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

 

Changing Seasons in my life – KoKo

A Summer Poem

– by KoKo ShakesPaw

Feel the touch,

Of scorched grass

Of scratchy weeds

Of summer not past

 

Baking in an oven

Slinking in the shade

Waiting to discover

Cool, water in which to wade

 

Bright glare

Sweaty sleep

Dry mouth

Poor burnt little feet!

 

Mum, can we please go down

To the cool of Cottesloe beach?

ActionBeachDog3

A Winter’s Tale

– by KoKo ShakesPaw

Frosty grass, bitter wind

Wet paws, I don’t mind

Early dark mornings

Are spooky but fine

 

It’s the wet fluff on my back

That gets too heavy to cope

I need Mum to towel me

Or I will lie around and mope!

 

When the thunder claps

keep me inside

I need to play games

and find somewhere to hide

 

Oh I long for summer and long runs on the beach

The crispy leaves under my paws in autumn

Or maybe some days and weeks of each

And don’t forget, the happy buzzing of bees in spring

WetSubiDogsTeddy


 

Burning paws! – take care it is summer

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

 9 News Perth‘s photo.Like Page

SUMMER WARNING

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)

What we do on a hot night at Subi Centro Park

The City of Subiaco provides us with a little stream to cool our hot tummies. Our Mums are not happy though, as we are green and black with algae and mud when we get out! Not deterred we roll in the grass and shake off the excess before we jump in the car to go home.

Smithy going home after his swim

Smithy going home after his swim

KoKo cooling in wet grass

KoKo hiding his black tummy from his Mum in the wet grass

A cool Piper

A refreshed Piper