Even though there are only a few short days left of summer, there are still plenty of sunny days ahead. What could be more fun than a day at the beach splashing around in the water and getting sand between your paws? Without the right tools and preparation, an exciting beach day can become a dangerous venture. Here are some easy tips to make sure your next beach trip with your four-legged friend is fun and safe:
1. Avoid Sunburn
Consider using sunscreen on your pet, especially with breeds that have a short coat or pink nose. If you decide to use sunscreen, do not share your sunscreen with your pet. Human sunscreen contains Zinc and PABA, both of which can be toxic to dogs. Canine sunscreen is available with ingredients that are safe to use on your pet. If sunscreen seems like too much trouble, a t-shirt can also protect your pet from the dangerous UV rays.
2. Protect Your Pet
Being around other dogs is a great way to socialize your pet; however, it can also lead to the spread of parasites and diseases. Any time your pet will be interacting with other dogs it is important to ensure that they are up to date on their vaccinations and have been protected against common parasites (fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes). Talk to your veterinarian about available waterproof topical products such as Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix.
3. Be Aware of Beach Hazards
If your pet is still learning to swim, consider the use of a life jacket and be extra cautious of riptides and deep water. Dried up seaweed, if eaten, can pass through your dog’s system, absorb water, and expand. This can cause discomfort, blockages, and rupture of the intestine. The presence of certain beach hazards, such as sea lice and jellyfish, may be indicated at the lifeguard stand and may require extra caution.
4. Drinking Salt Water is a No-No
Salt water is a gastrointestinal irritant that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also disrupt the balance of electrolytes in your pet’s body. Make sure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times and try to limit the amount of salt water that your dog ingests.
5. Bath Time!
Your pup will probably be covered in sand and salt water, which can be irritating to their skin and paws. Rinse your pet with fresh water before leaving the beach or shortly after arriving home. Also be sure to dry your dog’s ears – if moisture accumulates in the ear canal it can cause an ear infection.
6. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!