Finally vacation time, hot weather time! The promise of lazy days in the sun and by the sea. Yes, but here it is: your doggie is also traveling. You have no heart to leave him alone in a place he does not know. Let’s take a look at the precautions for taking your dog to the beach.
First, choose your beach well. To find a beach that accepts dogs, go to the Internet. Many sites offer a list or even maps of accessible places. Another thing to do: call the regional tourist office. And if you haven’t done this before, a simple sign on the beach will let you know. Most of the time, your pet will need to be on a leash.
Swimming is great for your four-legged pet, especially since most dogs can swim. Check it anyway, especially for the first time. If you feel that he is afraid or not comfortable, do not force him to go. Some get tired very quickly, and it is better to make him wear a life jacket for more safety, especially if there are waves. This will also allow you to initiate him to certain water sports such as paddle or canoe.
The beach is a great place to play and explore for your companion, but you should never leave your dog unattended. Here are a few other things to consider:
• Constantly provide him with a bowl of water so that he does not drink seawater.
• Remember to take a bowl for your dog, some dog towels to dry him off and some food if you will be away during his dinner time.
• Bring some toys for him such as a ball to chase into the sea, something to chew and maybe even a frisbee so that he can play catch with the rest of the family.
Dogs can get sunstroke, or over heat. This is because they do not sweat and of course are wearing a fur coat! So, if it is going to be very hot, consider getting him a cooling jacket to cool him down. These have a special gel that when wet emits a cooling function. You can also use a wet towel to try and cool him down, not forgetting to regularly wet his legs, neck and belly. Under NO circumstances use cold water, this can cause your dog to go into shock. Always use warm, preferably body temperature water and NEVER ice cubes of course.
The best times to take him to the beach are therefore in the morning and late afternoon. For his comfort, consider placing him under an umbrella. You can also get him some doggy sun cream, particularly if he is a white dog. Do not use your human sun cream or oil. Avoid strenuous activities in the heat and prefer to keep him in the shade.
Remember to watch him at all times. Not everyone loves dogs and he might frighten young children. My two zig and zag are notorious picnic snafflers and zag loves cuddly toys and has even been known to bring me back the odd sandy sock that I have to then try to reunite with its owner! Also check that your dog is not drinking sea water or water that is dirty or has green algae growing in it – all will make your dog very ill, but seem to be very popular with pooches.
By taking the right precautions, you can have a great time at the beach with your dog. One last piece of advice: your fur ball must remain identifiable, in case it gets lost. Have him wear a collar with her name and phone number on it so you can be contacted quickly.
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