Bringing a dog to the beach can be so fun! Whether your pet loves splashing in the ocean or running in the sand, dogs can benefit so much from getting outdoors in the summer. Oh, we like to be by the sea!
But there are a few things pet owners should be aware of before they pack the car with buckets and spades and head to the coast. Whether it’s your dog’s safety on the beach or choosing the right location for your ocean-soaked fiddling games, make sure you’re using these useful tips for going to the beach with your dog for the day are prepared full of fun.
Find dog-friendly beaches
Before you take your dog to the coast, it’s important to check that dogs are allowed on the beach. Some beaches are dog-free. So make sure you do your research before showing up at your destination.
Fortunately, there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches to choose from across the country! These places are always well advertised and indicate exactly where your pet can swim, sunbathe, and run around.
Some beaches have dog-free zones, but pets can roam freely in other sections. Pay close attention to the signs to make sure you don’t end up in the wrong zone. Note that dogs may be welcome on some beaches during the winter months. However, the guidelines may change as the areas get busier in the summer.
Dog owners can expect substantial fines if they are in the wrong zone with their pet. Do not sour a sunny day by the sea. Do your research first and always pay attention to the signs!
The best dog beach games
Bringing a dog to the beach gives both owners and pets the perfect opportunity to exercise and get some fresh air. There are tremendous mental and physical benefits from spending time outdoors. From the extra vitamin D to the extra calories burned, there really is no end to the benefits … and that’s for owners only!
When your dog is on the beach, take advantage of the extra space to train your pet. Frisbees make a fantastic dog beach game that the whole family can enjoy: try out “Piggy in the Middle” with your pet in the middle and see them keep jumping for joy! Many larger dogs enjoy the challenge of a good game of getting into the ocean, but make sure your pet is a confident swimmer before you encourage them into the waves.
Tips for dogs that swim in the sea
While many dogs are natural swimmers and get in the water like a duck (or like a dog!), Don’t assume that your pet will be safe of the waves to begin with. While some breeds like Labradors don’t hesitate to jump in, others are naturally a little more hesitant.
Smaller dogs can be intimidated by the large expanse of water, while others simply aren’t fans of wetness. Shar Pei dogs, for example, are often afraid of water. You can find information about your pet with a Dog breeds library and find out how they usually react to the ocean and swimming before taking a trip to the beach so you are better prepared for their first reaction.
If you know your dog is nervous about swimming in the ocean, give praise and encouragement as he examines the water. Don’t force them any deeper than they’d like and let them paddle in the shallows to build their confidence. For poor swimmers looking to explore further out, invest in a canine life jacket to keep calm.
Find calmer spots of ocean water that your pet can swim in. Do not encourage them to enter the sea when the waves are particularly rough, and avoid areas popular with motorized boats and surfers.
Top tips for grooming your dog on the beach
Dogs can often forget what is best for them in the heat of the moment. So while they are enjoying themselves by the sea, you need to be mindful of their needs. Make sure your pet always wears the collar and identification tag. Overexcited dogs on the beach can get carried away!
Make sure you have access to fresh, clean water while your dog is on the beach. This beautiful, salty seawater is incredibly tempting for dogs to wash up, and while a little won’t hurt them, too much can make them uncomfortable.
If it’s a sunny or hot day, it’s also important to give your pet a shady spot to take a break: all the fun can be exhausting!
Did you know dogs can get sunburned too? Keep an eye on breeds with light or thin hair to make sure their skin is not damaged by prolonged exposure to the sun. You can even buy special sunscreen for dogs on the beach.
Do I have to wash my dog after the beach?
You should always rinse your pet thoroughly after a trip to the beach to remove any sand or salt that may have built up on their fur and cause skin irritation. Some dogs with longer hair or more sensitive skin may need a full bath after the beach.
For more tips, see our guide too going on vacation with your dog.