Now that summer is approaching and plans are being made for your long-awaited beach trip, here are some tips to keep your dog safe at the beach. There is nothing quite like taking man’s best friend to the beach. Dogs can play and run around, and explore a new kind of world under the sun. However, dogs can get into unwanted trouble and accidents if they are not properly guided by their owners. There are many potential dangers in the beach and in the sea, and that is why one should pay attention to what their dog does or where it goes.
All beaches have rules, and dogs are no exception. These rules are created for the safety of everyone to keep them away from trouble and enjoy a nice, fun, summer beach trip. Make sure the beach you are going to will even allow dogs. Some ban them totally, some only allow dogs on a leash, and some have restricted hours in which they allow dogs. This is the first thing to do: obey the rules.
Also, there are lots of hazards for dogs that can be found on the beach. Beach trips must be properly planned to make sure your buddy is safe and that you have all the necessary tools in case of emergency. To prevent such unwanted accidents to occur in your fun in the sun, here are a couple of tips and health risks for your dog to watch for:
Keep Your Dog Safe At The Beach
- Too much sun: most owners don’t really give this much thought, but too much exposure to the direct rays of the summer sun can damage a dog’s skin, particularly the short-haired breeds. However, it is not advisable to apply normal sunscreen to them – it is toxic for dogs. Instead, stick to dog-friendly sunscreen. Usually the ones for children are safe, but check them out to make sure.
- Too much heat: if you don’t give your dog a bit of rest under the shade, it can get extremely exhausted or dehydrated and suffer heatstroke, which most likely will be fatal. It can also tire him out with all that running in the sun.
- Swimming: like humans, the sea can also be a hazard to dogs, especially when they swim. While some dogs can swim, others cannot and may actually be afraid of the water. Swimming can also cause muscle strain when your dog exerts too much effort so it’s best to make them take rests once in a while. Also, check the tide and the depth of the water. Your dog can easily drown if the water is too deep. Other potential dangers at sea include jellyfishes and other itchy and/or stinging creatures, as well as the salt water itself.
- Effects of salt water: as mentioned just above, salt water can cause several problems, one of which is possible skin irritation or diseases in your dog. Wash them off well when you get back to where you’re staying. Also, did you know that salt water can cause diarrhea in dogs if swallowed? Owners should be aware of this. Dogs may also experience vomiting along with this so-called “beach diarrhea”. During the diarrhea, there could be mucous or blood along with it. The diarrhea is caused by too much water inside the dog’s intestines. There can also be a condition called “hypernatremia” meaning too much sodium in the dog’s bloodstream which can lead to potentially serious problems like seizures and coma. If that happens, get the dog emergency treatment as fast as possible. To be safe, dog owners should limit their dog’s swimming time to avoid any accidental intake of sea water.
- Sand and other tempting goodies: many dogs love to dig in the sand. At these times, and especially on windy days, your dog may have problems with sand getting in its eyes. If so, try to wipe it out with wet compresses. Also, don’t let the dog eat creatures that have washed up on the beach, such as starfish, crabs, fish, or larger things.
I know all that may sound a little overwhelming, but it’s not — just use a little common sense to keep your dog safe at the beach. Basically, if you wouldn’t let your kids do it, don’t let your dog do it. We have taken our dogs to the beach many times, and have always had an enjoyable experience, with no problems.
Do you normally take your dog with you on beach trips?