Spring Break is just around the corner! If you’re planning on heading for your nearest beach to celebrate, then you’ll more than likely be going with some friends or family. Many people love taking their furry best friend as well! If you enjoy taking your dog with you to new destinations, then a beach is the perfect place to led Fido enjoy himself.
However, if your pooch has never been anywhere like a beach before, then there are some things that you definitely need to keep in mind before hitting the road. First things first, some beaches do not allow dogs or only allow dogs if they are kept on a leash. It’s best to check ahead of time to see if there are any specific laws or rules about bringing canine family members along. Read on to know more!
There’s a strong misconception that all dogs are naturally good swimmers. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Some dogs do take well to water, of course, but others are physically unable to swim effectively, while others simply do not prefer the water. Depending on the breed and personality, swimming can be easy, however, if you haven’t gone swimming with your pet before, try some doggie swim lessons in a shallow backyard pool. Remember to never leave them unsupervised around large bodies of water, even if they’re swimming like a pro, and never force them into the water if they resist.
Respect the Heat
Spring Break and beaches are synonymous with heat. Like humans, dogs can get overheated and suffer from sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, especially breeds with thick fur like huskies and dogs with shortened snouts, like boxers and bulldogs. The water may help cool them off if they go swimming, but be sure to also provide a shady area out of direct sunlight, like a large umbrella along with some fresh drinking water.
It’s important to watch closely for signs of them becoming overheated, such as excessive panting, excessive drooling, brick-red gums, trouble standing or walking straight (dizziness), sudden collapsing, vomiting and diarrhea. Remember, if the sand or asphalt is too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it’s too hot for your pet also!
Dogs have a great sense of smell and can pick up on scents that humans can’t. On a crowded beach, you’re sure to run into food, dead animals and other great and not-so-great smelling things strewn about on the sand that your dog will be attracted to. To prevent your pooch from eating something that could be harmful, be sure to monitor them at all times and keep them on a leash if needed.
Never Leave Them Alone
As a dog’s parent, it’s your responsibility to keep them in your presence at all times. Dogs are naturally curious animals, and this can prove to be very true in a location they’ve never been to before, like a beach. If you have to step away for a bit, be sure and take your dog with you or have a friend or family member care for it. You don’t want them wandering off and going missing. Also, don’t let your dog drink seawater!
The Bath After the Fun
If you’re packing up and getting ready to head home or the hotel, be sure and give your dog a good rinse with fresh water. Sand, salt and other sea-borne bacteria can linger in their coat and can potentially cause some discomfort. A couple of bottles of water along with you running your hand their fur should do the trick.
Time for a Visit!
If you plan on taking your dog to the beach this Spring Break, then keep our tips in mind. We love animals of all types, and knowing that they’re safe and sound even when away from home is a comforting feeling for us. If your pet is in need of a checkup, bring them on by to Valley Animal Hospital. We’re conveniently located here in Pharr, between McAllen and San Juan.