Warm weather is upon and that means lots of outdoor activities. With the temperature rising it only makes sense to look for activities to keep you and your dog cool. Being a local to Jacksonville, FL – one of our favorite past times is attending summer beach trips. So I thought I would share a few things I keep in mind when taking my dogs to the beach!
1. Always check for dog friendly beaches. Every beach has their own set of rules when it comes to pets. Some do not allow pets at all, some do not allow pets between certain hours, and some are specifically there for your pet! It’s good to check out some reviews before planning your beach day.
2. Find a spot near the shade. With all that fur your pet can easily get over heated. So when arriving at the beach be sure to find a spot under a big tree or umbrella. While yes, the cool ocean waves will help to cool down their internal temp – it’s good for them to have a place to escape the sun. And keep in mind how hot that sand can be on their paws!
3. Water, water, and more water! Keep your pet hydrated. I would recommend making sure your pet has access to fresh drinking water 100% of the time while at the beach. Keep the water covered under your cool shaded spot so your pet can hydrate at their convenience. I usually do this by packing a gallon of fresh water and portable drinking bowls.
4. Keep your pet entertained. Pack a Frisbee, a big chew bone, or their favorite squeaky toy! I’ve come to find that when my dogs have their favorite items around they are much less likely to get into trouble by wandering over to the sand dunes, private property, or to other beach goers. With that being said – pack a leash!
5. Since you will be in a public space – be sure that your pet is current on all their vaccinations.
6. Stay close to your dog at all times. Unfortunately when going to the beach there is more to fear than the obvious, sharks. Also keep an eye out for stingrays and jelly fish… We have encountered many a jelly fish simply washed up onto shore.
7. Dog sunscreen. This is a product I wasn’t even aware of until my experience as a dog mom called for it. Naturally my Labrador retriever loves the water and the outdoors. I began to notice that the skin right above his nose, where the fur is very thin, would become bright pink after these outings. Then one day it hit me, a doggy sunburn! I felt awful that I hadn’t noticed or even considered this notion before. Ever since then I have been prepared – my favorite go to brand for dog sunscreen is Burt’s Bees. If I cannot find sunscreen specific for my dogs – I will go for the baby safe brands.
8. In the event your dog does return with a sunburn, here are a few remedies that may help. CBD dog oil, which has been known to decrease pain and ease skin irritations. Luke-arm oatmeal bath, this will help soothe the skin. 100% all natural aloe.
9. If you have a smaller pup, your pet isn’t a strong swimmer, or your pet is timid of water – it wouldn’t hurt to put them in a doggy swim vest. This will increase visibility, and better ensure the safety of your pet. With this being said, do not force your pet into the water. If anything maybe try taking the lead and see if your pet follows.
10. Time management. While we all love the relaxation a beach day can bring, I cannot deny that it’s often equally as draining. The sun takes a lot out of you, as does the loading and unloading of all your beach necessities! Keep this in mind when you have your pet at the beach with you and do not let your trip exceed more than a few hours. Take note of how your dog is acting. Some signs of heat stroke include: rapid panting, bright red tongue, thick saliva, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
I hope these tips were helpful! Wishing you high tides, good vibes, and wagging tails!