Dog Safety At The Beach
Summer is around the corner. What better place to hang out with your dog than the beach? Do not forget to research the area before bringing your furry friend even if you think it is the ideal place to hang out for the day. Not only will it lead to fines, but certain beaches are not safe for pet accessibility. Here are nine ways to practice dog safety at the beach.
Make Sure The Beach Is Pro-Pet
Every beach has local pet ordinances that allow or prevent dogs. Even with animal allowance, there are ordinances like pet-cleanup, size restriction, use of a leash, or limited accessibility that dog owners should be aware. Ordinance violations will lead to fines.
Buy Sunscreen For Pets
Dogs get a sunburn just like their owners. Did you know that dogs should wear sunscreen, too? Did you know that human sunscreen has zinc oxide which is toxic to animals if licked? Choosing an effective sunscreen for canines will avoid adverse health risks.
- Most common sites for sunburn: bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin surrounding the lips, and any other area where skin pigmentation is low.
- Select a sunscreen that is fragrance-free, non-staining, and contains UVA and UVB barriers similar to SPF 15 or SPF 30 for humans. Some sunscreen products have been specifically created for pets.
- Although some baby sunscreens may be safe for pets, avoid human sunscreens that have ingestion warnings because these products contain ingredients that can be toxic if licked by a dog or cat. For example, avoid products that contain octyl salicylate and only use zinc containing sunscreen products in areas that can't be licked. No matter what sunscreen product you choose, remember to apply liberally and then re-apply regularly during sun exposure.
- Additionally, there are UV protective clothing or sun suits for pets. These products may be helpful for protecting dogs who enjoy sunbathing on their backs and exposing the skin on their abdomen to the sun.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before arriving at beach
Prepare A Shady Area For Your Pet
Shade is essential to avoid direct contact with the sun. Dogs that are more susceptible are hairless, thin-coated, light-colored, or short in stature. Just like in humans, long-term exposure may lead to health issues like sunstroke and cancer.
Signs of heatstroke or dehydration can manifest as: excessive panting, drooling, nausea, weakness or collapse, incoordination, and sometimes seizures.
Look For Items That Will Cause Injury
Beaches are primary environments for debris from the weather, parties, or all-day family affairs which means that waste and dangerous elements may be present. Take the time to make sure your immediate area is clear of debris such as broken glass to prevent injury from occurring.
Invest In A Pet Life Vest
Most people assume that all dogs can swim. More than 5,000 family pets die each year just in swimming pools. Add to that the swift currents and exhaustion, it leads to thousands of pet deaths each year. Investing in a pet life vest can prevent many of them.
Bring Fresh Water
Do not forget to bring drinkable water to the beach. While there is no data on pet deaths due to stroke, there is information that animals overheat in a short period from exposure to extreme temperatures. To avoid dangerous situations, bring water to cool down.
There are many collapsible, stuffable travel water bowls on the market that are easy to stuff in your beach bag.
Let Your Dog Swim In Calm Waters
There are present dangers that dogs come into contact with in open water including boats, jet skis, surfboards, high waves, and choppy water. It is best to find a place to swim where your dog will avoid many of the common elements found in busier areas.
Rinse Your Dog Off Before Leaving The Beach
Access to sea water is good for the healing of a dog’s skin conditions. Not rinsing it off after contact, however, will lead to uncomfortable situations like itching, dryness, and rash. Rinse the coat off thoroughly to remove all salt and watch for any itchiness to occur.
Self-service dog bath shops make this process efficient and easy. Look for one near the beach.
If your dog is a swimmer, water will inevitably accumulate in your dog’s ears. Remove excess moisture or sand to prevent ear infections. Carrying a gentle ear rinse that allows for more thorough cleaning will help dry the ears out quickly.
Avoid Salt-Water Intake
Make sure your dog avoids ingesting large amounts of salt water. In small amounts, your dog may experience diarrhea. In large quantities, your pet will suffer hypernatremia (low water volume) which will cause dehydration, seizures, and vomiting.
Prevent Flea Infestation
Prevent sand flea infestation by applying a topical flea solution or giving an oral flea medication at least 24 hours before going to the beach. Avoid flea collars. They can become ineffective when they get wet and can irritate your dog’s skin.
Leave the Beach as you found it
Pick up your dogs waste. Feces can carry diseases that can infect humans and dogs. Be respectful and bring plenty of poop bags and dispose of them properly.
Ample Nutrition strives to provide tips and tools to help you maintain your pet’s health, so follow our blog to learn more ways to keep your pet safe when out and about.
- Kris Latson