Bringing Your Dog to the Beach: The Do’s and Don’ts

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Everyone loves a good romp in the sand. This goes double for your furry friends. Dogs love being taken to the beach, and even when many beaches begin their regulation seasons, there are still some helpful tips you need to know before you enjoy your summer fun. 

Many beaches allow dogs on the beach during the summer; some have certain time limits, so be sure to check your local beaches for signage or go online to view their rules and regulations. 

Do always make sure there is an abundant amount of shade. Bringing a beach umbrella is a great way to make sure your pup had ample space to relax between play sessions. This keeps the sun’s rays at bay!

Do bring a lighter tone towel. Many owners are surprised by how much this helps. A blanket or mat, something for your dog to lay on, so that they aren’t on the hot sand. A lighter towel also draws less heat, whereas a darker towel absorbs the sun’s light energy, getting hotter much quicker. 

Do make sure you have lots and lots of fresh, cool water. Dropping some ice cubes in the bowl is a good way to insure there is a constant supply. 

Do make use of the early morning or late evening to find a cooler solution for your short-snouted dogs. Brachycephalic breeds like pugs, English bulldogs, mastiffs, shih-tzus and the like are more likely to overheat than long muzzle dogs. They have a tougher time cooling their bodies due to their shorter snouts, so a trip when the sun is low in the sky and cooler would be ideal for these breeds. 

Do follow your leash laws! Most beaches that allow pups have off-leash policies, some even have designated zones. Just be vigilant for posted signs and you should be set. 

Do practice your recall commands. Knowing “come” is essential for beach play, especially when it comes to shared beaches.

Do bring doggy sunscreen! If your dog is hairless, or light in color, it is smart to apply where the skin is exposed. This means the ears, hind legs, and the nose. There are both balms and creams to use, just make sure to reapply after they come out of the water!

Don’t allow your dogs to chase wildlife. These beaches are dog friendly because of respectful owners who know beach etiquette. Especially if you see areas of the beach are roped off for wildlife reasons, know that those areas are off limits to your dog, for their protection and that of the natural inhabitants!

Don’t leave your dog unsupervised on the beach. Always be around to keep an eye on your dog. 

Don’t let your pup too far out into the surf. The tides can be very unpredictable at certain coastal beaches. Even for the strongest swimmers, these waves can pose issues. For a dog that’s used to lake swimming, oceans can be quite different and harder to maintain a safe experience. 

Don’t bring puppies to the beach. Opinions vary on this one, but it’s better to be safe than sorry where puppies are concerned. Usually 5 months is the age that most breeders say is okay for beach time; anything earlier runs the risk of your puppy overheating, or getting a sunburn through their delicate coat.

Remembering these tips can make even the hottest day at the beach feel like a breeze. Your dogs will be delighted that you took the proper time and preparation to make sure they’re comfy all summer long!