5 Steps to a Better Beach Visit with your Dog

5 Steps to a Better Beach Visit with your Dog

It’s hot, too hot. The dog is panting, you’re wilting, and both of you are going stir crazy indoors. The idea of clear blue sea and a cool coastal breeze suddenly pops into your mind. Well, water you waiting for? (Excuse the pun!)

A trip to the beach and a splash in the surf is just the thing for you and your pet pal.  it helps to be prepared. Here are 5 steps to the ultimate beach experience for you and your canine companion.

1. Surfing

Before leaving home, try a spot of surfing – on the web, that is. Not all beaches welcome dogs, check the rules of beach use such as whether dogs must be kept on the leash or can be let off and the hours that they are permitted.

Having found a pet-friendly beach and whilst online, search out the nearest vet clinic. The unexpected can happen in the form of cut pads or fish hook injuries, and by having an emergency number in your mobile, you are prepared for potential problems.

2. Beach Bag

Bikini. Sunscreen. Flip flops. Hat. Sunglasses. Water. Towel. Yep, these are all in your beach bag. So what about your dog’s sun essentials?

Your canine companion isn’t so very different and has similar needs to you. Remember the essentials for them on their beach visit and you won’t go far wrong. Pack plenty of water, not just for drinking but to wash the salt off his coat. Don’t forget doggy bootees – after all, if the sun is too hot for your feet it’s too hot for paws. To keep your four-legger safe in the sun, take along an umbrella or a sun shade for when the sun gets too strong, and don’t forget doggy sunscreen for pink or thin-furred ears and nose.

As for fun, well a floating toy is the ideal inducement for your dog to get their paws wet. But if he’s not a great swimmer, take along a dog life-vest to assist or encourage them. Neither does it do any harm to pack a canine first aid kit containing items such as saline for flushing wounds, antiseptic cream and bandages. Oh yes, and to touch on an un-poop-ular subject, but don’t forget the pooper scoop bags! Remember, leave no trace for to do otherwise is not only antisocial but it gives dog owners a bad name.

Canine Companion Check List

  1. Bag
  2. Fresh Water
  3. Drinking Bowl – we always have one of these in our car.
  4. Sunscreen – like
  5. Poop Bags & Holder
  6. Micro fibre towel
  7. Leash
  8. Floating Rope Frisbee Dog Toy
  9. First Aid Kit
  10. Life Jacket
  11. Vet’s Phone Number

3. Beach Etiquette

Incredible as it may sound, not everyone likes dogs. Human users don’t like badly behaved dogs, sand kicked over their sunscreen, or dog mess on the beach.

Always respect other beach users and keep your dog under control at all times. Whilst your Labrador may be as soft as butter left out in the sun, if in his enthusiasm he bowls a small child over then he’ll spoil their day and that’s not fair. Likewise, you may know he only jumps up is to give kisses, but a stranger on the sand doesn’t know that. If his recall is dodgy, then keep him on the leash. This is also for his safety as well, in case he gets distracted and runs for miles.

4. Beach Safety

Be vigilant for hazard warning signs about strong currents or rip tides. Just as you would never go swimming yourself when the warning flags are up, make sure your dog stays out of the water.

Currents aside, another hazard is the salt water. If your dog swims and then grooms himself there is a risk of him ingesting large amounts of salt water.

This can lead to salt toxicity, of which the signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive trembling, and can possibly develop into seizures. This can be avoided by rinsing him with fresh water after the swim, and ensuring he has plenty of clean drinking water available.

From time to time natural hazards arise such as beached jelly fish or washed up Blow Fish. Do not allow your dog to investigate and keep him well away just in case he snacks first and is unwell second. There may be a very real risk of toxicity leading to an inability to breath, and if you suspect your dog has eaten Blow Fish, contact a veterinarian immediately.

To fully enjoy your day, don’t let your dog overheat. He can’t sweat and that fur coat is great in the cold weather but how would you fancy wearing winter thermals on a hot day? Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, distressed breathing, a bright red tongue, staggering as if drunk, and collapse. If you notice any of these signs, get him into the shade, offer him water to drink, wet his coat, and soak his paws in cool water. If these measures don’t prove effective, then take your dog to the nearest vet.

