Fun in the Sun

We all know how much fun the beach is during a hot summer, but how much more fun is it when you can bring your furry best friend? Bringing your pup to the beach can take some work, but it is so rewarding! There are several things to keep in mind when bringing your pet to the beach to ensure that everyone involved is safe and having the maximum amount of fun. Here are a few factors to consider as well as some helpful tips for bringing your dog to the beach.

Sun Protection for your Dog

Anyone who has suffered from a bad sunburn knows how crucial it is to protect our skin from the hot sun, but what about our furry companions? Breeds with white or light-colored coats and light pigmented skin and noses are the most at risk for developing a sunburn, or even skin cancer. Believe it or not, there are several tools available to ensure that our pups are protected from the sun, from hot sand and even from concrete. From sprays to sticks and balms, there are many available types of doggy sunscreens that will protect your pet. It is important to apply to the more sensitive lightly-pigmented areas of your pup (lips, groin, thighs, belly, etc.). In addition to sunscreen, there are wetsuits and beach shoes to make sure your pup has a safe beach experience. Most importantly, make sure that your pet has LOTS and LOTS of fresh water!

Below are links to some of Amazon’s highest rated items for your next beach trip.

Preventing Skin Irritation

After the fun is all over, it is important to make sure that you provide the right aftercare for your baby’s skin. In order to prevent itchiness and irritation from chlorine, salt water, rocks, sand, etc., aftercare should be part of your doggy skin care routine so that your pup recovers well from a long day at the beach or pool. The number one tip for after the beach is a nice bath! Some short-haired dogs will be fine with just a simple rinse, while long-haired and more sensitive-skinned pups will require a full bath. It is helpful to research your specific breed and tailor your dog’s skin care accordingly. Your groomer will also have some helpful suggestions specific to your dog’s hair and skin type.  Rinsing your pup after a day at the beach or pool is important because it prevents allergens from negatively affecting the skin and hair. And don’t forget to brush your fur-baby out!

Vetericyn has several products that aid in washing dogs who suffer from skin irritation, as well as eye and ear washes that will help rid your pup’s most sensitive places of pesky sand and dirt.

Beach Etiquette for Pups

Pet owners know that our babies are one of the most important parts of our lives. It is important to remember that while taking your pup to a public place, not everyone loves your baby as much as you do. It is crucial that dog owners remember beach etiquette so that everyone has a wonderful experience at the beach. In order to understand the proper procedures, checking the pet policy for the beach that you plan to vacation at. Each beach might differ in regulations regarding pet waste, required leash lengths, etc. Another good idea before your trip is to make sure that your pet understands proper commands and basic obedience behaviors. This will ensure that they come to you when called and don’t break any major rules. Your fellow beach-goers will thank you when your baby is well-behaved.

Water Safety for your Dog

Just like for children, water safety for our pets is extremely important. The ocean can be a dangerous place, so it is necessary that we keep our eyes on our pets at all times. Doggy swimming lessons might be needed for pups who don’t know how or are not the best or most confident swimmers. Depending on the breed, your pup might be a natural swimmer, or they might be afraid of, or just simply dislike the water. Due to their physical structure, breeds such as the Labrador Retriever, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Irish Water Spaniels have the inherent genes to be natural swimmers. Shorter and more stout pups, like Pugs, are more likely to struggle in the water.  Luckily, there are several types of lifejackets for our furry friends. Whether your dog is talented in the water, or not so much, a lifejacket is a great tool to use to increase your pup’s confidence while they learn how to swim. Lifejackets help them to become comfortable in the water.

Another thing to keep in mind while at the beach is water temperature. If the water temperature is too cold, dogs might suffer from “cold tail,” a condition where the tail droops and is no longer able to wag or lift up. Hypothermia is another risk of allowing your pup to swim in cold water. Dog owners must always pay attention to warning signs (excessive shivering, decreased use of their tail). It is also important to remember not to let your canine drink too much salt water. This can cause dehydration and puts your pup at risk for water toxicity. It is always a good idea to bring tons of fresh water for your dog, because they will be thirsty after having so much fun in the sun!

Below are a few links to some highly rated dog lifejackets:

Have Fun!

The most important part of your beach vacation is to HAVE FUN! Trips to the beach can create some of the most valuable memories that you can cherish. It is important to remember aspects such as beach etiquette and water safety, but this is a time where you get to spend with your family, friends, and furry companions. There are several types of toys to bring and activities to do at the beach that you and your pup will remember forever. Whether you prefer a calming walk on the beach, or an intense game of fetch, there are several opportunities to have a blast with your furry friends.

Below are some links to items (chew toys, Frisbees, inflatable rafts, boogie boards, etc.) that will enhance your beach trip:

If you’ve taken your pups for some rollicking beach fun this summer and have some photos, we would be thrilled if you’d send them our way.  Until next time, we wish you a fantastic summer.