Surf's Up Dawg!

Courtesy of Zeman Designs

As we approach the summer season, we will be going to the beach more often.  Many of us like to bring our beloved animals to the beach with us - especially our dogs.  Just as how we are concerned with the safety of ourselves and our children, when we go to the beach, we should be just as concerned with the safety of our dogs.

Takes A Dip In L.I. Sound
On Her First Day Of Freedom
For those of you who know me, you may be asking "Why would a girl from the Bronx be concerned about beach safety for her dogs?".  Well, we do have beaches here in The Bronx and five years ago, beach safety for my dog wouldn't even have been on my radar.  While I always had dogs, I never took any of them to the beach.  For that matter none of them had even come close to water outside of their groomings.

Then I adopted Morby. The first time I took her to the dog run at Pelham Bay Park, she walked me right past it, down to the beach at the park. I have to be honest, I had NEVER walked down there before because it was a little scary, but Morby really wanted to go. Little did I know that she would take a dip. She walked right down to the water and right in. I remember thinking "Oh great! Now this wet, hairy pup is going to get into the car"...of course on the walk back, water would become the least of my problems as dust mixed with the water in her hair and became mud....ahhhh the joys of doggy-hood.

Thanks to Morby...the day I adopted Suede, we went straight to the same park...and she did the same thing...walked me right past the dog run and down to the water...and walked right I wasn't quite as surprised. What is it with these dogs? How did they know about the water? Anyway, it definitely got me thinking about beach safety.
  1. You should make sure your dog is protected from the sun, especially if they have a light-colored coat or a short coat.  There are sunscreens designed specifically for dogs.
  2. You should also provide shade for your dog for the same reasons.
  3. Dogs can suffer heat stroke on the beach, so be mindful of the symptoms of heatstroke.  
  4. You should carry a bottle of water for your dog.  Salty beach water is not the right type of water for your dog to drink. Salt water can further dehydrate your dog, the same as it does to you.
  5. While many beaches do allow dogs off leash in certain places, you should still be mindful of the fact that they may dart off into the water, after unfamiliar wildlife, other dogs or even people.
  6. A lot of debris is present on beaches - natural & unnatural - all of which can end up in our dog's mouth, stuck in their coat or worse yet stuck in their skin and can cause damage if not checked or addressed immediately.
  7. If you have a dog that likes the water, you should invest in a doggy life jacket for them because they too can get caught in rip currents - also known as riptides - and they won't instinctively know what to do.  The life jacket may provide them an opportunity for survival.
  8. When you leave the beach, you should make sure to rinse your dog off as thoroughly as possible and inspect their body & coats just to ensure no signs of injury are present.
Remember, summer safety is as important for your canine family members as it is for the human family members.

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