5. Beach Buddy

If you introduced your dog to sea and surf as a pup, the chances are he’s already a well-adapted beach buddy. If however, this is your older dog’s first trip, don’t be surprised if he’s a little befuddled. Depending on your individual pet’s personality, they may be anything from euphoric (and dig on the beach kicking sand everywhere) to completely confused.

Take it steady. Don’t force your four-legged friend to do anything but let him investigate and try things out for himself. Of course, have those treats ready to reward those bold moves such as stepping tentatively onto the sand.

If he’s overwhelmed, keep him on the leash and close to heel. It may help to do a spot of impromptu training, to give him something to concentrate on other than the strange sights and sounds. Then, put a beach towel down on the sand and have him sit with you, then praise the bold behaviour when they soon start to investigate what’s around them.

If you have the opposite problem and your dog is over bold, remember other beach users and keep him on the leash. Back home, work on those training disciplines, so that you’re better prepared for next time.

And finally…

A day spent at the beach with your dog is a special time, and a chance for them to dig, swim, and run free with the wind in his fur. The beach is for everyone to enjoy so be a responsible pet parent: plan ahead, ensure your pet is under control and monitor them at all times.

(Modified by Helen Potter 2017)

At Mosman Park Beach WA


Tips for overcoming water fear

Mum tried to get me to like water when I was just a puppy, but she wasn’t successful. If the weather is hot I’m a happy race down the sand slope and lower myself into the cool water but I will forever be an “armpit Swimmer” that’s as far as I’ll go! woofs from KoKo.

Tips for overcoming water fear

Greencross Vets’ Behaviour Services Manager Serena Dean gives us her top tips on helping pets overcome their fear of water.

1. Experiences

A bad experience may have prompted your pet’s fear of water. One bad experience, like not being able to find the steps to get out of the pool might make your pet fearful to try again.  Knowing what caused your pet’s fear of water can help with the training process.

2. Slow and steady

Introduce or reintroduce your pet to water in a slow and positive manner, whether this is a bath, pool or the beach. Start off at a distance from the water rewarding them for calm behaviour and slowly move forward towards the water.  Provide them with a small amount of water to stand in, just enough to cover their paws, like a kiddie pool or bath.  If you are near a body of water teach them how to get in and out.  Always start and end on a positive note, treats and games help with this.

3. Make it fun

Water games can be fun for the entire family.  Play games that involve water like fetch at the beach, running with them in the shallows or placing toys in a shallow kiddie’s pool.  Always supervise your pet around water.

4.  Don’t Force

Not all pets like going in the water.  Never force your pet to do something they are uncomfortable with and don’t throw them into a body of water.  If your pet decides they want to move away from the water, let them.

5. Teach them to swim

Contrary to popular belief not all dogs know how to swim, we need to teach them.  Start swim training in bodies of water with a gentle slope where your dog can touch the ground and slowly go out further.  Keep training sessions short by going out a little further at each session and always end with a reward.  Once they are comfortable submerging their body they may start to paddle.  Some dogs may need a little help. Floatation vests are available so your dog can feel supported.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s behaviour, speak with your Greencross Vets.

A Warning about Dogs, grapes, sultanas and raisins – KoKo

Courtesy of Puppy Tales

Grapes, raisins and sultanas may cause acute renal failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) in some dogs.

Even though there has been some research, the reason as to why some dogs develop renal failure after eating grapes, raisins and sultanas is still unknown. Further work is needed to understand the toxicity and if there are other environmental factors that cause it to occur.

The toxic dose

Dogs that are affected by these foods can develop kidney failure 72 hours after ingestion. some dogs can eat relatively large volumes of grapes, sultanas and raisins without any issues while other dogs can consume one or two and become ill. Estimated amounts of fresh grapes associated with kidney injury are approximately 32g or 1.1oz per kilogram of your dog’s weight. Raisins and sultanas are slightly more powerful: from 11-30g or 0.39-1.06oz per kilo of your dog’s weight.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any grapes/raisins/sultanas call your vet.


