Keeping Your Dog Safe While at the Beach

by Connie on April 12, 2012

Although pugs are notorious for being terrible swimmers, they are not the only dog breed susceptible to the dangers of the sea.  There are five easy steps you can follow to keep your canine safe and content so that you too can enjoy your time at the beach.

1. Obtain a Life Jacket

The idea that all dogs can swim is only a myth.  There are plenty of dogs that do not enjoy water and many that actually do not know how to swim.  In addition, even the best swimming dogs can be affected by the powerful waves of the ocean.  While many people find it funny to place a life jacket on a dog, it can be life-saving.  Canine life jackets can be found online as well as at pet stores.  They come in different styles, colors, and sizes, so there is no excuse for not getting one for your beloved dog!

3. Apply Sunscreen

Yes, even dogs need sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  This is especially true for dogs with all white coats; they are more susceptible to getting sun burned as well as developing skin cancer.  Do not use human sunscreen, as most of them are toxic when ingested; and as most of us know, dogs will eat just about anything!  Some pet stores carry sunscreen for dogs, but if you can’t find any, you can have some ordered by your regular vet.

4. Keep Your Dog Cool

Heat stroke is quite common during the spring and summer season.  Keeping your dog in the shade and limiting physical activity can help prevent heat stroke from developing.  Also, when going to the beach be sure to pack an umbrella for your dog as well, as this may be the only source of shade available.  Always make sure that your dog has sufficient water and that he is not excessively active.

5. Get Your Dog Proper Attire

Buying shoes for your dog may sound ridiculous, but it is important.  While dog’s paws are tough and can resist injury in many instances, there is a limit to how much a dog’s paws can withstand.  One thing dog’s paws were not intended to resist is cement; especially in hot climates, cement can reach high temperatures and cause serious burns on your dog’s feet.  Ouch!  Preventing this is as easy as placing comfortable shoes on your pet.  It may take some time for your dog to get used to, but he will be thankful in the end.  If your dog allows you, sunglasses, hats, and bathing suits are also available for dogs.  This will protect your dog as well as make him fashionable!

2. Keep Your Dog on a Leash

The first reason why your dog needs to stay on a leash while at the beach is for easy access.  If an accident was to occur, whether in the water or on land, getting a hold of your dog is easier when a leash is available.  In addition, a leash is a good way to keep your dog away from possible dangers such as eating toxic foods.  For many dogs, the beach is the perfect place to go dumpster diving, as leftovers from barbecues and other foods are common.

Be especially cautious if you have a dog that loves adventures, as there is a higher probability that he will get into mischief.  Besides keeping your pet safe, also remember to pack water toys and healthy snacks for your dog so that the entire family can have a blast!

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