5 Things You Need for a Trip to the Beach with Your Dog
A trip to the dog beach is one of the most fun things you can do with your dog. But before you go, be sure you have these five things to ensure that both you and your dog have a good time playing in the water and lying around on the sand.
1. Fresh Drinking Water
Salt water is very bad for your dog. According to vetinfo.com, “Salt water has an osmotic effect, pulling liquid into your dog’s intestines. This can cause diarrhea, which contributes to dehydration. If your dog drinks too much salt water too fast, he could vomit, leading to further dehydration. Even if your dog doesn’t actually drink salt water, he can ingest small amounts by handling salt-water-soaked balls and toys or by swimming in salt water.”
Your dog is envitably going to drink some salt water, there isn’t too much you can do to keep this from happening. And most likely your dog will show some of the side effects like diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. By having fresh drinking water on hand, you can discourage him from drinking salt water when he’s thirsty after vigorous play. Don’t forget the poop bags!
Your dog will need a break from the sun, and since he probably doesn’t like hats and big sunglasses as much as you do, you’ll need to provide him with a break from the sun’s rays. If you don’t own a beach umbrella, make sure there is a place, or at the very least some trees, where you can take your dog to rest. Bring along the water, just for good measure.
Vetinfo.com says, “Your dog should take a break from exercise every 15 minutes while on the beach; take him into the shade and make sure he drinks fresh water. Have your dog sit or lie down in the shade to rest. Try to minimize his exposure to salt water.”
No one likes a wet dog, and no car or home smells good with one in it. I taught my dog Scout to love getting rubbed down with a towel by first starting on her belly. Dogs love belly rubs – it doesn’t matter what you use, just as long as that belly is being rubbed. Scout loves to be rubbed down now, and will stand there patiently while I do it, too. The added bonus is that dogs’ fur dries quickly, so a good rub down with a towel and leaving the windows down on the ride home will have your dog dry in no time.
Also, towels make a great barrier between a wet dog and your car seat, so make sure you have a couple of extra towels on hand for the drive back.
4. First Aid Kit
The beach is ripe with new scents and new places for your dog to explore – unfortunately, it is also a great place for Fido to get injured. He could cut his paw on broken glass, choke or get stung by a jellyfish or bug – and as previously mentioned, drinking salt water could induce vomiting and cause diarrhea. Having a first aid kit will not only help you take care of your dog in case of an emergency or illness, it will also give you peace of mind knowing that you are prepared should something happen.
Unless your dog likes to lie around and sun himself, no one will have fun if he doesn’t have anything to do. Plus, it’s the beach! Of course you should set aside some time to relax, but play with your dog first. It’s a fact that a tired dog is a good dog. And it’s a great way to get some exercise, frolic in the waves and get in touch with your inner child.