If your dog has eaten grapes, raisins or sultanas they might have some of the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • not eating
  • weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • increased drinking


If your dog has consumed these foods within the past two hours your vet will most likely induce vomiting via an injection (hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine) followed by activated charcoal. If your dog has eaten a significant amount, started vomiting themselves or ingested the food several hours prior, intravenous fluid therapy might be suggested. In severe cases dialysis of the blood and peritoneal dialysis might be used to support the kidneys.


Grapes, sultanas and raisins are popular foods in many households so it is best to be vigilant and ensure that your dogs do not come in contact with these foods. Don’t leave them lying around at their level or any place that they can access.

Even if your dog doesn’t get ill the stress and cost of an emergency vet trip is never a great way to spend your day.

Please note: Puppy Tales provides these articles for information purposes only. For any health problems with your pet always seek immediate veterinary advice from your local veterinarian.

Burning paws! – take care it is summer

Ouch- hot feet Naughty dog parent KoKo
Image may contain: stripes and one or more people

 9 News Perth‘s photo.Like Page


A reminder that if the ground is too hot for your feet, then it’s also too hot for your pet’s paws. It’s advised you walk pets on the grass and to check the pavement to avoid burning the padding on their paws. (City Farmers Dog Wash Cannington & Nedlands)

Snakes, bees, grass seed dangers – Wembley Vet Clinic

I can’t believe it is October already!  Where have the last few months gone? We had such a long chilly winter but now the sun gets up earlier and its warm rays warm my furry body when I lay on the front veranda.

Koko Snakecatch

This is a photo of my snake tale from a few years ago. I became a hero that day as I killed the snake and saved the kids. You may be surprised at my bravery but I will let you know that it was actually one of my shaggy dog stories – I made it up!

This month I, KoKo, with a lot of information from Wembley VetNews, will let you know about Spring-time dangers.  We doggies are at risk in the garden and the park.

The most dangerous problems for dogs are:

1.    Grass-seeds
2.    Snake-bites
3.    Bees and Wasps

Grass Seeds

Those long wild grasses that you often see in the bush, parks or the sides of the road are famous for the sharp, sticky, dart-like seeds. The seed or its outer coating, are a common danger to Pets.  Either part of the seed may stick to our hair, lodge up our nose, down our ear canals or even up more unpleasant places!

What are the signs a grass seed is in your dog?

Pets may react differently depending on the number, location, and shape of the seed.

Ear: A seed in the ear canal will irritate and cause me to shake my head, scratch at my ear or hold my head at an angle.
Eye: You may suddenly find that I am holding my eye closed because a seed between the eye and the eyelid may make it painful, red and inflamed. An ulcer of the cornea could result and possibly lead to vision loss.
Nose: A seed in the nose may cause me to sneeze, paw at my nose, and will often cause some nasal discharge or even bleeding from the nose (epistaxis).
Skin: I might chew at an area where the seed has become attached and the following may occur:

  1.  The seed becomes attached to the gums, tongue, or mouth.
  2.  We can swallow the seed and it will stick to the back of our throat near the tonsils
  3. We may cough, retch, or gag, and have difficulty eating and swallowing.
  4. The seeds burrow deeper into the skin forming a swelling or abscess.

Lungs and other organs: Seeds can be accidentally inhaled or migrate from the skin into the chest and enter the lung where they can cause very serious life-threatening abscesses.

Prevention is your best option, so if I have been around a grass-seed area, please check my coat, any folds of the skin, around my ears, under their tails and around my groin or armpits. Don’t hesitate to take me to the vet for a check.


