May 23rd, 2023 by
Summer is fast approaching and you may have some plans for a seaside trip with your four-legged friend but just like humans, you need to take steps to protect your pooch just as you protect yourself or your children. In this blog, we will discuss some tips for keeping your pup safe and happy on their trip to the beach.
Sand Traps Heat
As you are probably well aware the sand on the beach can become extremely hot when the sun is shining, this is because sand has a low thermal conductivity and high heat capacity which means sand can absorb and retain quite a large amount of heat energy which causes it to be very hot to the touch. While dog paw pads are quite resilient, high temperatures can cause blistering and pain so it is best to avoid taking your pup to the beach during the hottest periods of the day, or if you are intending to spend the whole day on the beach then consider investing in some waterproof boots for them to wear when the sand becomes too hot – remember if it is too hot for you to touch it is too hot for your pup to walk on.
Just like humans, your dog can suffer from sunburn so it is important to keep them protected from UV rays when you hit this beach. This is especially true for dogs with short coats, exposed skin or light-coloured fur. You can purchase SPF protection specially designed for use on your pup’s most vulnerable areas such as nose, ears and belly which will help to protect them from getting burnt. It is also vital you create a shaded area where they can take breaks out of the sunshine, as overexposure to the sun can not only result in sunburn but may also cause heatstroke.
Dogs are playful by nature and some love to swim although this is a great way for your pup to get some exercise and keep cool when the temperature increases, there are still a few things to be careful of while your pup plays amongst the waves.
Salt Water Ingestion
Although it can be easier said than done it is important to make sure your dog does not swallow too much salt water – if they ingest too much it can lead to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance, which can be further aggravated by the high temperatures - to make sure they do not drink salt water ensure you have a bowl of fresh clean water for them to drink from.
Another concern is contaminated water, it is not uncommon for some water around the beach water to be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or harmful algal blooms. You have to be diligent and ensure your pooch does not ingest or swim in this water as it may lead to gastrointestinal issues or skin irritations. Before heading out to the beach for the day check for any advisories or warnings about water quality.
Be Mindful of Water Depth and Changing Tides
Although we know it can be an exciting time for your dog if they are not familiar with swimming it is important to make sure they do not swim out too far, and make sure to keep them away from water if the waves increase or the tide becomes stronger.
Foreign Objects and Litter
Dogs are curious creatures by nature, in unfamiliar areas, they like to sniff, dig and wander around however it is important to keep an eye on your pup while they explore, this is because unfortunately, beaches can become quite littered, especially during busy periods, leftover food, broken glass, sharp shells and over contaminants can all be incredibly dangerous if ingested, so try to keep your dog on a lead or prevent them from wandering to far out of your eye line so you can be sure they don’t consume anything unsavoury.
The beach plays host to all kinds of wildlife that your excitable pup may want to try and make friends with, unfortunately, it is very unlikely they feel the same and some of them can cause injury if your pup persists to interact with them - birds, crabs, jellyfish, or even marine mammals can possibly sting or nip your pup leading to some severe discomfort. So be sure to keep your pup away from the natural inhabitants so that your day out at the beach does not end in a trip to the vet!
We hope this blog has helped you understand the importance of protecting your dog on your visit to the beach, we know that you want to relax and enjoy your time with your pooch on your beach trip but it is important to remain diligent after all pets are very much like children and they need guidance and help to stay away from potentially harmful encounters. We hope that by following our guides you will be able to enjoy your time without issue.
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