Taking your dog to the beach
With winter approaching and many beach restrictions being lifted or relaxed until the spring, now is the perfect time to take your four-legged friend for a sandy adventure! There are, however, a few things to think about before taking your dog to the beach…
Before setting off, it’s advisable to check the restrictions on your chosen beach. Some beaches require owners keep their dogs on the lead, while others have times during the year where dogs are not allowed at all. Restrictions are, however, usually relaxed outside of the peak season.
Not all dogs like to swim! Some will be happy to paddle in shallow areas, whereas others will avoid the water altogether. Even dogs that are good swimming can become overwhelmed by strong waves and currents, so it’s best to keep on your dog at all times and ensure they don’t swim out too far. Consider investing in a life vest for dogs who love their swimming!
Be aware of the hidden dangers on a beach. Dogs can cut their paws on sharp objects like shells or glass, so if the beach appears to be particularly littered it would be advisable to choose another dog-friendly area. Watch your dog carefully for limping or signs of injury, and don’t let them pick up or eat any of the debris they find!
Take plenty of water
Dogs can get dehydrated easily at the beach so plenty of cool, fresh water is essential. The Torus bowl is the ideal solution; providing clean, cool water, instead of having your dog drink from a water bottle. A good supply of water is also the best way to prevent your dog from drinking too much salt water which can be harmful.
Be a responsible dog owner
Remember, the behaviour of dog owners today is what will shape the policy regarding dogs being allowed on beaches in the future. It goes without saying that when on the beach, just as any other public place, you must clean up after you dog. Bag up any poop and dispose of it in an appropriate waste bin – dog-friendly beaches will have plenty of them around.
Sand and salt
All that sand and salt can be really irritating to your dog’s skin, particularly on sesitive areas such as the face, ears and paws – it is advisable to rinse your dog with clean water and pat dry with a towel before embarking on the journey home. Once home, a soft brush can gently help remove some of the excess sand from the coat.
Beach games and toys!
A frisbee or ball can be a great addition to a beach trip. Pick a brightly coloured toy that won’t blend in with the sea or sand, that way, if it gets lost you will be able to find it easily! Do not encourage your dog to pick up sticks or rubbish from the beach, and remember to rinse off toys when you get home, as seawater can contain toxins which may be ingested if left to soak in.
Long leads can be useful at the beach, they can give your dog more room to roam when needed and have a shorter length when required. If you’re able to let your dog off the lead at the beach, always make sure they are wearing a collar with and ID.
Make sure that your dog is protected by a suitable flea treatment or collar, as sand fleas can be rife on most beaches and easily latch onto your dog.
Protection from the elements
If you go to the beach during the summer, it’s important to provide plenty of shade for your dog, and even suncream if your dog has pink skin. Sunscreens made for dogs, babies or sensitive skin are normally fine to use as long as they don’t contain zinc oxide. Similarly, if the weather is chilly the breeze coming in off the sea can make it colder, so keep an eye on your dog’s comfort and temperature, particularly if they get wet.