If you would like to share my “Snake Tail story” for a laugh please see my old Post. Perth has 2 groups of Venomous Snakes, the Brown snakes and Tiger Snakes.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Perth has 2 Venomous Snakes, the Brown snake and Tiger Snake.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Brown snakes like the Dugite are common in bush settings around Perth. They are grey, green, or brown. Large black scales are  scattered over the body with a semi-glossy appearance. The most distinguishing characteristic is the head which is small and indistinct from the neck. A dugite can grow up to an average size of 1.5 metres. They are more likely to hide when they think they are seen or are often confused for a stick while they lie silently hoping you will ignore them.

Tiger snakes, on the other hand, tend to inhabit areas closer to waterways like lakes, swamps, the ocean and rivers. Their patterning consists of darker bands, in olive, yellow, orange-brown, or jet-black, and the underside of the snake is light yellow or orange. The tiger snake venom is highly toxic. They are tolerant of lower temperatures, so they are often seen out earlier than the Dugite. When threatened they will act aggressively, flattening their body and raising their heads in a classic pre- strike stance. Look out!

What to look out for during our walkies?

If I am bitten by a snake, the most common symptom is weak muscles. I may have difficulty standing or walking on all 4 legs, my pupils may become paralysed and be dilated, and eventually my respiratory muscles may become so weak that I can’t breathe.

What should you do?

If you suspect that your Pet gets a snake bite, keep your pet calm. Wash the wound and then apply a pressure dressing if you know where the bite occurred. Next, ring the Hospital or the nearest emergency centre to let them know you are coming.  Carry them to the car and get them to the Vet as soon as possible. Early in the season, bites are extremely toxic, so every minute counts.

Can they be treated?

Treatment is based on the severity of the clinical signs with a form of anti-venom to counteract the effects of the venom. Unfortunately,anti-venom is expensive and some dogs may need multiple doses, based on their weight.  Bitten dogs also require other supportive measures, like intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, or even drugs for shock.

Can bites be prevented?

You can reduce the risk of a snake bite by staying clear of common snake areas like around swamps, overgrown bush or long grass.  If you are out on a walk, keep your Dog on the lead so that you can keep a careful eye on where they are going. At home, you can remove long grass, wood-stacks or sheets of tin, etc on the ground where they might like to hide.

Bees and Wasps

Bee stings or wasp stings can be some of the most common things we treat during spring. As soon as the sun is shining, the bees get out and about doing their thing.  And, dogs and cats just seem mesmerised by their bumbling behaviour and buzzing noise!

For a lot of patients, they might not make it obvious they have even been bitten because they aren’t very sensitive. Perhaps they might have a little limp or rub or lick at the spot where the bite is.  For some, they might have a really obvious local reaction, with redness, swelling and even a limp on a bitten foot or a large swelling if bitten around the face. Finally, some can go into a form of Anaphylactic shock and this is serious, they might vomit, collapse or have a weak pulse.

What can you do at home?

If the sting is minor, then sometimes simply applying an ice block wrapped in a towel may denature the toxin, reduce any inflammation or swelling and the symptoms may go away in 10-20 minutes.

When should I go to the Vet?

Any time the symptoms escalate, with vomiting, signs of weakness or distress, then your Pet probably needs to see a Vet.  They may give them some anti-inflammatory or some anti-histamine to quickly reduce symptoms.

Can Stings be prevented?

Often dogs that get bitten a few times seem to hunt down bees or wasps and often seem to get bitten on purpose!  Wearing boots when out at the park filled with pollen and flowers might help. For dogs that get severe reactions, no true prevention exists, but if the signs are life-threatening, then desensitisation is available at the Specialist Centre.

Woofs, Thanks to Wembley Vet, take care, KoKo


Oh No! Off to the vet again

It’s not really too bad going to see Greg the vet now that I am older.

Today I even tried to jump the queue and rushed into the consulting room when I spied him as he opened the consulting room door. He said “KoKo please sit down, it is not your turn yet.So I turned a little red and slunk back to the floor to wait.

No dog likes the private treatment Greg has to give me for my itchy bottom BBut I felt much more comfortable afterwards.

Thank you, Greg.

While we were waiting at the Vets we met this wise looking fellow called Ralph.

Woofs from KoKo

Ralph at the Subiaco Vet

Ralph at the Subiaco Vet