Summer’s not over yet, folks. So, there’s still plenty of time to take your best K9 pal for a fun day at the beach (or whichever body of water you prefer to cool off around). Just, be sure to remember that others will be out for some fun in the sun too, so there are a few common courtesies that you should keep in mind as you soak in the rays. Here are a few beach etiquette rules we suggest following:
- Set your sights on dog-friendly beaches. Before you even head out the door, make certain that your four-legged friend will be welcomed with open arms wherever you’re going. This means looking for beaches that are safe and actually allow dogs. This will lessen the risk of the potential to run into trouble.
- Pack all of the essentials. Be sure to pack a bag with everything that you and your dog will need for a nice, comfortable day in the surf and sun. Pack a dog bowl and fresh water, a sun umbrella big enough to share with your pup, doggy sunscreen, your pet first aid kit, an extra leash and waste baggies.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Don’t remove your dog’s leash unless you’re in an off-leash area, and only do so far away from any traffic, like cars and bicycles. Trust us, if you let your pet loose in heavily populated areas that aren’t designated “off-leash,” not all beach goers are going to be too happy if your pup accidentally gets too close. Also, don’t let your dog off-leash unless you’re both comfortable with them walking free.
- Go for a swim together. Do the doggy paddle with your pup to assess their swimming ability. Remember, not all dogs are natural strong swimmers, so before you let them loose, make sure they can actually stay afloat.
- Stay alert. Always be aware of where your dog is, and supervise your dog when he or she is in or around water. Not only are you going to want to keep an eye on them in the water, you’ll need to watch out for potential hazards on the beach, like large open holes in the sand that they could fall into, broken glass and sharp shells that could hurt your pets’ paws or worse.
- Have fun, be social, but be cautious. Pet-friendly beaches are a great place for you and your dog to interact with other dogs. Just, be aware of other dogs in the area, and watch out for their disposition, as not all may be as friendly as yours. If you yourself have a large or strong breed dog, it’s best to make sure that he or she isn’t overwhelming smaller or older dogs. Keep them close to you. If you let your dog off leash, make certain that you have verbal control over them for their safety as well as the safety of others on the beach.
- Pick up after your dog. Help keep the beach beautiful and safe for all people, pets and animals. Sure, your dog may be using the bathroom in a giant sandbox, but remember that people and animals walk, play and eat from that sandbox, so always clean up after your dog.
As you head home after a fun day at the beach, be sure to wash your pet before letting them chill for the rest of the day. You’ll want to get all of that saltwater off of them, making sure to wipe the inside of their ears to prevent ear infections. Also, take this time to check them for any scrapes, stings, bites, and even sunburn. If all looks good, you’re ready to relax and enjoy some down time after a beautifully spent day in the sun.