Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach by Nikki Smith and Erin Selby

Summer is a great time to take your dog to the beach. We are lucky to live close to so many dog-friendly parks in the East Bay. Some staff favorites are Point IsobelMuir BeachDel ValleOcean Beach, and Crissy Field. The best way to enjoy the beach with your dog is to be prepared and follow these safety tips:

  • Be mindful of your dog when playing in the water. Make sure your dog can swim. For more on how to teach your dog to swim, go here. Even water savvy dogs can become tired or become caught in a tide or an undertow. Consider investing in a special canine life jacket.  Practice common sense and caution when your dog is playing in the waves.

  • Supervise your dog at all times. It is a joy to watch them run around in nature but be aware of your surroundings. Dogs can fall off rocks or trails or injure themselves. Beaches frequently have hazardous objects or strange materials around so it is important to keep an eye on your dog at all times to keep them from ingesting anything foreign or cutting themselves. Never leave them alone.

  • Come prepared. Bring a first aid kit, a leash, treats, and bottled water with a portable water bowl. Pack extra towels and a blanket to dry off your dog and to protect your car for the ride home. Even if you are visiting an off-leash beach it is always a good idea to have a leash on hand. It's best to keep your pet protected and under control when necessary. Keep your dog’s collar and current ID on at all times. Bring plastic bags for cleaning up after your dog.  

  • Salt water is a bad for dogs because it can cause them to vomit/regurgitate or have diarrhea if too much is ingested.If you see your dog drinking salt water, stop them and offer them some fresh water from a portable water bowl.

  • Dogs may get car sick so cover your car seats with plastic bags and cover plastic bags with towels or blankets for comfort. Consider talking to your veterinarian about an anti-nausea medication.

  • It is common for pets to be sore after a day of heavy activity, especially senior or overweight pets. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not anti-inflammatory medication is appropriate for your pet and if the pain continues after a few days please call us to schedule an examination with your veterinarian.

  • Apply a flea and tick preventative such as Frontline Plus (ticks are a higher risk closer to the coast and in the tall grasses) at least 3 to 4 days before you head off to the beach.

  • Make sure your pet's vaccines are up to date. Don't let your dog chase or harass the wildlife.This is for your dog's safety as well as the wildlife's.

Tags: beach tips, dogs, swimming, summer, pet safety, life jackets

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