The sun is shining, the salty breeze is blowing, and the sand is sparkling. As you enjoy your trips to the beach with your dog this summer, consider the following tips from Little River Veterinary Clinic in Fairfax, VA. We want you and your dog to have fun at the beach, but we want you to be safe, too. These tips will help you do both.
- Check the Temperature: On hot, sunny days, the sand can get pretty hot in a short amount of time, especially in the early afternoon hours. Hot sand can irritate or even burn your dog’s paw pads, so either bring a couple pairs of dog booties to the beach with you, or simply limit your visits to when it’s a little cooler out.
- Don’t Let Your Dog Drink the Water: Both salt and fresh water beaches can cause dogs to become sick if large amounts are ingested, so keep an eye on your dog if they decide to go for a swim to chase that Frisbee. Bring plenty of water from home to keep your dog hydrated, and don’t forget the bowl!
- Follow the Beach’s Pet Policy: Many pet-friendly beaches require that dogs be on a leash at all times. This is for the safety of all beach goers, four-legged and two-legged. Keep in mind that some beaches allow dogs only during certain hours or in certain areas. And as with all public places that allow pets, make sure to properly clean and pick up after your dog.
- Beware of Water Dangers: If you’re not 100% sure how your well your dog can swim in a lake or ocean, you might want to consider having them wear a life vest to start. Some other potential water risks are blue-green algae, jellyfish, and oyster shells. Blue-green algae is toxic to both pets and people if ingested and can result in diarrhea and vomiting, among other symptoms. Jellyfish and oyster shells can also pose a threat, so keep an eye out for these dangers while you and your dog are in the water.
- Don’t Forget the Sunscreen: Certain breeds with light-colored noses or thin coats are at a greater risk of sunburn, so either have your dog wear a thin T-shirt to protect their skin, or apply a fragrance-free pet sunscreen. Make sure to cover the nose, ear tips, and belly, as these are the areas that most likely to get burned.