Summer days with your favorite pooch is a great way to spend a vacation. Hitting the beach can be a great time for everyone. But for your dog, the beach has some downsides you should keep in mind before you get out in the sun with him.
It turns out, the doggy paddle is just an expression! Not all dogs can swim, or even like the water. Unless you know your dog is an experienced swimmer, stick to the shallow end. Some pet stores sell life vests for your dog. Look for one that fastens at three points, and has a handle in the back, so you can pull your dog away from danger when you need to. You should also avoid water if there are a lot of surfboards, jet skis, and other water sports, to avoid the dog getting over-excited.
Salt water is very bad for dogs and can dry them out quickly. But unlike humans, dogs don't always know to keep from drinking the water. Keep a portable water dish in your beach bag, and stay loaded up on fresh bottled water. Keep an eye on your dog and make sure to pull him away if he starts drinking.
Of course, you know to protect your own skin from the sun, but many people make the mistake of assuming that their dog's natural protection will be enough. Bring some sunscreen formulated for dogs to protect your dog's nose and ears from the sun. And don't forget to bring sunscreen for yourself too!
Hot sand in the middle of the day can be dangerous for dogs. Not only is it tougher to walk in, but it could actually get hot enough to cause small burns on the bottom of your dog's feet. Dehydration can creep up on your dog slowly, so make sure to find a shady spot to take breaks in. Whether it's tug-of-war under a beach umbrella or taking a nap while you sunbath or read a book in the shade, your dog's going to need some extra rest time with all the excitement, especially in the heat.
From hot sand to swimming in the ocean with beach glass, you'll want to make regular checks of your dog's pads, feet and legs are clear of debris. Being extra vigilant helps you avoid infection, and helps your dog avoid extended pain or problems later on. So watch where your dog is stepping and pay attention to his body language. Remember before you leave the beach to thoroughly rinse him top to tail to get out any salt, sand, and organisms, and give him a proper bath when you get home to ensure the salt water hasn't dried out his skin, and you haven't missed any cuts or scrapes.
Nothing beats a day at the beach, except a day at the beach with your best friend. The sun, sand and salt water can be good for both of you, but it does pose risks. Follow these tips to keep both of you safe on the beach, so you can make the most of the summer sun!
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