut your dog’s feet. Remember, you’re visiting the beach to have fun and not to be injured.
3. Is it too hot or cold for your dog?
One of the reasons why it’s challenging to bring a pet to the beach is because they can’t tell you want they want or what hurts. You don’t know if the water’s too cold for your dog or if these outdoor activities are already tiring them. Given that your dog can’t communicate orally, pay close attention to their body signals. If he or she’s been sulking in one corner of the beach, it could be a sign of tiredness and fatigue. If your dog’s always around your lunch basket, he/she might be starving. Be keen on how your dog acts at the beach and make sure you address any issue or symptom immediately.
4. Does your dog have sunblock on?
You need protection from the direct sunlight. You don’t want your skin to burn and that’s why you always keep a bottle of sunscreen in your bag. Sure, you’re taking care of your skin but are you doing the same for your dog? You might not know it, but your dog can also be sunburned, especially if he or she has light skin and short fur. Before heading to the beach, purchase sunscreen made especially for pets. Apply an ample amount of the sunscreen to your pet’s body, especially around the ears and nose. Sometimes Baby Sunblock is also an option, but speak to your vet for a suitable sun protection.
5. Would your dog like a little shade?
You would want to have shade to rest under while you’re on the beach because the heat can become unbearable, especially around noon. You don’t want to have that sweaty and exhausted feeling every time you stay under the sun for too long. When you’re deciding which shade to bring, make sure that it’s good for two because your dog will need shade too. Don’t think that just because its entire body is covered with fur, your dog will be okay staying under the sun for hours.
6. Is salt water ok for my pet to drink?
Just like in humans, salt water can deteriorate your dog’s health when taken in large amounts. Your dog doesn't know this fact—all they probably know is that the beach is one of the biggest playgrounds they’ve ever seen. As a pet owner, you have the responsibility of looking after your dog. To prevent your dog from drinking salt water, always bring supplies of fresh water to the beach. Be attentive to your dog showing signs that they’re thirsty, and be ready to provide them with fresh water. Don’t ignore any actions that tell you that he or she’s thirsty because your dog could dangerously resort to drinking saltwater instead.
7. What to do with your dog when you leave the beach?
Once you decide it’s time to leave the beach, don’t forget to rinse your dog with fresh water to get rid of the salt water and sand grains. Also, take the time to scrub through the fur to ensure that small particles are washed. You’ll have that sticky feeling every time you get out from the saltwater, and your pet might feel the same way too (or even worse since his/her fur is covering the entire body). You can also bring your dog’s favorite soap too!
The pet lovers at The Happy Pooch realize that everybody deserves a trip to the beach once in a while. It’s one of the best ways to have fun while de-stressing. And as a pet owner, you should not deprive your dog of this luxury. Remember that your dog is your best friend and he/she has the right to experience what you’re experiencing right now. You might think it’s difficult to bring your dog to the beach, but when you see how your dog is enjoying the breeze and change of scenery, everything that you’ve done (before, during and after the trip) will be worth it!
Author: Jeffery Roberts
Jeffery is a pet enthusiast and volunteer at his local pet shelter. His passion for animals started at an early age and through his work on becoming a veterinary student he understands and cares for pets of all species. Jeffery currently writes for The Happy Pooch and has 2 cats, a bird and a dog named Lucy.