Summer seems to be particularly slow to get going this year, with June seeing several weeks of cool weather and very unseasonal torrential rain, causing many of us to lose hope of ever seeing the sun at all this year!
However, hopefully we will get some nice weather eventually, and when or if the sun does finally come out, many dogs and owners head for the beach to enjoy a day out at the seaside or perhaps for a longer holiday to one of the UK's beautiful coastal areas.
Whilst not all beaches permit dogs to use them (and even some that usually do have additional restrictions during the busier and so, hotter months of the year) taking your dog to the beach is a popular way to enjoy the sun and give your dog a new experience, and such an outing can be very rewarding for both of you.
That said, trips to the beach with your dog need to be planned carefully with thought for your dog’s safety and wellbeing and of course, the protection of other beach users too – and some important advice on these topics and more are covered within this article.
Choosing what to pack and take along with you when going to the beach with your dog is something else to think about with care, and with this in mind, this article will provide a handy checklist for you to use of five essentials you need to take along if you’re taking your dog to the beach this summer. Read on to learn more.
It might seem a bit odd to take your own water supply for your dog along to the beach with you, and you might well find that there are plenty of freshwater taps dotted around the car parks of many beaches that are free to use, but this is not always the case.
Play safe and ensure that you don’t get caught out, by taking your own supply of clean, fresh water for your dog. If there are taps available, you can always refill your supply on the go. Additionally, take your own water bowl for your dog too, and use this in preference to shared or communal bowls, which can also spread diseases.
Few of us would consider spending a day out at the beach without applying sunscreen to ourselves and our family, but this is something that all too many dog owners neglect to do when it comes to their pooches!
Dogs with fine or short fur, white fur, or pink skin will need a lot of sun protection, but even dogs with thick, dark coats can do with some protection on their extremities, such as their nose and the tips of their ears.
Additionally, you might want to take along an old t-shirt or other form of coverup for your dog too.
Dogs need to be able to seek out shade to cool themselves down when it is too hot, and whilst many people like to bake under the hot sun, dogs can and do overheat and develop heatstroke very quickly. Take a parasol or other source of shade and make sure that your dog can get under it and avoid the sun as and when they wish to.
Sand gets very hot under the sun, as you probably know if you’ve ever tried to walk on it barefoot in the height of summer and found yourself hopping from foot to foot! The same is true of pavements and beach car parks, and every year, a reasonable number of dogs in the UK develop painful sores and burns to their paws from walking on surfaces that are hot enough to hurt and cause harm.
Put down a towel or something else for your dog to stand on when on the beach itself, and if the beach or other walking surfaces are very hot, use booties for your dog too if you cannot find an alternative route over cooler ground.
It is wise to take some basic first aid supplies for both you and your dog to the beach, such as antihistamines, eye rinse, some antiseptic ointment and a thermometer. Hopefully you won’t need them, but it is better to be overly prepared than caught out!
Finally, if your dog is not a good swimmer or you’re not sure how well they can swim if at all, it is wise to keep them out of the sea. However, just in case of any missteps or if your dog is likely to try to paddle regardless, get them a doggy life jacket to ensure that they won’t endanger themselves.