Everybody loves going to the beach, and what better way is there to enjoy the surf, sunshine and sand, then to take your favorite furry friend along!  There are all kinds of exciting new smells for a dog to discover, games of fetch to be played, Frisbees to be thrown, and sunlit naps to indulge in after splashing in the cool water. There are even dog beaches in California where canines have free reign to race across the golden sands and meet other dogs.   Though there are good times for a pup and his master to have at the beach, as with any public place, there are also rules to abide by and acceptable etiquette to apply. Review some of the important things to remember about beach days with your buddy.

What To Bring To The Beach

Fresh water. Sadly, many people forget that their pups will need a fair amount of water to stay hydrated while playing all day in the sun. All the running, sweating and jumping in the salt water could cause the dog to become seriously dehydrated if he is not given a substantial amount to drink. Bring bottles of water for him, and bottles of water for you! (Don’t forget a bowl to pour the water into!)

Healthy snacks.  If you fed your dog before leaving for the day,  at least bring a small bag of protein-rich treats for him to fill up on. Dehydrated/dried meats, pieces of grilled steak are easily added to the beach bag, and they will ensure your dog doesn’t start sniffing around your chips and sandwiches at lunch time.

Dog boots. These aren’t just important for the winter,  the burning hot sand can be just as painful as icy snow! Unless you are going to a beach with ample shade, or on a cloudy day,  having the boots could protect your pup from burnt paws, and allow him the freedom to run around without being scalded. (Make sure they are machine washable before taking the booties to the beach, as your dog might dash toward the water and get them wet!)

Dog vest. Your breed might be one of the  strongest swimmers but nevertheless, tides can rise quickly, and undertow currents may be much more powerful than anticipated.  Be sure to keep your eyes on your dog at all times, and consider putting a pet life jacket on him, even if you think he won’t need it.

Towels (two for your dog!). One towel will work to dry him after swimming and running in the sand.  It will dry him, rub sand off his paws, and the other will lie clean on your car seat so that none of the beachy grime will soil your car.

Beach Cautions For Dogs

When taking your dog to the beach, be aware of the right etiquette so that the area remains pleasant for all visitors:

  • Dogs should be usually be on the leash (unless signs indicate differently.)
  • All dogs must be up to date on their current vaccinations.
  • Dog owners are responsible to pick up any waste left by their pet.
  • Dogs should be kept away from strangers or muzzled if they have a history of snapping at other dogs or people.
  • Dogs should have lots of fun with their owner, but respect the personal space of other beach-goers and their “camps.”