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Beach Safety for Dogs

Enjoy the beach safely with your dog.

Going to the beach can be a fun activity for friends and family to enjoy together when it's warm. Because our dogs love to be with us and because there are a lot of interesting things to see and do at the beach, it can be a great idea to bring your dog along. However, there are some things to keep in mind.

Only Go to Dog Beaches

The first thing to consider before taking your dog to the beach is whether or not dogs are allowed at the spot you're planning to visit. Not all dog beaches allow dogs, and if you take your dog to a beach where they aren't welcome, you could face fines. If you're not sure, contact the city in which the beach is located and ask them whether there any dog beaches in town.

Be Prepared to Pick up Your Dog's Waste

Don't go to the dog beach without bringing some plastic bags to use to pick up your dog's poop. Then deposit it in a trash receptacle.

The last thing other beach-goers want to endure is stepping in dog poop while they're on their beach walk. Additionally, dog waste can wash into the water, adding bacteria that can be dangerous for swimmers. So be prepared to be considerate and clean up after your dog.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Up-To-Date on Vaccines and Preventatives

When you are taking your dog to a dog-friendly beach, you will want to make sure that he is up-to-date on all of his vaccinations and is taking parasite preventatives. This will help protect him from communicable diseases and certain parasites that might be in the environment. It will also help protect other dogs coming to the beach.

Protect Your Dog from Heatstroke

When you are going to the beach, you must always think about heat stroke and dehydration, for yourself and for your dog. Try to avoid taking your dog to the beach during the middle of the day when the sun is most intense. Bring a big umbrella or other source of shade. Bring plenty of fresh water and encourage your dog to drink often.

If your dog is panting excessively, becomes lethargic, or vomits while you are on the beach, get him inside and to the vet right away.

You should also consider dog sunscreen, especially for short-haired dogs and areas with thinner fur or lighter skin.

Practice Good Water Safety

Consider putting a life jacket on your dog, especially if he is not a strong swimmer. Don't let your dog go into the water if it is excessively wavy or choppy. Always keep a close eye on your dog and keep him on a leash when he you are unable to pay close attention to him.

Encourage Your Dog to Drink Only Clean Water

Bring fresh, clean, cool water to the beach and a container from which your dog can drink it. As much as possible, don't allow him to drink from the body of water you're visiting because it may contain bacteria from the fecal matter of wild animals and other dogs.

Discourage your dog from drinking salt water, which could upset his stomach and will result in both dehydration and a greater susceptibility to heat stroke.

Additionally, be diligent in discouraging your dog from drinking out of stagnant puddles. These are likely to contain harmful bacteria including leptospirosis, which can be extremely dangerous to your dog and you.

Enjoy the beach with your dog but keep these safety tips in mind while you do so.

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