A day at the beach with your pup sounds like a dream come true to most pet parents. But between paws that are sensitive to hot sand and making sure your dog stays sufficiently hydrated, there's also a lot to worry about. Follow our advice to keep your pup safe and happy on your next trip to the shore:
Plan to be there 2 to 3 hours max.
Going to the beach can be tiring for pups of any age—even if your dog loves the beach a couple hours can be exhausting. Capping your time helps protect against over-exposing him to the sun. And if it’s going to be over 90°F you might want to consider going a different day altogether so your doggo doesn't get overheated.
Signs of heat stroke to look out for include rapid panting, bright red tongue, sticky saliva, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog is starting to look tired that’s a good sign it’s time to go, even if you’re having fun.
Bring fresh water—not just for drinking.
Plenty of fresh water is needed to keep your pup nice and hydrated on the beach. You should offer him water at least every 20 minutes—more often if he’s being active.
But there’s another good reason to pack the extra bottles of H20: Saltwater can be irritating to a dog’s paws, so try rinsing them off after your pup hits the ocean. Once you’re at home, give your pup a real bath to make sure he’s sand and salt-free.
Beware of the hot sand.
We’ve all faced the pain of searing your bare feet on a hot day at the beach, and while we can usually fix this with a pair of flip-flops, your pup needs a different strategy.
A waxy balm can be applied to your dog’s paws to create a barrier between their skin and the burning sand, making it safer and more comfortable for your pup to run around. And when it comes time for your pup to kick back and rest, make sure he has a towel or blanket to keep his body off the sand.
Avoid a moldy leash.
The everyday leash you use for your pup is probably not cut out for the beach. A cloth fiber material traps water and sand that lingers on the leash and collar and gives off that “dirty towel” smell a.k.a mildew.
Avoid having to toss a perfectly good leash and collar away by bringing a silicone version for beach trips. Silicone’s not only waterproof, but makes cleaning off sand and saltwater much easier.
Don’t forget sun protection.
Having a shady spot like this tented dog bed for your pup to curl up and take a nap is a great way to limit his sun exposure while giving him a place to rest.
However, if your dog has trouble relaxing at the beach, and just wants to explore you can avoid doggie sunburn by using a pup-friendly sunscreen. This is especially important for the sensitive areas of his skin like the nose, armpits, and groin, and crucial for dogs with light-colored fur or very little fur.
Stay safe in the waves.
Always stay on the safe side and bring a lifejacket if you’re not 100% sure your dog will be able to handle swimming in the ocean. Also don’t assume your dog can swim! Some breeds just aren’t cut out for it and won’t enjoy it, so don’t force them in.
After your pup's adventures in the sea don't forget to check their ears. Water can get trapped in there, setting the stage for an infection, so make sure to clean your pup's ears thoroughly after a day at the beach.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.