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Taking Your Pup To the Beach

Everything you need to know to have a fun and safe experience with your pup at the beach!

There's a few things to think about when making the decision to bring your dog to the beach with you. Some of our experienced beach-goers compiled this resource with pretty much everything you need to know.

Should I bring my dog to the beach?

  • Temperature matters!

    • Early morning or evening after the sun sets is the best time to bring your pup

    • The recommended times are before 10 am and at least after 4 pm, usually later

    • If you can’t walk in the sand without burning your feet, your pup should not go to the beach

  • Some beaches have times when dogs are not allowed on the beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can check online or the beach will usually have a sign.

    • SDITs in vest are exempt from this in most states - see our Access Law Map for more info!

  • Is your SDIT allowed to go to the beach?

    • Your org may have certain restrictions like vaccination status or maturity level. Check with your point of contact before taking your pup to the beach!

What to bring:

  • Long Line

    • We recommend getting a biothane or other waterproof leash and collar that will not tarnish and become dirty and damaged in the water

  • Life jacket (if necessary)

  • Booties and/or paw wax

  • Water bottle & water bowl

  • Some form of shade (umbrella)

  • A toy that floats

  • Shampoo

    • For post-beach bath time!

  • Mat/towel to lay on

    • ($20 cooling mat from Target is a great option!)

Health & Safety:

  • Keep your eye out for off-leash dogs

    • For some reason lots of people have their dog off-leash at the beach and not all of them have great recall

    • If you have a dog that doesn't like to be approached by off-leash dogs, you may want to leave them home

  • Always bathe your pup after going to the beach!!

    • Sand can cause itchy skin and other skin problems, including sand mites

  • Don't let your pup eat too much sand

    • This may seem obvious but some of them really like it and you'll see it again later

  • Don't let your pup drink the salt water

    • This could dehydrate them and/or could make them sick

    • Opt to go to a beach on the bay instead where the water is fresher

  • Signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs:

    • Hyperventilation

    • Excessive panting

    • Dry gums that become pale

    • Increased salivation

    • Erratic or rapid pulse

    • Confusion

    • Weakness

    • Diarrhea

    • Vomiting

    • Possibly rectal bleeding

  • What to do if you see these signs:

    • If you suspect your dog is overheating they need to see a vet

      • Seizure or cardiac arrest may occur if the dog overheats

    • Check your pup’s temperature

    • Put cool wet towels over the neck, under the armpits, and between the hind legs. Wetting the ear flaps and paw pads using cool water is also advisable. If you are outdoors, a stream or pond can be used to help cool down.

    • Never force water into the mouth as he may likely suck it out into his lungs. If your pooch refuses to drink, try wetting the tongue with the water instead. Do not offer ice to a dog experiencing heatstroke. If eaten, ice can cool the core body temperature too quickly, shocking the system.

As long as you take the proper precautions, going to the beach with your pup can be a fun and exciting experience for everyone!

But remember your pup can also always stay at home or with a sitter.

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